Not sure if you have enough time to stop and grab a coffee on your way to work? Don’t worry, Google Maps has you covered. A new update to the service means it’ll show potential wait times at coffee shops and restaurants, helping you avoid a wasted trip, or a lengthy queue.
Google Maps already produces location cards that provide handy information about listed establishments, including hours of operation, contact details, and even menus. Now, the cards related to some locations will also have a timeline charting the busiest hours.
Want to hit the gym on a Monday night? Google Maps will warn you to expect it to be busy, meaning you’re probably not going to be able to find an open elliptical machine to use. It will serve as a solid heads up and decision making tool to help you avoid unnecessary waits and potential disappointments. No more having to wait an hour to be seated for dinner because you forgot to put in a reservation; now you can find a place that won’t be so crowded before leaving the house.
While some of the data produced — big shock, the gym’s busy straight after everyone finishes work — can be predicted using a little bit of logic, it’s when you use the new feature alongside other clever Google Maps tools that it’s usefulness increases. If you check the traffic information to re-route around delays, or plan out your public transit hopping before you get on the first bus, you just may end up first in line before the early morning coffee run at your local Starbucks.
The new feature is available to Google Maps users in the Android app and will appear in searches performed on both Chrome and Safari apps for iOS.
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