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Google today announced the launch of new iOS Google Maps features aimed at helping holiday shoppers, including Area Busyness and Directories.

Google-maps-feaure-purple.jpg

With Area Busyness, Google combines the busyness trends of businesses and locations that are near each other to let you know when a neighborhood or a part of town is at its busiest. Google says that this feature can help you identify busy areas to avoid, or highlight the hot spots when you're new to an area. Google says Area Busyness will roll out "in time for this holiday season."

Google is adding Directories, a feature designed to make it easier for people to navigate malls, airports, and transit stations. The Directory tab will allow users to see what types of stores are in a building and find airport lounges, parking lots, and more, along with helpful information such as whether a location is open, it's rating, and what floor it's on. This kind of indoor mapping functionality is already available in many shopping malls and airports in the Apple Maps app.

Google is also expanding its integrated grocery store pickup feature, which allows pickup orders from Kroger, Fred Meyer, Fry's, Ralphs, and Marianos to be added to Google Maps for tracking order status and allowing stores to know when you've arrived.

For restaurants, Google is adding price ranges supplied by other Google Maps users to give people a better idea of what a location charges for food, plus there's a simplified method for providing additional review details about a location you've visited.

Article Link: Google Maps Warns You About Crowded Areas With Updated 'Busyness' Feature
 

rp100

macrumors regular
Sep 15, 2016
147
379
Would be a real shame if Maps told everyone your restaurant was insanely crowded when no one was there. Would be a shame if we suddenly stopped showing your restaurant because you don’t espouse the same views. Would be a shame….


This is yet another behavior-shaping enhancement that will be used to drive Google’s own ideologies about the universe. It’s already bad enough that Maps tries to shove the “green” route down my throat, the primary suggestion which adds 15-45 minutes to my longer drives. Pretty soon there will be eco-friendly reservation times and earth-friendly menu items….
 

dba415

macrumors 6502a
Jun 18, 2011
782
865
Would be a real shame if Maps told everyone your restaurant was insanely crowded when no one was there. Would be a shame if we suddenly stopped showing your restaurant because you don’t espouse the same views. Would be a shame….


This is yet another behavior-shaping enhancement that will be used to drive Google’s own ideologies about the universe. It’s already bad enough that Maps tries to shove the “green” route down my throat, the primary suggestion which adds 15-45 minutes to my longer drives. Pretty soon there will be eco-friendly reservation times and earth-friendly menu items….
Google and Apple already has that power. They could pretend like there's a lot of traffic near your restaurant in order to predict that it'll take longer to drive there.

The green route is trying to save you gas money. You don't have to listen to it but it's helpful if you are conscious about saving money.


You sound way too paranoid.
 

Fabercon

macrumors member
Oct 9, 2020
86
102
And the only way that have this data is from mostly Android phones which are broadcasting the location data.

Unless you turn on Google Maps to always allow location, I don't think iPhones would contribute to the input data without a user activity using the Google Maps app (which if they are already there, they would only be using it to go somewhere else!!)
 

jdawgnoonan

macrumors 6502a
Apr 22, 2007
536
594
Jefferson, WI
Google Maps in my opinion is THE app that made mobile apps matter. I had the first iPhone and when I realized that my life had changed due to the device was when I used the Maps app that Google had made for Apple the first time. A few years later I moved to Android and the Google Maps app with turn by turn was simply amazing. I moved to Germany for a few years in 2010 and never needed a Garmin because Google Maps was that good. To this day, I think that Google Maps, regardless of platform, is the best mobile app that exists at all. I switch back and forth between iOS and Android every year or two and so am quite familiar with the app on both platforms. Apple Maps has come a long way, and has a more attractive UI if compared with Google Maps, but it still doesn't hold a candle to Google Maps in my opinion.
 

ian87w

macrumors 604
Feb 22, 2020
7,471
10,510
Indonesia
It's definitely an interesting re-purpose of Google Map's existing feature. However, sometimes the accuracy is not too reliable, at least from my experience. Maybe it works better in western markets.
 

Kar98

macrumors 65816
Feb 20, 2007
1,036
498
Would be a real shame if Maps told everyone your restaurant was insanely crowded when no one was there. Would be a shame if we suddenly stopped showing your restaurant because you don’t espouse the same views. Would be a shame….


This is yet another behavior-shaping enhancement that will be used to drive Google’s own ideologies about the universe. It’s already bad enough that Maps tries to shove the “green” route down my throat, the primary suggestion which adds 15-45 minutes to my longer drives. Pretty soon there will be eco-friendly reservation times and earth-friendly menu items….

Sounds like hyperbole but I did notice the “for the greater good” routing in Google Maps, when the algorithm tried to send me down roads way off the optimal route for me.
 

Kar98

macrumors 65816
Feb 20, 2007
1,036
498
Google Maps in my opinion is THE app that made mobile apps matter. I had the first iPhone and when I realized that my life had changed due to the device was when I used the Maps app that Google had made for Apple the first time. A few years later I moved to Android and the Google Maps app with turn by turn was simply amazing. I moved to Germany for a few years in 2010 and never needed a Garmin because Google Maps was that good. To this day, I think that Google Maps, regardless of platform, is the best mobile app that exists at all. I switch back and forth between iOS and Android every year or two and so am quite familiar with the app on both platforms. Apple Maps has come a long way, and has a more attractive UI if compared with Google Maps, but it still doesn't hold a candle to Google Maps in my opinion.
Meh. I had TomTom on Windows Phone years before the iPhone and Google Maps existed.
 

jdawgnoonan

macrumors 6502a
Apr 22, 2007
536
594
Jefferson, WI
Sounds like hyperbole but I did notice the “for the greater good” routing in Google Maps, when the algorithm tried to send me down roads way off the optimal route for me.
The green routes are optional and I have no issue with them offering that as a feature, though I do not use them. The thing about Google Maps that amazed me on the gen 1 iPhone was a particular use case. I went to a bowling alley with the developers on my team. When we got there all of the lanes were taken because it was leagues night. I pulled out my iPhone and just wanted to get the phone numbers for the other bowling alleys so that I could call and see if other alleys had open lanes. When I typed bowling alleys into maps and every bowling alley in the city with the phone number for each that I could just click and call lit up I was simply amazed and knew that mobile applications could simplify mundane things in a very transformative way. Like I honestly assumed that I would get the phone numbers and have to type them into the phone app. It was seriously a very memorable moment when the power of mobile just clicked for me. This stuff is taken for granted today, but it was pretty amazing at the time.
 

PinkyMacGodess

macrumors G3
Mar 7, 2007
9,438
5,352
Midwest America.
Apple Maps traffic feature was a little off for a cross state jaunt last month. One 'red route' had no cars or other obstructions at all. If anything it was a little over zealous on labeling some routes, which was better I guess than missing a bumper to bumper stretch.

Labeling crowds is a great idea. If it's accurate. Good luck to them.
 

jjudson

macrumors 6502a
Sep 20, 2017
518
1,028
North Carolina
As creepily evil as Google is, it’s hard to look at the development and intelligence of Google Maps without a certain amount of awe…
 

rjlawrencejr

macrumors 6502
Jun 7, 2007
394
42
LA/OC/IE
Would be a real shame if Maps told everyone your restaurant was insanely crowded when no one was there. Would be a shame if we suddenly stopped showing your restaurant because you don’t espouse the same views. Would be a shame….


This is yet another behavior-shaping enhancement that will be used to drive Google’s own ideologies about the universe. It’s already bad enough that Maps tries to shove the “green” route down my throat, the primary suggestion which adds 15-45 minutes to my longer drives. Pretty soon there will be eco-friendly reservation times and earth-friendly menu items….
But you don’t have to take the suggested route. Turn off the directions and just look at the roads and take the most efficient route.
 
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Populus

macrumors 68030
Aug 24, 2012
2,858
3,634
Valencia, Spain.
I have a question about privacy. If I install Google Maps on iOS 15, with all the privacy focused features it has, and at the same time I use YouTube in Safari, will it connect the data and track me with a more accurate digital fingerprint? Of course, all of this without logging in. Thank you.
 

CubeHacker

macrumors 65816
Apr 22, 2003
1,233
227
One of the only reasons I use Google Maps is to see how busy places are before I decide to go and to plan ahead to go when they’re usually less busy. Very useful.
I used to use this feature quite a bit. However, in the last year or so, I have found it completely inaccurate and useless. It would say my gym is "not very busy", and meanwhile it was packed. It would say that a restaurant was "as busy as it gets", meanwhile there are like 4 people sitting inside. I'm not sure what happened, but I find that its no longer accurate.
 

gene731

macrumors 6502
Oct 28, 2015
407
423
Meh. I had TomTom on Windows Phone years before the iPhone and Google Maps existed.
So? I also remember google maps stunk at their beginning? Do I whine about something that happened 20+ years ago? Did I avoid Apple’s Maps like the plague when they first started and had issues? You bet. Now I almost use Apple Maps exclusively because I think they are now at a point of being a stable app (at least in USA) I can trust their directions
 

lah

macrumors 6502
Mar 22, 2010
379
288
Prett cool feature, but I still Prefer Apple Maps over Google. I mainly use google maps as yellow pages these days to find business listings etc. Google has had a big head start, but Apple is catching up quickly.
 
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fernelius

macrumors regular
Mar 24, 2007
114
155
Introvert Rejoice!
Yeah. A few more steps, and they can check your contacts and social media connections to show how many people connected to you are in the vicinity. Could even set an alarm to alert you when the area is clear!

I’m midway between introvert and extrovert, but there are times when I want to make a surgical and very rapid shopping visit. :)

Edit: Should note, though, that I wouldn’t use any of this due to the privacy/security concerns unless I trusted they truly anonymized the data on device. Apple?
 
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