I seldom use Google Maps to truly get instructions, however I open the app nearly every single day for different causes that may not be so apparent. Fact is, Google Maps is beneficial for lots extra than simply exhibiting you the right way to get from Level A to Level B. Beneath all these Christmas-colored site visitors patterns and high-res satellite tv for pc photos hides a robust search software that provides crowdsourced real-time knowledge on eating places, retail shops, skilled places of work, public parks and virtually anyplace else you’d need to go.
A few of Google Maps’ latest updates embody, , , and . Flip-by-turn instructions are so final decade, comparatively talking. For those who’re already conversant in this app as a navigation software, you are solely a faucet, press or swipe away from these and extra Google Maps superpowers.
To unleash the hidden potential of the Google Maps app in your telephone or pill, check out the 5 methods I take advantage of Google Maps nearly every single day that don’t have anything to do with getting instructions.
See how lengthy the road is all over the place from Walmart to the DMV
Earlier than I stroll out the door, whether or not I am heading to Walmart, the grocery retailer, the physician’s workplace or to resume my driver’s license, I nearly all the time examine Google Maps to see precisely how busy I can anticipate my vacation spot to be. Here is how one can search for that data too.
Within the Google Maps app, faucet on the enterprise or location you need to go to and scroll down till you see a graph labeled Common instances. Faucet the day of the week if you happen to’re planning a visit for later that week.
Faucet on the crimson column to see present foot-traffic knowledge, or one of many blue columns to get a abstract of how busy you may anticipate it to be at one other time: Not busy, Not too busy, A bit busy or As busy because it will get.
Subsequent, below the heading Plan your go to, you may discover basic data like peak wait instances (“as much as 5 min from 6 a.m. — 12 a.m.”) and size of common go to (“Individuals usually spend 20 min right here”). Now you realize whether or not you may be out and in in a flash or if that you must pack a great ebook or simply plan your go to for an additional day when wait instances aren’t as lengthy.
Take a look at menus, images and buyer opinions
Along with its navigation instruments, Google Maps can be a full-blown crowdsourced overview app, very similar to Yelp or TripAdvisor, so you will get a good suggestion of what types of choices your vacation spot affords, in addition to value, presentation and whether or not you may must take out a mortgage to afford it.
This function is as helpful for restaurant pickup and supply as it’s for previewing menu choices and costs — to not point out getting a great have a look at the dishes. It may make or break your determination to strive someplace new. For individuals who belief the knowledge of crowds, it additionally exhibits the eating places’ five-star common in addition to particular person opinions to weigh in your determination.
On most restaurant listings you may see a navigation bar on the high with Overview, Menu, Evaluations and Pictures listed as choices (you might have to side-scroll to see all of them). Faucet any of these or simply scroll down. The hyperlink labeled Menu is commonly listed just under working hours, however maintain scrolling till you see the heading Common dishes to see images of meals. Preserve going previous Common instances till nearly the very backside to search out the restaurant’s five-star common and person opinions.
E book a desk or place an order for carryout or supply
As soon as you’ve got gotten a sneak peek at all of your restaurant choices, more often than not you do not even have to go away the Google Maps app to make a reservation. For those who’d reasonably eat at dwelling, you may as well often order carryout or supply from inside the app.
If the restaurant you’ve got selected makes use of a reserving service like, you may see a tab beneath the Menu choice that claims both Discover a desk or Reserve a desk. You do not truly should log in to the reserving service to make the reservation (though if you happen to acquire bonus factors or in any other case actively use the service chances are you’ll need to anyway).
For carryout or supply, search for an choice labeled Place an order. A popup provides you with a listing of accessible providers, like DoorDash or Postmates, however you’ll have to register to finish your order, so when you’ve got an account with any of them you may most likely need to select that one.
Hey, Google Assistant, how’d you get on my iPhone?
I spend most of my digital life within the famously walled backyard of the Apple ecosystem, with one evident exception: I take advantage of a Google Home ($99 at Walmart) with Google Assistant to regulate my smart home.
Google Assistant would not come baked into iOS the way in whichdoes, however a setting in Google Maps permits you to shove Siri to the aspect so you may have always-on entry to Google Assistant whereas navigating.
To set the Google Maps app in your iPhone to pay attention for “OK, Google” whereas navigating, open the Google Maps app and faucet on the menu icon (the three stacked horizontal strains to the left of the search bar), then faucet Settings. On the high of the web page, below the heading Getting Round, faucet Navigation, then scroll to the choice labeled Entry your Assistant with “OK Google” and switch the toggle on.
Admittedly, this workaround is a little bit wonky — you need to set Google Maps to navigate to a selected vacation spot for the “OK, Google” voice command to work, and you may’t summon Siri with “Hey, Siri” whereas this function is turned on. However till Android can woo me away from my iPhone, it is higher than nothing.
Discover working hours, telephone numbers, ZIP codes and extra
Each time I must know when a retailer or enterprise opens or closes, or if I must name the place and I haven’t got the quantity, or on the uncommon event once I want the ZIP code for a enterprise for which the road identify and quantity are all I do know off the highest of my head (say, for a job software), I am going straight to Google Maps to get these solutions and extra.
Here is the place to rapidly and simply discover fundamental information about areas listed in Google Maps:
Working hours: Companies’ hours of operation are displayed instantly beneath the tackle. You possibly can faucet the down arrow beside right now’s closing time to see hours for different days of the week. Most listings are up to date with any particular vacation hours, that are highlighted in a crimson font.
Phone numbers: Beneath hours of operation in most listings you may discover the telephone quantity. To name it with out leaving Google Maps, faucet the quantity, then faucet the pop-up that shows the immediate to Name adopted by the quantity.
Web site: If the enterprise has an internet site, it will likely be listed under the telephone quantity. Faucet it to open the web site in a Google Chrome-powered tab inside the Google Maps app.
ZIP code: This one’s much less frequent, however once I’ve wanted it, Google Maps has saved me tons of time. Both enter the road identify and quantity or the enterprise identify and faucet search. On the high of the itemizing beside the road tackle, you may now see the ZIP code.
For extra Google ideas and tips, try these, these and .