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New Google Maps tool turns ‘busyness’ into its business. That is how it works


Google Maps gets a new feature – this is how it works.

Angela Lang / CNET

Google announced Thursday that it expanded its “bustle” feature in Google Maps app to show you live information on whether a place is crowded or empty. For example, if you are planning to go to the grocery store, you can see how many people are actually there.

This update comes in response to the coronavirus pandemic to help people know what to expect when they go to a public place. Google says it has expanded its functionality to more outdoor areas such as beaches and parks and key locations such as grocery stores, gas stations, laundries and pharmacies.

When the feature is available, just open the Maps app on your Android or iPhone ($ 699 on Amazon) or navigate to Google Maps in your browser and move around the map until you find where you want to go. The business information is displayed on the map, so you do not have to search for a specific place to see how crowded it is. It says something like “Not busy”, “busier than usual” or “As busy as it gets.” Google says this new Maps feature will roll out in the coming weeks.

For more Google tips, see these six useful Google Maps tricks you did not know until today, seven hidden Gmail features and these three Google Home tips to save you the anxiety of voting.

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