What is Google Maps’ Popular Times feature?

Most people have heard of Google Maps, that life-saving app on your mobile phone, laptop or tablet, which can help you navigate through a new place. But have you heard of a relatively new feature on the app, Popular Times?

We’ve all been there – you want to go to a new restaurant your best friend’s been raving about, but you forget to book and don’t know whether you’re realistically going to get a seat. Popular Times is an answer to your prayers. It’s able to tell you how busy a hotspot is at different times of the day and how long people are spending there. Whilst the feature has been available on the desktop version of the Google Maps website for some time, Google launched the new feature for smartphone apps in time for Black Friday, one of the busiest days in the shopping calendar. Plus, the feature now draws on real-time data rather than historical trends, and so is much more accurate.

The app uses anonymized data in real-time to estimate the size of the crowd in the hotspot and is even able to predict how long they’re going to stay.

Google Maps

Not only does it use incredibly sophisticated technology, but it’s also simple to use. On Google Maps, you just need to search for a location and a Popular Times section will appear on your screen, showing the number of people in the building. Planning a day out with friends, family or colleagues when on the go has become much easier.

Have you used the Popular Times feature yet? If so, let us know how it’s helped you by commenting below, or tweeting to us at @JustAskGemalto!