Attempt these 5 intelligent Google Maps methods to see extra than simply what’s on the map


Wherever you are headed, Google Maps may give you a snapshot of what you will discover if you get there, from real-time crowd numbers to menus, costs and speak to data.

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I hardly ever use Google Maps to get instructions, however I open the app virtually daily for different causes that may not be apparent at first look — you need to use Google Maps methods to do way over present you easy methods to get from Level A to Level B.

Beneath all these color-coded site visitors patterns and hi-res satellite tv for pc pictures hides a robust search device that gives crowdsourced real-time knowledge on eating places, retail shops, skilled workplaces, public parks and virtually wherever else you need to go.

In comparison with a few of Google Maps’ comparatively more moderen updates, which embody vastly improved transit navigationlanguage translation powered by AI, and incognito mode to stop leaving a paper path, turn-by-turn instructions are so final decade. In case you’re already conversant in this app as a navigation device, next-level powers comparable to these are solely a faucet, press or swipe away as soon as you already know the next Google Maps methods.

To unleash the hidden energy of the Google Maps app in your cellphone or pill, check out the 5 methods I exploit Google Maps virtually daily that don’t have anything to do with getting instructions.

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See how lengthy the road is in every single place from Walmart to the DMV


Within the Google Maps app, real-time data on traces, crowds and wait instances is in pink, however you may faucet every other hour of day to see what you may most likely count on then.

Screenshot by Dale Smith/CNET

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 virtually at all times verify Google Maps to see precisely how busy I can count on my vacation spot to be. This 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 Fashionable instances. Faucet the day of the week in case you’re planning a visit for later that week.

Faucet on the pink column to see present foot-traffic knowledge, or one of many blue columns to get a abstract of how busy you may count on it to be at one other time: Not busy, Not too busy, A little bit busy or As busy because it will get.

Subsequent, underneath the heading Plan your go to, you will discover common data like peak wait instances (“as much as 5 min from 6 a.m. — 12 a.m.”) and size of common go to (“Folks usually spend 20 min right here”). Now you already know whether or not you will be out and in in a flash or if you have to pack guide or simply plan your go to for one more day when wait instances aren’t as lengthy.


Wish to wait till the road on the cafe is shorter? Look underneath “Fashionable instances” to see when the crowds often die down.

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Try menus, photographs and buyer evaluations

Along with its navigation instruments, Google Maps can also be a full-blown crowdsourced evaluation app, very similar to Yelp or TripAdvisor, so you will get a good suggestion of what kinds of choices your vacation spot affords, in addition to worth, presentation and whether or not you will have to 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 have a look at the dishes. It may make or break your choice to strive someplace new. For individuals who belief the knowledge of crowds, it additionally reveals the eating places’ five-star common in addition to particular person evaluations to weigh in your choice.

On most restaurant listings you will see a navigation bar on the prime with Overview, Menu, Evaluations and Pictures listed as choices (you’ll have to side-scroll to see all of them). Faucet any of these or simply scroll down. The hyperlink labeled Menu is usually listed slightly below working hours, however maintain scrolling till you see the heading Fashionable dishes to see photographs of meals. Preserve going previous Fashionable instances till virtually the very backside to search out the restaurant’s five-star common and person evaluations.


Get a really feel for the kind of delicacies a restaurant affords by shopping menus, photographs and evaluations within the Google Maps app.

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Ebook 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 depart the Google Maps app to make a reservation. In case you’d somewhat eat at dwelling, you can even often order carryout or supply from throughout the app.

If the restaurant you’ve got selected makes use of a reserving service like OpenTable, you will see a tab beneath the Menu possibility that claims both Discover a desk or Reserve a desk. You do not really need to log in to the reserving service to make the reservation (though in case you gather 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 possibility labeled Place an order. A popup will provide you with a listing of obtainable providers, like DoorDash or Postmates, however you’ll have to sign up to finish your order, so in case you have an account with any of them you will 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 obvious exception: I exploit a Google Dwelling ($99 at Crutchfield) with Google Assistant to manage my good dwelling

Google Assistant does not come baked into iOS the way in which Apple’s much less succesful voice assistant Siri does, however a setting in Google Maps permits you to shove Siri to the facet so you may have always-on entry to Google Assistant whereas navigating. 

To set the Google Maps app in your iPhone to hear for “OK, Google” whereas navigating, open the Google Maps app and faucet on the menu icon (the three stacked horizontal traces to the left of the search bar), then faucet Settings. On the prime of the web page, underneath the heading Getting Round, faucet Navigation, then scroll to the choice labeled Entry your Assistant with “OK Google” and switch the toggle on.


Google Dwelling gadgets like this Nest Hub include Google Assistant baked in, however on iPhones you need to use a Google app like Google Maps to summon the digital sidekick.

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Admittedly, this workaround is just a little wonky — you need to set Google Maps to navigate to a particular 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, cellphone numbers, ZIP codes and extra

Each time I have to know when a retailer or enterprise opens or closes, or if I have to 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. 

This is the place to shortly and simply discover primary data about areas listed in Google Maps:

Working hours: Companies’ hours of operation are displayed instantly beneath the deal with. You’ll be able to faucet the down arrow beside at this time’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 pink font.


Discover the ZIP code for nearly any enterprise in the USA by trying to find its identify or avenue deal with on Google Maps.

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Telephone numbers: Beneath hours of operation in most listings you will discover the cellphone 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 a web site, it is going to be listed beneath the cellphone quantity. Faucet it to open the web site in a Google Chrome-powered tab throughout the Google Maps app.

ZIP code: This one’s much less widespread, 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 prime of the itemizing beside the road deal with, you will now see the ZIP code.

In fact, Google Maps can also be chock-full of options that assist with what the app is most clearly designed to do — present you easy methods to get the place you are going. Begin with these six Google Maps methods you most likely do not learn about but. In case you’ll be utilizing Google Maps to navigate on an enormous highway journey, the following tips will assist make your journey as easy as attainable. In case you occur upon any accidents, pace traps or different slowdowns whilst you’re out and about, now you can report as much as seven various kinds of highway incidents straight from the Google Maps app.

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