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

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
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.

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Top Rated Comments

TinyMito Avatar
35 months ago
Introvert Rejoice!
Score: 31 Votes (Like | Disagree)
dba415 Avatar
35 months ago

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.
Score: 23 Votes (Like | Disagree)
temende Avatar
35 months ago

I don’t trust this at all. ?‍♀️

No privacy. All the data is exposed!
Just wondering, what data is being exposed here? Whether or not a restaurant is busy is public knowledge since anyone can go to a restaurant and see how busy it is at a quick glance.
Score: 20 Votes (Like | Disagree)
jdawgnoonan Avatar
35 months ago
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.
Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)
dba415 Avatar
35 months ago
Awesome feature. Google Maps is 10x more useful than Apple
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
TheYayAreaLiving ?️ Avatar
35 months ago
I don’t trust this at all. ?‍♀️

No privacy. All the data is exposed!
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)