The past year has certainly made things like travel interesting, to say the least. Google has now added a few helpful features to Google Maps to make traveling—or even just commuting to work or getting around the city—a little bit easier.
First, Google expanded its transit crowdedness predictions to over 10,000 transit agencies in 100 countries. With transit rates starting to pick back up now, the feature will help you get a better idea of when local transit is at its peak so you can more easily gauge when you want to hop on a train. Instead of taking your chances during rush hour, now you can easily see when traffic is likely to decrease and have a more enjoyable spacious ride then.
Google is using its AI technology for these predictions, taking contributions users have made through Google Maps and considering global historical location trends. It is also currently piloting a live crowdedness information feature in both New York and Sydney, which shows you even more detail “right down to the transit car level.”
For Android users, you can also gain more insight into how you’re spending your time away from home, thanks to the new Timeline Insights tab. If you have Location History turned on, you’ll see a new tab in your Timeline that’s visible only to you. It shows you your monthly trends, like how much time you’ve spent flying, walking, or driving, along with how much time you spent at shops, restaurants, airports, and so on.
Also in the Timeline tab now is Trips. This lets you reminisce over all of the fun past trips you’ve taken. Remember that oceanside restaurant you dined at in California? Or that stunning cabin you stayed at in Banff? Now you can take a trip down memory lane without leaving your house. Trips also makes it easy to share these destinations with friends needing travel recommendations. Google also made it easier to manage all of this data in bulk, in-line, or with the auto-delete controls from your Timeline.
Lastly, Google enhanced its Reviews feature for Android and iOS users, allowing you to leave more detailed reviews for restaurants, shops, and other businesses you’ve visited. You can easily choose how many stars you want to leave, type up a brief comment, and leave photos. Additionally, you’ll be able to include additional information, like whether you dined in, got take-out, or ordered a delivery; what meal you ordered for; and how much you spent per person during your visit. This makes your reviews more useful to others and vice versa.