The COVID-19 pandemic will loom over the holiday season, and Google is reflecting that reality in its navigation app. The firm is rolling out updates to Google Maps that show you how to navigate the COVID-19 landscape if you need to, and take care of your food needs once you’re (hopefully) staying home.
To begin, Google is updating Maps’ COVID layer on Android and iOS with more detailed details about the new coronavirus in a given area, together with links to local authorities’ resources. If you don’t have any choice but to travel, you’ll at least know the rules at your destination. Maps can even show the crowding levels on public transportation utilizing real-time feedback so that you’ll know if it’s too dangerous to hop aboard a bus.
Both these updates will arrive within the “coming weeks.”
You’ll have an easier time tracking meals for those who determine to order in. Google Maps mobile customers within the US, Canada, Australia, Brazil, Germany, and India now have the choice to track food takeout and supply orders in real-time. You’ll have to have ordered by means of Maps, however you’ll know when it’s time to pick up an order or how to close a delivery is perhaps to your door. You’ll additionally see delivery fees, wait times, and an option to reorder previous orders. You’ll even see your reservation status at restaurants, though that clearly won’t be helpful while the pandemic rages on.
When you do have to drive, you might have an easier time focusing on the street. Google Maps is giving US customers a preview version of a long-in-the-making Assistant driving mode. Choose the pop-up option once you begin navigation and also you’ll get a streamlined technique to observe messages, play audio, and reply to calls with minimal distractions. You can send or obtain calls using your voice, and the Assistant will learn out your texts to spare you from reading your phone’s screen.
This is an unusual Maps release for Google — ideally, you won’t use most of those options in the course of the holidays as you keep home and decrease the chance of catching COVID-19. They may nonetheless show useful for those times you do want to leave, although, and options like food tracking can be helpful long after the pandemic subsides.