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Google Maps is now adding new COVID-19 related features to help users make an informed decision before heading out during the holidays. These features come at a time when cases are on a surge once again, and fears of bigger spread mount during the winters and the holiday season. Google Maps looks to offer more information from COVID-19 official resources. It will show you information including all-time detected cases in an area, the last average seven-day trend, and the number of deaths there, to give you a fair idea of the situation before you head to that area. Additionally, Google Maps will also offer live crowdedness information on public transport.
Google announced in a blog that it is rolling out two new features that look to offer you more information that will inevitably help you during the COVID-19 crisis. The first one includes the ability to see more COVID-19 information about a region – including all-time detected cases, quick links to COVID resources from local authorities, the seven-day trend there (increasing or decreasing), and the number of total deaths. Google says that this additional information will be “especially handy if you’re heading out of town and need to get up to speed about the local guidelines, testing sites and restrictions in another city.”
Apart from this, Google Maps will also strive to offer you live crowdedness information in public transport to keep you informed. Cautious users who wish to keep their distance may want to avoid overcrowded buses, and Google Maps will now start showing how crowded your bus, train, or subway line is right now based on real-time feedback from Google Maps users around the world. Both these features are rolling out for Android and iOS.
Apart from these features, users can also see the live status of takeout and delivery orders. This feature will let you see expected food arrival, or when to head out to pick it up. This feature will also offer information like expected wait times and delivery fees and will also allow you to reorder your favourite items from the Google Maps app itself. This feature is rolling out on Android and iOS for users in India, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Germany, and the US.
Furthermore, an early preview of Google Assistant driving model in Maps is rolling out to Android users in the US. This feature essentially looks to reduce the need to look down at your phone while driving. The new driving-friendly Assistant interface lets you use voice to send and receive calls and texts, quickly review new messages across your messaging apps in one place and get a read-out of your texts. Assistant will even alert you to an incoming call so you can answer or decline with voice commands.
Is Android One holding back Nokia smartphones in India? We discussed this on Orbital, our weekly technology podcast, which you can subscribe to via Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, or RSS, download the episode, or just hit the play button below.