Search queries made on mobile devices are dominating searches made on desktop computers and search engines like Google are in the thick of this transformation. Earlier this week at Google IO 2018, Google announced many new changes that were coming to the Google Maps interface this summer. To say that users will be excited about the new offerings would be an understatement.
If you’ve ever traveled to an unfamiliar city and have attempted to use Google Maps' walking directions feature, you know how frustrating it can be to determine which direction to walk in. Google Maps is introducing an augmented reality feature that will show users where to walk and will use Google's street view technology. The augmented reality feature will likely use a guide like a robotic fox.
Google Maps is also introducing a “For You” tab similar to what you’ll find on NetFlix. The “For You” tab will provide users with information about businesses that are new to your local area. There will also be a “trending” locations feature that will display offers from businesses that you frequent the most. This information will be tailored based on the establishments you visit and the reviews you publish on the Google My Business platform. Also new to Google Maps will be a new recommendations feature that will have a social component allowing users to collectively view and vote on local businesses. A user will basically be presented with local listings where they’ll be able to establish a list of options and share it with friends.
For all of you food gurus and enthusiasts out there, Google Maps will also be introducing a "Foodie List" that will show where large groups of people gather whether it be a bar, restaurant, bakery, etc. Many critics are already beginning to compare the upcoming Google Maps updates as a rip-off of Yelp. While Yelp could have been an influence, there are no trademarks on providing a quality user experience. Google Maps is about to get a lot more "social" and these new features will be available on both iOS and Android devices later this summer.
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