Say you’re in a faraway place on holiday, and you’ll be there for less than a week. You have your first couple of days already packed with activities, and on the remaining day you decide to go to this famous restaurant that is said to blow the minds of even the pickiest of food connoisseurs. And when you get there, you’re greeted with a closed sign on the restaurant, leaving you and your traveling companions feeling gutted and miserable for what remains of the trip. This is inconvenient and frustrating to say the least, and each time it occurs is one time too many. Fortunately, Google intends to prevent this from happening with a recent update to Google Maps.
With the new update, Google Maps will now warn you if where you’re going to is going to be closed when you get there. This means taking into account the store of your destination’s operation hours and factoring in your travel time. You can dismiss the warning and continue heading there anyway if you’re just using the place as a landmark, or are meeting someone in the area instead of inside the store itself.
When you’re there, keep your location services active and you can ask Google about details on that place without specifying what that place is. The Google search box will take words like “here” or “this place” instead of proper nouns, as long as you’re in or near the place which details you are after. Here are some of the ways you can use this geocontextual features:
- What is this museum?
- When does this restaurant open?
- How tall is this? (when standing next to a tower)
- When was this built? (for monuments)
- What’s the name of this church?
- What’s the phone number for this pharmacy?
This may be a feature added in a previous Google app update, the rolling out process may be slow, and some countries – like Malaysia – may not be given the full blanket coverage yet, so expect some bummers when giving this one a go.