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    Surprising Google Maps tricks that don’t involve navigation

    Wherever you are headed, Google Maps can provide you a snapshot of what you may discover if you get there, from real-time crowd numbers to menus, costs and call info.
    Angela Lang/CNET
    I exploit Google Maps virtually on daily basis, even though I not often truly use it to get instructions. It’s not apparent at first look, however Google Maps can do much more than simply navigate you from Point A to Point B. Beneath all these high-res satellite tv for pc photographs and color-coded routes hides a robust search device, chock-full of crowdsourced real-time knowledge on scores of retail shops, eating places, skilled workplaces and public parks — and virtually anyplace else you need to go. Turn-by-turn instructions are so final decade in contrast with a few of Google Maps’ newer updates, which embody AI-powered language translation and incognito mode to stop leaving a paper path. If you are already acquainted with Google Maps as a navigation device, next-level powers like these are solely a faucet, press or swipe away. To unleash the hidden energy of the Google Maps app in your telephone or pill, check out the highest 4 methods I exploit Google Maps on daily basis that don’t have anything to do with getting instructions.

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    See how lengthy the road is in every single place from Walmart to the DMV In the Google Maps app, real-time info on traces, crowds and wait instances is in purple, however you may faucet another hour of day to see what you may most likely count on then.
    Screenshot by Dale Smith/CNET
    Before I stroll out the door, whether or not I’m heading to Walmart, the grocery retailer, the physician’s workplace or to resume my driver’s license, I nearly at all times verify Google Maps to see precisely how busy I can count on my vacation spot to be. Here’s how one can lookup that info too. In the Google Maps app, faucet on the enterprise or location you need to go to and scroll down till you see a graph labeled Popular instances. Tap the day of the week in case you’re planning a visit for later that week. Tap on the purple column to see present foot-traffic knowledge, or one of many blue columns to get a abstract of how busy you may count on it to be at one other time: Not busy, Not too busy, Just a little busy or As busy because it will get. Next, underneath the heading labeled Plan your go to, you may discover basic info like peak wait instances (“up to 5 min from 6 a.m — 12 a.m”) and size of common go to (“People typically spend 20 min here”). Now you may know whether or not you may be out and in in a flash or if it’s essential to pack a great guide, or plan your go to for an additional day, when wait instances are lengthy. Want to attend till a restaurant has room earlier than heading out? Look underneath “Popular times” to see when the crowds die down.
    James Martin/CNET
    Check out menus, images and buyer evaluations In addition to its navigation instruments, Google Maps can also be a full-blown crowdsourced evaluate app, very like Yelp or TripAdvisor, so you will get a good suggestion of what kinds of choices your vacation spot gives, in addition to value, presentation and whether or not you may have to take out a mortgage to afford it. This characteristic is particularly helpful in case your vacation spot is a restaurant, resort or bar, the place previewing menu choices and costs — to not point out getting a great have a look at the dishes and decor — would possibly make or break your choice to attempt someplace new. For those that belief the knowledge of crowds, it additionally exhibits the eating places’ five-star common in addition to particular person evaluations to weigh in your choice. On most restaurant listings you may see a navigation bar on the high with Overview, Menu, Reviews and Photos listed as choices. Tap any of these or simply scroll down. The hyperlink labeled Menu is commonly listed slightly below working hours, however maintain scrolling till you see the heading Popular dishes to see images of meals. Keep going previous Popular instances till nearly the very backside to seek out the restaurant’s five-star common and person evaluations. Get a really feel for the kind of delicacies a restaurant gives by shopping menus, images and evaluations on the Google Maps app.
    James Martin/CNET
    Hey, Google Assistant, how’d you get on my iPhone? I spend most of my digital life within the famously walled backyard of the Apple ecosystem, with one obvious exception: I exploit Google Home ($79 at Walmart), powered by Google Assistant, to manage my sensible residence.  Google Assistant would not come baked into iOS the way in which Apple’s far much less succesful assistant Siri does, however a setting in Google Maps helps you to shove Siri to the aspect so you may have always-on entry to Google Assistant whereas navigating.  To set the Google Maps app in your iPhone to pay attention for “OK, Google” whereas navigating, open the Google Maps app and faucet on the menu icon (the three stacked horizontal traces to the left of the search bar), then faucet Settings. At the highest of the web page, underneath the heading Getting Around, faucet Navigation, then scroll to the choice labeled Access your Assistant with “OK Google” and switch the toggle on. Google Home gadgets like this Nest Hub include Google Assistant baked in, however on iPhones you need to use a Google app like Google Maps to summon the digital sidekick.
    Dale Smith/CNET
    Admittedly, this workaround is just a little wonky — you need to set Google Maps to navigate to a particular vacation spot for the “OK, Google” voice command to work, and you’ll’t summon Siri with “Hey, Siri” whereas this characteristic is turned on. But it is nonetheless higher, for my part, than the considered switching to an Android telephone (preventing phrases for some, I do know). Find working hours, telephone numbers, ZIP codes and extra Whenever I have to know when a retailer or workplace opens or closes, or if I have to name the place and I haven’t got the quantity, or the uncommon event once I want the ZIP code for a enterprise for which the road title and quantity are all I do know off the highest of my head (say, for a job software), I am going straight to Google Maps to get these solutions and extra.  Here’s the place to rapidly and simply discover fundamental data about areas listed in Google Maps: Operating hours: Businesses’ hours of operation are displayed instantly beneath the tackle. You can faucet the down arrow beside right this moment’s closing time to see hours for different days of the week. Most listings are up to date with any particular vacation hours, that are highlighted in a purple font. Find the ZIP code for nearly any enterprise within the United States by trying to find its title or avenue tackle on Google Maps.
    Angela Lang/CNET
    Phone numbers: Beneath hours of operation in most listings you may discover the telephone quantity. To name it with out leaving Google Maps, faucet the quantity, then faucet the pop-up that shows the immediate to Call adopted by the quantity. Website: If the enterprise has an internet site, it is going to be listed under the telephone quantity. Tap it to open the web site in a Google Chrome-powered tab inside the Google Maps app. ZIP code: This one’s much less frequent, however when I’ve wanted it, Google Maps has saved me tons of time. Either enter the road title and quantity or the enterprise title and faucet search. At the highest of the itemizing moreover the road tackle, you may now see the ZIP code. Of course, Google Maps can also be chock-full of options that assist with what the app is most clearly designed to do — present you the way to get the place you are going. Start with these six Google Maps methods you most likely do not find out about but. If you may be utilizing Google Maps to navigate on an enormous street journey, the following tips will assist make your journey as clean as doable. If you occur upon any accidents, pace traps or different slowdowns whilst you’re out and about, now you can report as much as seven various kinds of street incidents immediately from the Google Maps app.

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