Shoppers heading out for the Black Friday sales will be able to assess how busy a store is beforehand, thanks to a new release from Google.
The tech giant has upgraded the Popular Times feature it introduced into Google Maps last year to enable users to check out how busy a shop, bar or restaurant is in real time.
It will also advise users on how long people typically stay in a location so they can plan their visit accordingly and it can also give you a breakdown of opening times by department as these can sometimes vary within stores.
Via a new “Live” tag, Google Maps will now display a red overlay on top of the historic busy period data showing whether it is busier or quieter as usual at the moment. The feature uses anonymised location data from other Google users, as well as searches, to provide the analysis.
In a blog post Google product manager Jamie Aspinall said: “‘Tis the season for gift-giving, delicious dinners, and spending time with family and friends. That also means it’s the season of crowded holiday shopping, travel planning and entertaining the in-laws. Never fear, Google is here to help you navigate some seasonal stress.”