Google just released another update to Android users of Google Maps, adding yet another axis of utility to the already indispensable tool.

If you are like most Maps users, you will have tried to dig through listings late at night, searching for their hours. But for some businesses, the hours aren’t always available—or worse, they’re hidden in a sub-menu.

Google’s latest Maps update solves all of these problems. The latest functionality will automatically check the hours of your destination establishment, cross-reference it with your arrival time, and alert you if your route won’t get you there before the doors shut.

To see the feature for yourself:

  1. Find a business that is definitely closed (during the day: a bar, during the night: a library).
  2. Plot a route from your current destination.
  3. Voila!

For night owls and last-minute planners, this new feature is a godsend. I actually have this problem a lot as I’m always in the Yelp app wondering if I will make it to a restaurant before they close. (Sorry to be that guy).

Maps has gathered all sorts of interesting information about businesses up to now by polling users regularly as they view business pages. Questions like “Is [this restaurant] good for groups?” or “Do you think [this park] is family-friendly?” are more common these days, as the search giant is making a concerted effort to collect anecdotal, obscure information about digital and physical locations.

Google has made big strides with the Apps, look, and feel of Maps in the past twelve months. After overhauling Maps with the company’s ubiquitous Material Design motif, Google has expanded public transit information, supplemented route options, and blurred the boundaries between desktop and mobile. (A recent update for iOS lets users send desktop-searched locations to their smartphones, as notifications.)

With this latest expansion, Maps seems to be getting a lot of effort. Maybe they’re a bit scared since Apple has clearly been cooking up something on their end.

June 16, 2015 | Local SEO

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