Google now tells you how crowded a place is in real time

Google Popular Times Live

Google’s immensely useful Popular Times tool in Maps and Search has been around for a year now, informing people how busy a location typically is before venturing outdoors. The feature has been generally accurate for the most part, but doesn’t usually provide an accurate snapshot of conditions during busy times of the year.

Google is looking to do something about that by taking things one step further. Instead of taking into account average activity, the company will now spit out real-time updates at how crowded a place is so users can plan their schedule accordingly.

The enhanced Popular Times should prove to be useful to shoppers who are on the lookout for Black Friday deals and want to avoid huge crowds. It’ll also help individuals decide when to visit a restaurant during the peak holiday season. The tool further informs them how long people generally stick around in a place to give them a leg up in terms of time management.

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Google takes advantage of anonymous location data and searches to get to the bottom of how active a place is at any given time. Feedback appears to be welcome since there’s a ‘Correct?’ inquiry hanging next to the Live sign.

Businesses often have multiple hours for different departments and services. In light of that that, Google’s going to include more specialized department and service hours for stores and places to eat. It plans to showcase timings such as when food delivery kicks off and what time to visit the pharmacy at a supermarket.