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Google Maps for iOS gets real-time 'Popular Times' in latest update

Google on Wednesday updated its Google Maps iOS app with live "Popular Times" integration, a tool that lets users see how crowded a particular location is in real time, and automatic recognition of addresses in clipboard.




Though Popular Times has been available through Google's web search and maps clients since 2015 —and subsequently iOS app —the latest Google Maps update, version 4.27, marks the introduction of live data results to iOS.

When it launched nearly two years ago, Popular Times leveraged anonymized mobile positioning data to give users a glimpse at a particular location's average foot traffic throughout the day. Armed with the information, visitors were able to plan trips accordingly, like avoiding historically busy times at a restaurant, for example.

Popular Times for the web was updated with a "Live" feature in November that rolls real-time smartphone location data into its crowd estimate algorithm, allowing more accurate and timely results. As noted in a blog post at the time, the addition of real-time data helps the tool account for special events, holiday traffic and other unforeseen situations.

Alongside live results, Popular Times in iOS lets users know the average time people spend at a given location.

The latest Google Maps update also supports quick access to addresses copied to a user's iOS clipboard. For example, when conducting a search in Google Maps users are presented an option to automatically fill the search bar with an address copied from Contacts or another app.

Finally, Google includes a number of unnamed bug fixes in today's release.

Google Maps version 4.27 is a free 103MB download from the iOS App Store.