Google Maps debuting new features to make the holidays less stressful

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Google is issuing a number of updates and features to its Google Maps platform aimed at helping shoppers and travelers during the busy holiday shopping season.

In a blog post on Tuesday, Google announced that it will be adding an Area Busyness feature to Google Maps that combines data from live busyness trends to alert users if a specific location is busy or not. It's similar to Google's Popular Times feature for businesses.

Additionally, the Mountain View company is expanding the Directory tab for airports, malls, and transit stations. The new directory will give users an overview of the types of stores, lounges, car rental services, and parking lots are in a given transportation location.

Users can now also make and pick up grocery orders via Google Maps. The service will allow users to place orders at retailers like Kroger, Fry's, Ralphs, and Marianos, track their order status, share an ETA, and let stores know when they've arrived.

Lastly, the company is adding more detailed pricing information for restaurants across the U.S. and is making it simpler to provide reviews with additional information like outdoor seating, curbside pickup, and delivery options.

The new Google Maps features are rolling out to the app on both Android and iOS ahead of the holidays.