Google’s Popular Time now tells you how crowded a place is in real time

Google wants to help you save time

Don’t you just hate having to go to a shop or a restaurant just to find out it’s teeming with people and there’s no room left for you? Google knows your pain and wants to help. Last year the search giant unveiled Popular Time, a feature meant to let users know when a particular place is the most crowded.

And now that Black Friday and Cyber Monday are coming up, Google has updated the feature so it can deliver live information about the hot spots you’re thinking of visiting next.

Want to head out to a particular location on Black Friday? Then you better check Popular Time and see exactly how busy it is, without wasting any time.

google-popular-time-new-featsUsers will be able to access Popular Time just like before, by searching for a shop or restaurant in Google or Google Maps. But the feature now shows a “live” look at how busy a certain location is. The new update also includes information about how long people spend on average in said location.

How does Google know exactly how crowded a place is? By taking advantage of anonymized location data and searches on smartphones. While the non-real time version is said to have been quite accurate, it obviously couldn’t have accounted for people’s spontaneity. But in case Google misreads the situation, you can send it a correction.

google-popular-time-search-optionLast but not least, Google has added a third upgrade to Popular Time. The feat now shows business hours for different service providers located in the same department. For example, maybe the Cinema at your local mall is opened until late hours of the evening, but the Aesop shop closes at 19:00. Popular Time will show you these discrepancies now.

It doesn’t seem like the updated Popular Time is live yet, but Google will probably roll it out in time for Thanksgiving and the Black Friday shopping spree.