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Google Maps has always been about giving users more than detailed directions, and now it seems to be heading into Zomato’s territory. The internet giant announced that Google Maps on Android is receiving an update to its explore feature that will give users curated restaurant recommendations.
Google says that the update will allow Android users in the US and UK to enjoy curated restaurant recommendations from Google Maps.
The recommendations have options like Lunch, Breakfast, Drinks, Dinner, Best spots for dinner with kids this weekend.
The company says that while having a local guide on-hand is great, what is even better is a local guide that is curated for individual preferences and not only on proximity.
The explore feature has been around for sometime, first introduced in July 2014 with Google selling it off as a tool to get a quick look at what is nearby.
This latest update pushes the explore feature towards being that more specific in its functions to explore what is in one’s vicinity.
The recommendations go even more precisely, making suggestion about places that are popular with other customers who have visited a place a user has been to in the past. By place, one can assume Google means restaurant, it would be silly to think that two people have similar tastes because they have just returned from a holiday in France.
For users to get individually curated recommendations they will have to know the precise destination, time of their meal, and what atmosphere they are looking for. This is always a contentious issue amongst friends, is the place quiet enough so we do not have to shout our conversations or sometime is it loud enough so we will not have to talk.
Once users have picked their category, they then have access to in depth details about each location. The details include photos, is it family-friendly, great for a quick bite, what do they ratings and reviews from Google and other diners look like.
Google says that if the curated restaurants do not work out for users, maybe a user needs a change of scenery, options for nearby neighborhoods, categories and cuisines are a tap away.
What would be great is if Google uses one’s Google searches for food, even if one then drives to them, food blogs visited and online food orders to enhance the curated restaurants suggestions on Google Maps.
There is no announcement on the roll out plan for this update.