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22nd Nov 2016

Google’s new feature is really helpful but entirely creepy

We're not sure how to feel about this...

Alan Loughnane

We’re not sure how to feel about this…

Last year, Google introduced its Popular Times feature which will inform you whether or not a place, for example a bar or restaurant, is busy or not.

However, Google had been using historical data to judge whether or not the place was busy, and hence it couldn’t factor in random occasions like a work party or a big game as this isn’t something that happens everyday.

But now, Google will be using real-time results to show whether public buildings, pubs, restaurants etc are busy.

The feature will be hugely useful if you’re trying to plan your day/night out. It will allow you to avoid uncomfortably congested places if you fancy a quiet drink in the corner or inform you that queues at a certain attraction are likely to be lenghty.

The new feature will be built into its search engines and inside maps.


Another feature added to Maps is to do with time management. This feature shows users the average time people spend at a given location, and this would be helpful for those who are planning their itinerary ahead of time.

The new features look set to be rolled out over the coming days and weeks. But obviously to implement this feature it requires Google monitoring the locations of mobile devices.

It would be foolish to think that with all the permissions we accept online without reading that this isn’t happening already, but still, there’s something disconcerting about a company tracking your every move.