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Google Maps for iOS adds real-time updates to Popular Times feature

26 January 2017, Nick Peers

Google Maps for iOSGoogle has released Google Maps for iOS 4.27, the second major update to its iPhone and iPad app this month. It follows an earlier update that improved support for Uber services.

The new release extends the live crowd-tracking feature that is already present on the website to the app. This is accompanied by a new feature giving users access to clipboard data, making it possible to import addresses from other apps.

The crowd-tracking feature is called Popular Times, and extends existing functionality that gave users an estimate of the likely busy periods found in shops and other business locations on an hour-by-hour basis.

Google Maps for iOS 4.27

Now you can get live updates on how busy individual businesses are through the Google Maps for iOS app.

The new feature sees a new LIVE tag appear under the popular times, allowing users to make snap judgements on whether to visit or not. It’s based on crowd-sourced anonymised data from other Google users along with fed-in Google searches, so may not paint a completely accurate picture depending on the location and who frequents it.

The feature also provides users with an estimate of how long people typically spend in that establishment.

The other major change in version 4.27 sees users now able to easily copy address data from other apps into Google Maps via the clipboard. Simply select the text in another app – such as an email message, for example – and copy it to the clipboard. Then simply tap, hold and select Paste in the Google Maps Address field to transfer it across.

Recent changes
The update follows around two weeks on from the release of version 4.26, which introduced improved integration with the Uber taxi service. That update made it possible for users to book and pay directly for an Uber from within the Google Maps app via the redesigned ‘ride services’ section, and enables users to ditch the official Uber app in favour of exclusively using Google Maps if they prefer.

The update is rounded off with the usual unspecified bug fixes. Google Maps for iOS 4.27.0 is available now for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch running iOS 8.0 or later, plus the Apple Watch.

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