At an event in New Delhi, Google announced that Google Maps will now start aggregating deals for local restaurants. One of three major Google Maps-related updates announced, the move signals the search giant’s intent to become a single source provider for hyper-local information.
Google Maps has been playing around with an Explore tab on the mapping app’s home screen for a while now, but today it was finally made official. Google mentioned that the selection of shortcuts had been optimized for India and was driven by data suggesting that Indian users prefer easy to tap targets over searching for information. The idea is to allow users to discover hidden gems or popular destinations in local neighborhoods.
Additionally, artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms draw the shortlist of restaurants, activities, shopping centers, and more. This is based on data like popularity and your own personal search history. Google claims that over 20 million users are already engaging with the Explore tab and its shortcuts.
Building on the Explore tab, a new For You tab is also being made official. This tab has already been available in some capacity since December of last year. Google notes that the For You tab can be used to control the kind of data that you want. For example, it will be possible to set filters for the kind of restaurants you want to view. The For You tab makes use of a score based on your ratings and location history to create more personalised recommendations.
Additionally, you can define neighborhoods and cities for which you want to view updates. If you are looking for a new place to try out Italian cuisine, this feature could be right up your alley.
The most noteworthy announcement, however, is integration with the popular Eazydiner deals platform. You will now be able to scour for interesting offers and deals on dine-out options. The feature is live in 11 metro cities and includes over 4,000 restaurants at the moment.
Google Maps will let you make a reservation for the restaurant from a single, straightforward interface. Google claims that they plan to add in more deals providers in the future. As expected, your phone number and email address will be shared to the merchant via the deals provider so you might want to exercise caution here in case you don’t want your personal details floating around.
All three features are rolling out now and should be available to most users in India. To promote the launch of the feature, Google is offering an introductory 25-percent discount at partner restaurants for the initial two weeks.
As Google goes about adding features to Google Maps, do you think it is diluting the core mapping experience? Would you prefer a lighter, mapping only version of the app or are you happy with Google Maps becoming a one-stop-shop for all your location search, dining and shopping needs?