I have fond memories of my parents printing out directions before going on a trip. The glove compartment of our light green Dodge Caravan was still filled with directions to the Mississippi and beyond. Now, as a millennial who relies heavily on apps like Google Maps, I thank all the technological advancements we’ve had as a society since the early 2000s.
Where would we be without apps like Google Maps? According to a study by Apptopia, many people rely on the application. It was the most downloaded travel app in 2021, with 106 million downloads. And while you might not think of Google Maps as a travel app, in 2021 the app added several new features to help users do more than just navigate. Here are some of the best:
Follow the news of COVID-19 in your region
Whether you’re staying in your neighborhood or heading to another across the country, you can stay in the know with Map’s COVID layer. The feature helps users see case numbers in the area, as well as quick access to local resources and guidelines or restrictions.
Book your place online
So many businesses need reservations these days. We no longer live in a world where you just have to show up. Card reserve features allow you to book anything from a hair appointment to a dinner reservation with participating businesses. All you have to do is search for the business in Maps, select availability and book.
Go to the best restaurants
Not only does Maps show users the hours of various restaurants, the app now allows users to see information about trending dishes to locations. Users can also use Maps to view reviews and business profiles.
Enjoy the best buys
the The Maps app has launched a major update to help users shop smarter, not harder, ahead of the holiday season. One of the features, Area Busyness, allows users to tap areas on Maps to see how busy they are. This feature is great for monitoring the ebb and flow of foot traffic to stores and restaurants in your area. Alongside Area Busyness, the November update launched Pickup, allowing users to order items from grocery stores like Kroger, track order status, and share their ETA with a store.
Never miss a flight
Now that travel is more unpredictable than ever, travelers can use Indoor live view. First launched in March, the feature allows travelers to use AR to see where the nearest bathroom, ATM, platform, gates and luggage are.
Apps like Uber and Where Is My Train also topped the list of best travel apps of 2021, with 94 million and 23.1 million downloads respectively. While it can be argued that navigation and carpooling apps are not necessarily in-depth travel assistance, these apps are indeed useful.