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June 27, 2018

New Google Maps update is rolling out with location-based recommendations

by John_A

Google showed off a new version of Google Maps, with features like personalized restaurant recommendations, at Google I/O 2018 in early May. Now, it looks like that new version of Google Maps is finally rolling out.

The changes could help make Google Maps a whole lot more useful than it already is. The overall interface is relatively similar to the old Google Maps, but you’ll now find two new tabs at the bottom of the screen — “Explore,” and “For You.”

As the name suggests, the “Explore” tab will show you things like recommended restaurants and cafes nearby, events coming up in the area, and more. It’s also a nice way to show a list of particular types of restaurants. After launching the new version of Maps, we found an “Outdoor dining” list, “Vegan restaurants” list, and even an “Outdoor drinking” list. You can also filter results to only show restaurants, only show places you can get coffee, and so on. It also keeps track of places you’ve visited on any trending lists.

The “For you” tab is similar in that it provides recommendations for restaurants, but it also shows newly opened venues nearby, allowing you to “Follow” certain areas that you might be interested in. It’s a nice way for new businesses to get the word out while allowing users to discover something new. The tab is a little bare for now, but Google says it will be bringing more content in upcoming weeks.

Another new feature leverages your location history to tell you how likely Google thinks you are to enjoy a restaurant. The feature, called “Your Match,” essentially shows a percentage match compared to places you visited before. You can also tell Google Maps exactly what you’re interested in by heading to Settings, selecting “Exploring Places,” and then tapping on “Food & drink preferences.”

Some of the new features should be rolling out globally, but the “For you” tab is currently only available in the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and Japan. The new version of the app is available now, though Google often rolls new apps out in stages, so if you don’t have it yet you may just have to sit tight for a few days.

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