Google Maps for Android has been updated with a small but really handy feature. Now when you use the app for navigation, it will inform you prior to you starting your journey if the destination will be closed when you arrive. Obviously the implications of this are significant in that you can save time and fuel by not going to the destination only to find it closed. The update, version 9.10.1 for those keeping score at home, was released yesterday and while it is the only really new feature, it is certainly a handy one.
Functionally with this update, there are no changes to how you use Google Maps on your Android powered phone or tablet. Simply look up a destination that you want to go to – a shop, museum, etc – and then start your navigation to it. If Google is aware of the open hours of that location and you will arrive prior to it opening, you will get a pop-up on your display telling you. You can continue to navigate to wherever it is you want to go but, as they say, you’ve been warned it won’t be open when you get there. It gives you the opportunity to make a judgement call. If they will
open 5 minutes after you arrive, no big deal. If however they close 5 minutes before you are scheduled to arrive, best put that off to another time.
The key for this to work of course is Google being aware of the open hours of the destination. Google has this information for a vast majority of destinations so not all.
Other than this change, Google Maps is pretty much what we saw in the update to the app at the end of last month. There is tighter integration with your Gmail to find things out like flights and reservations which can be populated into Google Now on your device.