At the I/O Developer Conference last month, Google previewed a major upgrade to Google Maps that promised to bring personalized restaurant recommendations and more. Many of these features have now started rolling out to users.
Of course, the core principle of using Google Maps for directions hasn’t changed but the app now features an ‘Explore’ tab that lets you learn more about what’s happening around you. Additionally, a ‘For You’ tab provides you with recommendations for restaurants, a lift of upcoming venues an the ability to “follow” neighborhoods to get updates on restaurants you might like.
The main difference between ‘Explore’ and ‘For You’ is that while the former is providing you with recommendations for now, the latter is more about planning ahead and keeping tabs on the area in the long-run.
The For You tab is available in the U.S. and the U.K., Canada, Australia, and Japan for now and content is still limited although Google has promised it will ramp up content over the course of the week.
New features include a “foodie list” which shows you the best new restaurants in your area, and Google is able to keep track of which of these places you’ve visited and which ones you wish to visit. The Explore tab also features automatically curated lists of places to go for lunch, with kids or for a romantic meal. Lists also include other local events.
Google is also releasing its new ‘Your Match’ scores which will assign a numeric rating to each restaurant or bar, depending on your previous choices and ratings. With this, Google has shown that it understands your taste may differ to the masses. You can also tell Google exactly which restaurants and bars you like.