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Google Will Tell You How Crowded Places Are in Real Time

Thinking about making a trip to the mall for a little ? Now there's a way to see if it's mobbed before you head out the door.

Google last year introduced a "Popular Times" feature in Search and Maps, which lets you see how busy a place typically is at different times of the day and week. Now, the web giant is updating that feature with real-time data.

"Just in time for the Black Friday swarms, we're adding a real-time look at how crowded a place is right now, to help you decide where and when to go," Google Product Manager Jamie Aspinall wrote in a . "Whether you're rushing to pick up a last-minute gift or seeking a lively bar for some festive spirit, check Popular Times for a sneak preview of what to expect when you arrive."

If you're one of those people who always needs a plan, you're going to love the next new feature. You can now see how long people typically stay at a given location, so you can "plan your itinerary to the minute."

 

"After all, you want to be sure you leave enough time to enjoy a cup of hot chocolate at your local sweets shop before heading to your

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dinner reservations," Aspinall pointed out.

Finally, Google is getting more accurate when it comes to the hours it displays for stores, businesses and restaurants. Different departments may be open at different times (think a pharmacy inside a drug store or supermarket), and Google will now show that. This way, "you'll know what time to pop by the pharmacy…, when food delivery begins at a nearby restaurant…, and what the service hours are at the auto dealership," Aspinall wrote.

These new features are available within Google Search and Maps.

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