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Google is testing a new Maps feature that has nothing to do with navigation

Published May 3rd, 2019 4:04PM EDT
Google Maps Features
Image: AP/REX/Shutterstock

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Google Maps is without a doubt one of the best navigation apps out there and a must-have on mobile devices. Google keeps adding new features to Maps, making it even more useful than before. In the past few months, Google launched a bunch of Maps features that make the app look a lot like Waze. On top of that, Google is also exploring new tricks such as augmented reality walking directions that look incredible. Now, a new feature being tested has been discovered, but this time it has nothing to do with navigation or even mapping.

Some people may want to see food pics in Google Maps, while others may think it’s not a feature that we need in a navigation app. According to 9to5Google, Google is indeed testing a “Popular dishes” feature that would add food menus with pictures crowdsourced from users to search results.

As the report notes, some restaurants already offer a Menu tab inside Google Maps, but they do not contain images. Going forward that might change. The Menu page has tabs for various sections, and the food pictures are included in the Popular tab. The report notes that only the items that are frequently cited in reviews have pictures.

Looking at actual images rather than a food menu that only includes the price and description of an item might be preferable, and it might help you decide where to eat without leaving Google Maps. It would also help Google better compete with rivals like Yelp.

On the other hand, we might be looking at extra bloat that we don’t need from an app that should first and foremost provide navigation directions. That said, the feature is only in testing, and it’ll be a while before it makes it to the final Android and iPhone versions of Google Maps — if it’s even added to a release version at all.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.