Google Maps
Google Maps for Android and iOS users can now download the app's latest software update. Getty Images/Justin Sullivan

There’s a new update for Google Maps for both Android and iOS platforms, and it brings very useful features for the application as the season of holiday shopping begins. For users who are going out to do Black Friday shopping, this update will certainly come in handy.

On Monday, product manager Jamie Aspinall took to the official Google blog to announce that the Popular Times feature for Search and Maps have been upgraded this year. The Popular Times feature was introduced last year and it mainly gave users information on when stores, bars and restaurants are likely to be busy.

The upgraded feature will now show users an estimation on how busy an establishment is and not merely an idea on when it is usually crowded. This way, users will have a real-time look at a place they want to visit before even getting there.

According to PhoneArena, the upgraded Popular Times feature for Google Maps will be helpful in prompting users about the right time for them to visit a store. The phone-centric news site also stated that this will prevent users from getting stuck in very crowded shopping places.

The second new feature that’s been added to Maps has to do with time management. This feature shows users the average time people spend at a given location, and this would be helpful for those who are planning their itinerary ahead of time.

The last but not the least addition to the app is a feature that displays department and service hours inside an establishment. Since not all stores and businesses have the same operating times, this feature will give players access to the specific hours the stores remain open. This feature works well with the time management feature in ensuring that users get the most out of their available time when doing some shopping this long weekend and beyond.