Next to Search, Maps is one of Google's most useful services. It can check real-time traffic, view local speed limits, and now it can help you locate businesses along your route, even if you weren't looking for them. Starting this week, Google Maps will show tiny location pins for nearby stores and restaurants while in navigation mode.
When typing a location into Google Maps on an Android device (or iPhone) and pressing the blue "directions" button, users will now be presented with the usual route to their destinations, plus some extra icons designating local stores and restaurants along the way. Users can even tap on a location to add it to their list of stops.
More information can be gleaned from a pinned business and its products by clicking on the ad directly within navigation. According to Google, "local" and "near me" searches have surged more than 350% in the last 10 years, prompting the search giant to "help shoppers find local stores" more easily.
Businesses have been prominently displayed within Maps since 2016, making these new pins just another way for Google to bolster its ad revenue stream. This feature is being delivered via a server-side update, but you can grab the November 7th version of Google Maps from the Play Store or APK Mirror here.