Google Maps will notify you before new businesses open in your area

Google Maps

Google Maps is bringing in new features to keep you in the loop about your favorite businesses and retailers, or most-visited restaurants.

Whether you want to know more about certain businesses is up to you, but the navigational app will now allow you to 'follow' companies in a similar way to Facebook's company pages, feeding you with regular updates and news about the organization. More info, events, and offers from organizations you follow will come up in a separate 'For You' tab.

The Google blog post also pointed at new predictive features for "trendsetters", allowing new businesses to create a 'Business Profile' several months before opening. Anyone using Google Maps will be able to switch on 'coming soon' locations, which will appear in the app during regular searches, informing users of impending arrivals and helping to build up interest in advance.

A whole new world?

Naturally the main use of Google Maps is likely to remain its detailed mapping systems and suggested journeys between destinations. But the app already pads that out with images of locations, links to websites or restaurant menus, contact details, opening times, busy periods, and of course many a user review. 

The new following feature is the latest in a number of tweaks to the app's functionality, including an option to directly share your ETA via messenger apps like Messenger or Whatsapp.

Henry St Leger

Henry is a freelance technology journalist, and former News & Features Editor for TechRadar, where he specialized in home entertainment gadgets such as TVs, projectors, soundbars, and smart speakers. Other bylines include Edge, T3, iMore, GamesRadar, NBC News, Healthline, and The Times.