Google has a plan to help you spend less time queueing

Google Maps
Google business listings are getting an upgrade.

Google has announced a new feature for its search app on Android that lets you see when shops, restaurants and other businesses are at their busiest. It can help you avoid those big queues at the sandwich shop, for example.

"See the busiest times of the week at millions of places and businesses around the world directly from Google Search," says Google, though it hasn't gone into much detail - it looks like this is Android only for now, and slowly rolling out internationally from the US.

Google hasn't set up a camera inside every corner shop, but it does use anonymised data to work out where people are clustered together - it's the same sort of technology that Maps uses to warn you about traffic.

Come back later

From the brief Google+ post we have to go on, it looks like these are average numbers not real-time data - you can see what times of the week the cinema is usually packed, but you can't get an up-to-the-minute reading of the queue length.

To see if the feature has reached your part of the world, open up the Google app on Android and search for your favourite hangout. You can also get to business listings through Google Maps.

It's another example of the way Google's vast troves of data can make modern life that little bit easier, but what happens when every Android user turns up at the quiet times?

David Nield
Freelance Contributor

Dave is a freelance tech journalist who has been writing about gadgets, apps and the web for more than two decades. Based out of Stockport, England, on TechRadar you'll find him covering news, features and reviews, particularly for phones, tablets and wearables. Working to ensure our breaking news coverage is the best in the business over weekends, David also has bylines at Gizmodo, T3, PopSci and a few other places besides, as well as being many years editing the likes of PC Explorer and The Hardware Handbook.