How to use Google Maps' new Explore, Offers and Recommendations features

While Offers is currently only available for Android, Explore and For You tab are available for both iOS and Android users.

At an event in New Delhi today, Google announced three new India-first features for Google Maps.

These features include an Explore Nearby tab, an Offers feature and new For You tab. You can read more about these features here.

The idea behind all these features is that within the Google Maps app, you will now be able to look for recommendations for good restaurants, you can search the closest ATM to you or get best deals on certain places or for events. Basically, it's Google Maps pulling off a Zomato!

But how do you use these features? Let me take you step-by-step, how each of these features work.

Google Maps has three new India-specific features. Image: tech2/Nandini Yadav

Google Maps has three new India-specific features. Image: tech2/Nandini Yadav

How to use the Explore tab on Google Maps

Step 1: Open Google Maps. You will see a bar at the bottom of the app, with three tabs — Explore, Commute and For You. Tap on Explore.

Step 2: Here you will see a new 'Explore Nearby' or Explore (where you are)' feature on the bottom half of the screen. It's almost like a feed that you can drag up and it will show you the Events happening around you, or some topical searches.

Steps 3: Right below the Explore Nearby band, you will see seven shortcuts for the things you can explore around you, like ATM, petrol pump, pubs, restaurants. You can also tap the "..." icon to see a whole drop down list of things and places you could be looking for, categorised into Food & Drink, Things To Do, Shopping and Services.

Step 4: For instance, you choose Chemists, Google Maps will show you all pharmacies located around you, with their operational time, their address, shortcuts to their contact and the direction to reach them.


How to use Offers feature on Google Maps

Step 1: Open Google Maps. Tap on the Explore tab on the bottom left bar.

Step 2: Among the seven shortcuts, the green colour shortcut is for Offers. Tap on that.

Step 3: You will now see a list of restaurants around you that have any offers or discounts going on. For the next two weeks, Google and Eazydiner are offering 25 percent off on all booking made via the Offers feature on Google Maps.

Step 4: Tap on any restaurant's name where you want to go. This will take you a dedicated page for the restaurant, with images of the place and their food, the cuisine they serve, a match percentage that is calculated based on your past searches, their menu, reviews, direction to the place, a shortcut contact them, and a tab that says 'Reserve a Table'.

Step 5: Now choose how many people you want the table for, the date and time. And submit.

Step 6: Once booked, you will receive an SMS or/and an email regarding your reservation. In case of cancellation, you can head to the email, and tap the cancel link that is given in the confirmation email.


How to use Recommendations feature on Google Maps

Step 1: Open Google Maps. Locate the new For You tab on the bottom right of the app.

Step 2: Here you will see a news-feed like an interface with pictures and articles about the places around you, the events that are happening or have happened. You will see a bookmark icon in front of each of these posts, which will be saved in 'Want to Go' cart.

Step 3: Top right in the For You tab, you will see a bookmark icon next to the Setting gear, tap on that to see all the places you added to the 'Want to Go' cart. It works like the Save feature on Instagram.

Step 4: There are also Favourites and Starred Places list given by default, where you can add in the places.

Step 5: You can also create your own private list by tapping the 'Want to Go' icon against any place, and tap Change when you see the notification at the bottom, you will now see the 'Save in your lists' pop-up, with Favourites, Want to Go and Starred Places listed below.

Step 6: On the top right of this pop-up you will see a '+New List' option, tap on that to create your own list.


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