Google Maps gets updated with new features for the Covid-19

Google Mpas adds new labels to more easily find home delivery businesses and with a new button to stay informed about the Covid-19

It may be that even Google has realized that the time needed to get out of the coronavirus pandemic is still long, it may be that the virus is starting to circulate heavily even in the United States, but even Maps has been updated with new features dedicated precisely to the Covid-19.

Nothing exciting and nothing revolutionary, but certainly something new for Maps based on features that were already available for some time and on the huge database of businesses built by Google over the years. The new features consist of simple labels and a new button clearly visible when opening the Google Maps app, both for Android and iOS. The labels are shortcuts, the button is a link to Google News. The latter, to be honest, seems of very questionable usefulness. But let's see in detail what's new in Google Maps for the coronavirus.

Google Maps: the new labels

When the user opens the Google Maps app he now sees, at the top, a series of labels: "Delivery", "At home", "Pharmacies", "Groceries". To these are added other labels, already introduced in the past, such as "Gasoline Stores" and "Hotels". As you can imagine, tapping on one of these labels will highlight on the map all the related activities in the area. Tapping on "Home" will show all the stores that make home deliveries. Tapping on "Transport" will show all businesses (especially restaurants) where we can buy something and take it home. It should be noted that the new features of Google Maps do not exactly reflect the provisions of Italian decrees that, for example, do not allow restaurants to sell takeaway food but only home delivery.

Google Maps: news coverage

In addition to the new labels, a new button has also appeared in the Google Maps Home: "Coronavirus (COVID-19) Read the latest information on Google News". By tapping the button, the user exits the Maps app and is sent, via the default browser, to the Google News coronavirus news page. Again, there's nothing new here and, frankly, it's hard to understand why such a button was also included on Google Maps. Much more useful and consistent with the average use of Maps would have been, for example, a link to a list of movements allowed and prohibited by individual national decrees, around the world.