One of the most difficult things about the upcoming holiday rush is trying to manage your shopping trips to malls and stores. While of course you can do online shopping (and a lot of people already do), most people still can’t help but go to brick and mortar stores to finish their gift list. Google Search and Maps are introducing new tools to help you manage your time (and your patience) if you plan to head out to any of these places during the holiday season.

Google actually introduced the Popular Times feature last year to let people know when a store is usually busy on specific days of the week. But they now bring it one step higher as you can now have a real-time look as to how crowded a place is so that you can decide whether or not you still want to go ahead and brave the crowds. This is pretty helpful to manage your time and your schedule of course.

Speaking of time management, you will also now be able to check the usual average time that people spend on a certain location when you search for it on Google or on your maps. Now if these times are actually accurate, you will then be able to plan your trips up to the last minute, if traffic and other commuting facrors also cooperate. This way, you can plan what time you shop, eat, or catch a movie and whatever else you need to do on your night out.

Lastly, the differing department and service hours of the stores, businesses, and restaurants will now show up with holiday hours when you search for them. Actually, the feature has been there for a while but now it has been updated specifically for that most wonderful time of the year.

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SOURCE: Google