A brand new Google Maps feature will help you make the most of your next restaurant visit.
Google Lens integration will highlight the most popular items in a physical restaurant menu, and even show crowd-sourced photos of those meals where available.
You might be using Google Maps for directions and navigation first and foremost, but the app packs a slew of features that can provide plenty of additional assistance when you’re out and about. Some of these features are more obvious than others, and some are hidden inside menus and may take some time to discover, plus Google keeps piling up more tricks on top of what’s already available in Maps.
The most recent one is an awesome new feature, one that will be incredibly helpful when traveling to new places because it connects with a couple other useful Google apps. The feature has just started rolling out to Android, though it’s not yet available to iPhone users.
Found by 9to5Google, the new Google Lens integration in Maps will be tremendously useful when you go out to eat. At I/O 2019, Google revealed that Lens would be able to analyze the physical menu in a restaurant and flag popular dishes — a translation option is also available if you don’t understand the language.
Going forward, the feature will also be baked into Maps, an app you might already be using to discover restaurants that match your preferences.
When viewing the menus in Android, you’ll get a new suggestion chip at the bottom that tells you to Explore dishes. Google Lens will highlight the popular dishes, and it’ll also show a carousel of photos on the bottom with images of those popular menu choices if they’re available. You can see examples in the screenshots below.
This is the kind of feature that can come in handy if you have no idea what to pick from a menu, or what the dishes might look like. And it can certainly be used together with a different Google Maps feature that you should have enabled, especially when visiting a new country. Maps can now show you personalized restaurant recommendations, which should reduce the time you spend looking for a great place to eat.