As more and more people are practising social distancing amid the Coronavirus pandemic, Google Maps app has now pushed up new shortcut button that shows nearby stores offering ‘Takeaway’ or ‘Delivery’ services right atop its homepage in order to make life of its users easy while they remain at homes.
Google Maps’ ‘Takeout’ and ‘Delivery’ shortcut buttons can be seen alongside the already visible Hotels, Coffee, Restaurants, Gas stations, etc. Mind you! These buttons were hidden earlier but now have been pushed up for the users. On clicking these buttons, a Google Maps user will easily order food by being at home.
The two shortcut buttons are accessible for both iOS and Android users in the US, UAE, France and few other countries. However, we are yet to find out when these buttons in Google Maps will work in India.
Besides this, Google has designed its network to perform during times of high demand during this time of coronavirus outbreak. The tech giant has witnessed more usage of products like Hangouts Meet, and different usage patterns in products like YouTube, making it able to handle peak traffic levels.
Google’s network consists of a system of high-capacity fiber optic cables that encircle the globe, under both land and sea, connecting our data centers to each other, and to you. Traffic flows over its dedicated network, optimized for speed and reliability until the tech giant hands it off to more than 3,000 internet service providers (ISPs) in 200+ countries and territories for local delivery—the “last mile”—using hundreds of points of presence and thousands of edge locations around the world.
According to a Google blog post, “As more and more businesses rely on connecting an at-home workforce to maintain productivity, we’ve seen surges in the use of Google Meet, our video conferencing product, at a rate we’ve never witnessed before. Over the last few weeks, Meet’s day-over-day growth surpassed 60%, and as a result, its daily usage is more than 25 times what it was in January. Despite this growth, the demand has been well within the bounds of our network’s ability.”
Google is also providing easy access to authoritative information from health authorities alongside new data and visualizations. The tech giant has worked with relevant agencies and authorities to roll out a website—available at google.com/covid19—focused on education, prevention and local resources. People can find state-based information, safety and prevention tips, search trends related to COVID-19, and further resources for individuals, educators and businesses.
Moreover, Google is also supporting coronavirus fact-checking and verification efforts. The tech giant has provided $6.5 million in funding to fact-checkers and non-profits fighting misinformation around the world, with an immediate focus on coronavirus.