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There’s nothing like driving downtown for a meeting only to realize you didn’t factor in enough time to find a parking spot. Google has taken a step to help you out there with an update to its Google Maps Android app. As promised, it lets users know how difficult it expects parking to be at your destination.
When you route out driving directions, to the right of your estimated drive time, the Google Maps app now also shows an icon that signifies how difficult it will be to find parking. There are three levels: easy, medium, and limited parking. It’s unclear how long it will take you to find parking for each of those three options, but at least if your destination shows restricted parking, you’ll definitively know that you should factor in some extra time (or parking meter money).
Google is rolling out this feature for 25 cities: Atlanta; Boston; Charlotte, North Carolina; Chicago; Cleveland; Dallas/Fort Worth; Denver; Detroit; Houston; Los Angeles; Miami; Minneapolis/St. Paul; New York City; Orlando, Florida; Philadelphia; Phoenix; Pittsburgh; Portland, Oregon; Sacramento, California; San Diego; San Francisco; Seattle; St. Louis; Tampa, Florida; and Washington, D.C.
As of this writing, the update is only available for Android users—we expect it to roll out to iOS users in the coming months.
H/T USA Today
Christina Bonnington is a tech reporter who specializes in consumer gadgets, apps, and the trends shaping the technology industry. Her work has also appeared in Gizmodo, Wired, Refinery29, Slate, Bicycling, and Outside Magazine. She is based in the San Francisco Bay Area and has a background in electrical engineering.