Google map users listen up. It could be a little easier next time you need to pay for parking or a train ticket.
Google's new feature allows you to bypass parking meters and train ticket machines. All you have to do is connect your Google Maps account with your Google Pay wallet.
The new perks can save you time and also allow you to avoid touching public surfaces — a big plus during the pandemic.
For parking, the company has partnered with two tech providers — Passport and ParkMobile — that will link Google Maps to street parking meters. When people are using Google Maps to navigate to a destination, the app will automatically prompt them to "pay for parking." They can then enter their meter number, the amount of time they want to park for and hit "pay."
For users who rely on public transportation, Google says it's expanding the ability to pay for transit fares through the app: It will now connect to more than 80 transit agencies around the world. As users plan their trip, Google Maps will show them how to pay for their trip and let them do it in advance using a credit or debit card saved in their Google Pay wallet. That way, when they arrive at the station, they can be on their way without having to pull out their wallet or switch to another app.
The new features are just the latest update to Google Maps, which has aimed to become more than just a place to find directions. In December, for example, Google added the ability for verified businesses to message customers directly through the app, as more companies rely on digital interactions to drive sales. The app also added a feature in September that shows how prevalent coronavirus is in a given area.
Rolling Out Soon, YouTube Shorts
Short-form video sharing giant TikTok getting some competition from Alphabet Inc. It's subsidiary Google is set to start rolling out YouTube Shorts in the U.S. in the coming weeks.
The service lets users share short videos directly from their smartphones in a couple of clicks.
YouTube describing Google Shorts as "a new way to express yourself in 15 seconds or less." Every year, increasing numbers of people come to YouTube to launch their own channel. But a lot of people find the bar for creation too high.
On Wednesday, Google said in a blog post that's why it's working on Shorts, adding "our new short-form video tool lets creators and artists shoot snappy videos with nothing but their mobile-phones."
The Indian version of YouTube Shorts serves more than 3.5 billion views per day. If the American and global expansions are successful, Google could make inroads in a huge consumer market. TikTok boasts more than 700 million monthly active users, including more than 89 million installations on U.S smartphones.