Google has added a colour-coded layer that displays areas by the number of COVID-19 cases, the company announced on Wednesday. The company said it added the feature so that users “can make more informed decisions about where to go and what to do”. The feature is seemingly designed to inform users what level of risk traveling to a certain city or state entails. For India, Google seems to only have state-specific data, as shown in Google’s promotional images.
The feature doesn’t seem to have rolled out to everybody yet — we were unable to access it on a fully updated Android version of the app. The feature is currently not available on desktop devices.
Another curious difference — based on promotional screenshots available on Google’s announcement post — is that while other countries use a trend line icon to show whether cases are increasing or decreasing in an area, but in India, the map uses the words “increasing” and “decreasing”. In June, the company added a feature that alerted public transit commuters (including in India) when their route would be affected by COVID-19 related restrictions. In April, the company announced support for night shelters in 30 Indian cities, and that it would emphasise virtual healthcare options more prominently.