Maps for Android updated w/ “Your timeline” feature to track your location history, more

Google today has started rolling out an update to its Maps application on Android that brings about several new features and changes. Most notably, version 9.12 of the app adds a new interface called “Your timeline.” On this screen, which is accessible via the slide-out navigation drawer, you can see all of the places to which you’ve been, in a comprehensive timeline-like interface.

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First Look at the Microsoft Cortana beta on Android (Video)

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Microsoft recently released its Cortana digital assistant as a beta app, and we’ve been able to get our hands on the preview. Apart from its Material-like design, the app looks, performs, and acts just like the Cortana on Windows Phone. You can ask it to set reminders, give you directions and weather information, or do simple arithmetic. It has its limitations and doesn’t feel quite as intuitive or in-depth as Google Now or Siri, but it has its uses.

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Google Map Maker to be reopened for editing in early August, outsourcing much review

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You may remember the fiasco back in May wherein defacements were being discovered in Google Maps due to bad edits making their way through the approval process. Google subsequently shut down Map Maker, the tool the company used to crowdsource the improvement of its mapping products (and the same one through which these defacement edits were submitted), on May 12th to “take a pause” until “we have our moderation system back in action.” It looks like that pause on submissions will soon come to an end.

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Google Maps tip: Send directions to your Android phone from your desktop (Video)

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Late last week, Google updated its Maps Android app to version 9.11.0. Although its user interface remains the same, it has one new, awesome feature: you can now send locations, navigation instructions and directions straight to your Android phone.

We put together a short video to guide you through the very quick and painless method. This feature competes directly with that built in to the Mac Maps app included in OS X Mavericks which allows iPhone users to send directions direct from Mac to their phones.

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Google Maps in India now includes real-time traffic information for 12 cities

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I honestly can’t think back far enough to remember the days when people had to rely on paper maps to navigate to places, but I can still appreciate how the combination of Google Maps and the Google-owned Waze makes life much easier than ever before. The one dedicated GPS I ever owned couldn’t even beat my Nexus 5 because it’s arrival estimates always seemed completely off-base. Unsurprising really, because unlike Google Maps, it didn’t have real-time information about traffic density on the roads my route would take me on. Now, Maps users in 12 cities in India will be able to enjoy the same real-time traffic information we have stateside.

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Google Maps will soon alert users to upcoming railroad crossings

The number of railroad crossing accidents that occur in the United States has declined 80 percent since 1970, but last year that number inexplicably rose 9 percent to approximately 1,100, 270 of which resulted in deaths. Today Google and the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) announced a partnership in which Maps users will receive audio and visual alerts when they’re coming close to a railroad crossing in their route, according to a report in the New York Times. The FRA has a vast database of every rail crossing in the country.

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Uber hires former Google Maps veteran to oversee mapping & safety efforts

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Transportation service Uber has hired a longtime mapping expert from Google as the company focuses on boosting its own mapping expertise. As Recode reports, Brian McClendon has left his engineering VP role at Google to oversee Uber’s Advanced Technologies Center. McClendon previously led development for Google Earth and Google Maps and has worked for the company for 10+ years… Read more

Side-by-side: How Apple’s new Transit directions compare to those in Google Maps

Yesterday, at WWDC 2015, Apple introduced transit directions to its native Maps application for the first time. It’s a feature that has long been in the works, and it’s still not actually coming to consumer devices until later this year. But those who have access to the iOS 9 beta can try out the feature in select cities, including New York City, San Francisco, and others.

Transit directions aren’t new, though, and you probably know that Google has offered them in its own official Maps app for many years. But since Apple split off from using the Google-powered Maps app with iOS 6, the company has been struggling to match Google’s offerings. Here, we take a look at Google’s transit directions in comparison to Apple’s new offering… Read more

Google temporarily shutting down Map Maker to remedy spam situation

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Google’s Map Maker has been getting hit hard with spam over the last few months, with one of the most recent and widely publicized incidents involving an Android logo urinating on an Apple logo in the middle of Pakistan. Now, the company is telling users of the Map Maker website that the service will be temporarily shut down as of tomorrow, May 12th… Read more