directions Stories February 12, 2016

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My Maps is a handy tool that allows users to label and makes notes on top of Google Maps. Users can access their annotated maps from the full Maps app, but need to go to the My Maps website or use the mobile app to make edits. Today, the Android My Maps app has been redesigned in its first update since 2014.

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directions Stories October 9, 2015

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Google looks to be rolling out a redesigned version of Google Maps on the web that introduces a tweaked user interface that in many ways mirrors its mobile app experience on both Android and iOS. As pictured above, Maps gets a redesigned menu/sidebar/search UI that is clearly inspired by Material Design and the user interface of its mobile apps. expand full story

directions Stories August 25, 2015

Google patent covers using vehicle sensors to detect road quality, improve Maps

As first spotted by AutoBlog, Google was recently granted a patent covering a system capable of detecting road quality conditions, which in theory could allow it to deliver warnings of potholes and other road quality issues to its users.

The patent describes using a number of sensors in the vehicle, in addition to  potentially adding other sensors to a vehicle’s shocks and elsewhere, and transmitting the data through a mobile network. Google would in return use the data for Google Maps to improve driving directions and potentially warn users of dangerous road conditions. It’s also data that would undoubtedly come in handy for Google’s self-driving car project.

Google Maps already offers similar warnings for things like accidents, construction, road closures, and more via user submissions in the Waze mapping app it acquired along with a few other sources. But having data compiled directly from the vehicles would likely allow it to have more accurate and up to date data for much larger areas compared to user submitted data.

You can view the Google patent in full here.

directions Stories January 21, 2015

Google Maps APIs gain improved transit directions for Android developers

Google today released a set of improvements to the Google Maps APIs for developers looking to use transit directions in their Android apps. Specifically, users can now receive fare info where available and make use of the same mode and routing options as the Google Maps app.

directions Stories November 7, 2013

Google today announced its XE11 update for Google Glass and highlighted a few of the new features on its Google+ page for the wearable. New for Google Glass is the ability to search Google Calendar with commands like “my agenda” and “what am I doing in November?” Google noted that “Calendar search works for Google Calendar users with Gmail and private search enabled.” 

The update also includes a highly requested feature from users in the XE11 update: the ability to get directions home or to work with voice commands:

It’s even easier to find your way home. Tell Google Maps where you live and work and you can refer to their locations by “home” or “work” on Glass. It’s part of Google’s personalized search so when you ask Glass for directions home, it’ll know what you mean. To get started, insert your home and work address in Google Maps or Google Now (iOS instructions) and then try it out on Glass. From the home screen, say “ok glass, get directions to home.

Glass-screencast-shortcutNew Glass users will notice a redesigned Glass setup tutorial in XE11 (pictured above) that Google says will show users how to swipe and connect Glass to the companion smartphone app. You’ll also now see a “Start screencast” shortcut in the notification drawer of your connected Android device making it easier to quickly start screencasting Glass to your smartphone.

Lastly, Google has removed a feature from Glass with XE11. You’ll no longer be able to activate Google Search with a long press of the touchpad because many users were apparently triggering it accidentally: expand full story

directions Stories October 7, 2013

Google announced today that its latest update to Glass (XE10) includes a few new features with the most notable being the addition of Transit directions. Now, Google Glass users paired to Android device will be able to see public transit directions in addition to other related information, like when to change trains for example, on their Glass display:

We have loads of great updates every month, but there’s one we’re particularly jazz hands about — Transit. Explorers who have paired Glass to their Android phones will now have the option to see public transit directions when navigating on Glass. When you get directions and select transit, you’ll be able to see all sorts of helpful info, like where to change trains, how far you have to walk to the bus stop and how long it should take to reach your final destination.

Google has also added the “ability to tap to select links in notifications.” expand full story

directions Stories June 28, 2013

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Those currently singed up for Google’s Search Field Trial, a program that lets users test out new, yet-to-be-released features of search, will now have the ability to search for Gmail contacts. Google announced on its Google+ page that the feature is available now and will also work with its new Voice Search functionality. Asking for a person’s address or phone number will display any relevant Gmail contact results directly within Google’s search results.

The Contact results will include maps with built-in turn-by-turn directions, as well as links to phone numbers allowing users to place calls with a single tap: expand full story

directions Stories June 26, 2013

Google updated its Google Earth app for iOS and Android today with a few new features including a revamped interface that includes the left side panel it has been bringing to lots of its mobile apps.

Also new in version 7.1.1 of Earth is Google’s Street View feature, as well as improved directions and search with the ability to “visualize transit, walk, bike and drive directions in 3D while update search result list will let you browse search results quickly.” Google also announced that it is now making Google Earth available in over 100 countries worldwide:

Also with this release, we’re making Google Earth for mobile available in more than 100 countries worldwide, so you can start their virtual journey in Google Earth from almost anywhere on Earth. To unleash your inner explorer, check out your local Google Play store or iTunes to download the latest version of Earth for Android and iOS.

Version 7.1.1 of Google Earth is available on the App Store and Google Play now.  expand full story

directions Stories October 24, 2011

Noticed by the guys over at The Handheld Blog (via Android Community), Nokia has been rolling out some pretty significant updates to their HTML5 maps web app for Android (and iOS) accessible at m.maps.nokia.com. This brings the web app a lot closer to the quality maps experience exclusive to the N9 and other Nokia devices.

If you haven’t checked it out recently, you will now notice the ability to download maps over WiFi for offline use, allowing you to bypass the need for a data connection when on the go. The update also brings a few other goodies including public transit routes and directions (which adds to the driving and walking navigation introduced in past updates), local area guides, and new point of interest (POI) landmarks showing local retailers, gas stations, etc.

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