navigation Stories November 28, 2016

Waze updated with navigation voiced by The Grand Tour’s Clarkson, Hammond, and May

Navigation by smartphone is easy and convenient, and the Google-owned Waze app is the top pick for many. Now, Amazon is teaming up with Waze to promote its new show, “The Grand Tour” by adding navigation directions voiced by Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond, and James May.

navigation Stories September 13, 2016

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As first noticed by one user on Reddit, it seems that Google Maps has begun showing the current speed limit while using navigation. It’s something that has long been live in the Google-owned Waze navigation app, so it should be no surprise that it has made its way into Maps…

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navigation Stories April 13, 2016

You can now use a Shaq voice in Waze to mark the 2016 NBA playoffs

Waze is known for adding special voices to its app to help you navigate while on the road, and the latest is the addition of Shaq’s voice to commemorate the 2016 NBA playoffs. This follows the Google-owned navigation app featuring the voice of Morgan Freeman in February to mark the release of London Has Fallen…

navigation Stories March 9, 2016

Google Docs adds ‘outline tool’ for easier document navigation on Android & web

Google is rolling out a new feature for Google Docs on Android and the web today that will make navigating through long documents much easier. The new “outline tool” adds a new pane on the left of the page adds quickly links to the document’s headers so you can quickly jump to that section without having to scroll through the whole document to get there.

Displayed in a pane to the left of the page, the outline features headers for each section of your document, making it simple to quickly jump from section to section. If you haven’t manually applied headers, no worries—we’ll do it for you, intelligently detecting the logical divisions within your work. You can then edit or remove these headers as necessary.

And there’s also a second component to it that lets users scroll through documents easier with a new “navigation handle” that will appear once you start to scroll. “Touching that handle will display the entire document’s structure, allowing you quickly skip from section to section, instead of slowly swiping up and down.”

Here’s a look at the feature in action:

Look out for the feature in Google Docs on Android and the web starting today.

navigation Stories February 10, 2016

Google Maps update brings the ability to add places to your timeline, reviews with photos, more

While the last update to Google Maps for Android brought a smart ‘Driving Mode‘, version 9.20 adds a slew of new minor features, including the ability to manually add places to your timeline, photos in user reviews, and more turn-by-turn navigation settings.

navigation Stories November 10, 2015

Google Maps offline 16-9

Google is now rolling out a major new feature to its Maps app for Android: full offline support. Google Maps has some utility already when used offline, but an update coming as soon as today will make it much more robust when used without Internet access. For example, before you could see an area on Google Maps offline but not do much else with it. With the latest version, Google will enable features including navigation and business information lookup without requiring an active Internet connection. expand full story

navigation Stories October 20, 2015

Google Maps for Android gets handy gas price comparisons, points of interest when navigating

Google is rolling out an update to Maps for Android over the coming weeks that adds quick access to gas station price comparisons and other nearby points of interest when navigating. The new feature allows drivers using the app for turn-by-turn navigation to search for points of interest without having to exit the navigation screen.

When the update lands, a new magnifying glass in the upper right corner of the screen will allow users to search for the usual points of interest like gas stations, restaurants, coffee shops and more. Alongside the quick shortcuts, you’ll also see a microphone icon and search option for both voice and text searches for additional points of interest.

Google says the update is rolling out for all Maps users on Android over the next few weeks.

Over the next few weeks, we’re rolling out an update to Google Maps on Android that will make your next gas stop more convenient and affordable. Now you can check out gas prices and add detours to your route, without having to exit out of navigation… When you’re driving in navigation mode and you get that call from your spouse to pick up some more milk on your drive home or if you’re on a road trip and want to find a great restaurant option along your route, simply tap the magnifying glass at the top right corner of the screen. You’ll see a drop-down menu with helpful options, like gas stations, grocery stores, or restaurants. If the drop-down options aren’t what you need, you can always add a detour to your favorite coffee shop by tapping the search icon or by using voice commands.

navigation Stories August 7, 2015

Google Maps v4.9 for iOS brings new night mode, ability to label custom places

iOS users of Google Maps just got some new functionality that has been in the Android version for some time now. Version 4.9 (iTunes link) brings a new night mode as well as the ability to label custom places so they can be easily found on the map and in search.

Night mode does something pretty common amongst dedicated GPS navigation units: It darkens the maps on-screen while you’re navigating somewhere. The reason this matters is because distracted driving is one of the biggest causes of driving-related accidents, and the white glow of a smartphone screen directed at ones face at nighttime can most definitely make it difficult to see what’s in view of the vehicle.

The other notable addition to come with this update is the ability to label places on the map that aren’t already in Google’s own database of places and points of interest. It’s already possible for anyone to add new places to the map through the iOS app, but these were only for public places and, if approved, would be seen by everyone using the app. The new labels are private, intended to make it easier to find and navigate to places that matter to you.

Google Maps for Android already has these features, but for iOS users who still cannot stand Apple’s own mapping product, they’re surely a welcome addition.

navigation Stories June 15, 2015

Google Maps for Android now lets you know if your destination will be closed upon arrival

Most of us have at least once in our lives driven to a place or business or to discover upon arrival that it’s closed. It sucks, and Google has decided to address this in version 9.10.1 of Maps for Android.

 

In addition to now showing you car rental reservations alongside your flights and hotels, the new version will pull data from Google’s vast places database to determine whether or not the place you’re traveling to will be closing around the time you arrive. As you can see in the image above, the place I input closes at 5:30PM and my approximate arrival time is 5:07PM, so Maps gave me a warning at the beginning of navigation so I won’t arrive too surprised. The update should be arriving for most users now through the Play Store.

navigation Stories May 28, 2015

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As part of its Google I/O developer conference today, Google is offering some updates on its Google Places API for iOS as well as future updates arriving for its Maps app. expand full story

navigation Stories May 14, 2015

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While those of us living at the bleeding edge of technology (aka Uber) may not have a use for this, HTC knows that many people still drive and need a safe way to get information while keeping their eyes on the road. That’s why they today released a previously HTC One-exclusive Android app called HTC Car, which turns your smartphone into an in-car dashboard, to the Play Store…

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navigation Stories April 4, 2015

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According to a post on the Android subreddit, HTC is testing its own competitor to Google’s Android Auto in-car system. The post claims that the device is named “HTC Cello” and runs a version of Sense specifically for cars, currently called Sense Automotive. Test logs from the device show that HTC is looking to integrate its device more with the car than Android Auto currently does.

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navigation Stories January 14, 2015

After a relatively quiet Update Wednesday, Google this evening has picked things up by rolling out an update to Google Maps on Android, bumping the app to version 9.3. The update is not chock full of features, but there are certainly a few things avid users of the app will appreciate.

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navigation Stories December 12, 2014

Google Maps adds lane guidance for highways in Germany, France, Italy, Spain, the UK, & Ireland

Google announced today that it’s adding the Google Maps lane guidance feature it rolled out to select locations earlier this year to additional countries just in time for the holidays. Google said today that Maps now includes lane guidance for highways in Germany, France, Italy, Spain, the UK, and Ireland.

When you’re in the turn-by-turn navigation mode, we can now make sure you don’t miss your next turn or exit by showing you which lane to stay in or move to so you’ll never find yourself darting across traffic at the last minute — or worse, driving for miles down the wrong road. When you approach a junction or exit with multiple lanes, voice guidance will suggest which lanes are best for your route. You’ll also have easy access to alternate routes while you’re navigating, so you can choose the best drive for you.

Google first announced the feature back in May, which offers real-time info to help drivers prepare for upcoming turns or necessary lane changes, and it’s been rolling out to select countries and locations since.

The lane guidance feature is available through turn-by-turn Navigation in the Google Maps app on Android and iPhone.

navigation Stories September 18, 2014

Google Maps Navigation features roll out to 20 new countries

Google is rolling outs its Maps navigation features to 20 additional countries as confirmed on the company’s website (via AndroidPolice). That means users in the new countries will have access to turn-by-turn navigation features for walking, biking, and driving directions. The full list of countries included in the latest roll out is below:

  • Angola
  • Bahamas
  • Bolivia
  • Botswana
  • Fiji
  • Guyana
  • Honduras
  • Jamaica
  • Madagascar
  • Malawi
  • Mali
  • Malta
  • Mauritius
  • Mozambique
  • Namibia
  • Nepal
  • Sri Lanka
  • Tanzania
  • Tobago*
  • Trinidad*

The navigation features are available in the new countries to Google Maps users on both Android and iOS devices. Google notes that Countries marked with asterisks include limited coverage in only some regions of the country.

navigation Stories August 26, 2014

Google Search for Android updated with Google Maps navigation cards

The official Google Search app for Android has been updated with navigation cards that resemble those found in Google Maps. When you search for a destination or directions between two locations, the navigation card displays a map that outlines the trip, with the approximate travel time, distance, suggested and alternative routes, desired mode of transportation and step-by-step directions, all without needing to open Google Maps. 

navigation Stories August 22, 2014

Google Maps adds StreetView in Cambodia & Indonesia, navigation in Panama

Google has announced that its Google Maps StreetView feature is now available for users in Cambodia and Indonesia.

Full support for StreetView across Cambodia comes following the launch of a StreetView tour for the thousand-year-old temples at Angkor Wat in Siem Reap, Cambodia in April. Google has put together a collection of imagery from Cambodia you can check out on its Views website.

Another Maps improvement rolling out today is support for navigation in Panama, as noted by AndroidPolice. Google also confirmed the roll out by adding Panama to the list of supported countries for navigation on its website.

The new features are available in the latest version of Google Maps for Android on Google Play.

navigation Stories August 13, 2014

Uber adds destination entry for riders & turn-by-turn navigation for drivers to mobile apps

Uber announced today that it’s added new features that will make the experience even more seamless for both users and its drivers.

We envision a day when there is no coordination necessary to take an Uber ride. Simply push the button, and the rest is essentially on cruise control: the car quickly shows up at exactly the right place and whisks you away to your destination via the best possible route. The latest rider and driver app releases take us one step closer to that world with two new features:

A new destination entry feature lets users quickly enter destination details into the Uber app that are then automatically available to the driver when they arrive. “You can literally skip the step where you tell the driver where you’re going.”

Uber has also added turn-by-turn navigation to its driver app: With one tap, the driver can enable turn-by-turn navigation to the destination you’ve provided. There’s no need to juggle multiple apps or waste time typing in an address.

Uber says the features are live now, although doesn’t list the features in the latest update that hit the app yesterday.

navigation Stories August 1, 2014

Google Maps navigation beta now available in El Salvador, Libya, Nicaragua, Paraguay and Tunisia

A beta for Google Maps navigation is now available in El Salvador, Libya, Nicaragua, Paraguay, and Tunisia. While some countries may take this feature for granted, other territories don’t widely have access to this type of free software. For example, residents of North Korea have combined their efforts to produce a community developed version of Google Maps.

navigation Stories May 23, 2013

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Bloomberg reports that Google is considering making an acquisition offer for mapping company Waze. Numerous reports over the past few weeks have claimed that Facebook is also eyeing an acquisition of the maps firm.

Google Inc. (GOOG), maker of the Android operating system, is considering buying map-software provider Waze Inc., setting up a possible bidding war with Facebook Inc., people familiar with the matter said. Waze is fielding expressions of interest from multiple parties and is seeking more than $1 billion, said one of the people, who asked not to be identified because the talks are private. The Palo Alto, California-based startup might also remain independent, instead seeking to raise a round of venture capital financing, the people said.

Waze’s price-tag is current said to be around $1 billion.

Google’s potential bid would likely create a bidding war with the Menlo Park-based social network. Bloomberg reiterates that Apple is not in discussions with Waze. Rumors from earlier this year claimed that Apple was eyeing an acquisition, but many of those claims were immediately debunked. 

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navigation Stories May 15, 2013

We showed you significant updates to Google Maps which leaked early this morning, and Google just announced updates to Maps at Google I/O.

Google also announced that its Maps API is used by over 1 million active sites and accessed by 1 billion unique visitors weekly.

Maps will now feature a 5 star rating system for locations across all platforms. Users can now swipe across results in a simple, gesture user interface. Zagat reviews are now more prominent with badges and cards simplifying its appearance. These cards now include a new Offers experience with partners including Starbucks.

Google Maps for Mobile also includes improvements to rerouting in transit and explore features. Google Maps for iPad was demoed during the keynote, which we expect to see this summer, and all of the updates will come to the iPhone and Android as well.

Maps on the desktop now includes a new fly-in view for supported locations, which is like a  street view for specific landmark interiors. Public transit information on the desktop is now comparable side-by-side with standard transit and now features a new schedule view.

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navigation Stories July 28, 2011

Photo credit: Lasse Engelbracht on Flickr

Google’s been steadily improving its mapping application for Android and the web. Over the past 30 days, Google updated Maps with ‘My Places’ tab and added offline maps and stop-by-stop public transit navigation to Google Maps for Android. Starting today, the search giant wrote in a blog post, public transport directions are available for the London Underground in both web and Android apps, including all Underground, bus, tram and Docklands Light Railway (DLR) lines:

Let’s say you’re at Trafalgar Square, and you want to visit Madame Tussauds. With a simple directions search, you’ll see all the possible public transport connections. In Maps, click “Get directions” in the left-hand panel, and then the train icon to see public transport directions. Enter your departure location next to A, and your destination next to B. These can be either street addresses or names of popular places, businesses or restaurants. When you’re done, click the “Get directions” button and suggestions for your trip will appear below.

Mobile Maps utilize your phone’s location in order to figure out an optimal rout  to your destination, but you’ll also have be presented with multiple alternatives. On Android devices public transport directions are available with Transit Navigation (Beta) in Google Maps, meaning your phone can even alert you when it’s time to get off the tube at your destination.

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navigation Stories July 7, 2011

Constant checking of your location is annoying when using public transportation in a foreign city. This will become a thing of the past with the new Google Maps for Android which now features something called Transit Navigation (currently in beta). Basically, this taps Google’s vast mapping database, your phone’s GPS location and real-time public transportation data to figure out where exactly along the route you currently are. The system then alerts you on time when it’s time to hop off the buss, Google explains in a blog post:

Using your location along the route, Transit Navigation will alert you when its time to get off at your destination or to make a transfer. This is particularly helpful if you’re in a city where you don’t speak the language and can’t read the route maps or understand the announcements. 

The best bit? It runs in background so you’ll continue receiving progress reports as subtle Android notifications while checking your email or playing a game. It will even vibrate the device when it’s time to get off at next stop. Other improvements include the navigation interface with big icons and built-in picture viewer for Places pages. The new Google Maps 5.7 for Android with Transit Navigation (BETA) can be downloaded now from Android Market on smartphones that run at least Android 2.1. Transit Navigation arrives with support four hundred major cities around the world and Google will probably add more towns in the future. expand full story

navigation Stories June 8, 2011

You will be soon able to take full advantage of Google Maps Navigation with your Android smartphone while offline thanks to new caching capabilities, the Dutch site All About Phones reported, citing “an informed source”. Of course, Google Maps has had offline caching via HTML5 since last year, but this only remembers map tiles you’ve accessed rather than the whole map. As a result, there’s no easy way to plot a new route without being connected to the network. That will change soon, the source hints…

The new mode should enable full offline navigation, the story goes. In its present incarnation, Google Maps Navigation provides automatic rerouting when outside network coverage, but only after you’ve begun a route. Without going into much detail, the source basically says that Google will remove the requirement for network coverage plus cache more data, allowing you to navigate to a new destination when outside your network coverage. The publication quoted a parts supplier for Android smartphones who told them that Google plans on rolling out the new full offline navigation via a Google Maps Navigation app update, due this summer.

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