real-time 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.

real-time Stories June 23, 2015

Instagram Android app adds revamped Explore tab w/ trending content, improved search

Instagram is rolling out an update today for its Android app bringing two major new features, including a redesigned Explore tab and improved search functionality. The company said the updates will “help connect our community to the world as it happens,” or in other words, a more real-time experience thanks to new trending Tags and Places within the Explore tab. 

With more than 70 million photos and videos posted to Instagram every day, wherever something is happening, chances are you can see it here. Whether it’s behind the scenes at the NBA Finals, on the runway with the latest fashion trend at a favorite club with a local band, people are capturing moments large and small on Instagram. But, until now, there’s never been an easy way to find these moments.

On top of the new trending tags and places in Explore, the company said it will be adding curated collections of images based on various themes, such as specific people or places, and featuring content from across the network.

The updated Explore feature is first rolling out to users in the US as part of the 7.0 update for Android that also adds improved search functionality:

For everyone on Instagram, we’ve dramatically improved the ability to find what you’re looking for. With the new Places Search, you can now peer in at just about any location on earth, allowing you to scout out your next vacation spot in the South Pacific, get a look inside that hot new restaurant or experience your favorite music festival — even if you couldn’t make it this year. The new Top Search also lets you search across people, places and tags all at once.

You can grab Instagram version 7.0 for Android on Google Play today. 

real-time 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.

real-time Stories November 5, 2013

Google adds real time text cursors & improved themes to Slides

Google is making a few improvements to its Slides presentation tool in Google Drive today. The company announced a few new features for the web app including real-time text cursors and some user requested tweaks for the recently rolled out editable themes feature. 

As you can see in the gif above, much like in Google Docs, you’ll now see contributors’ cursors with names in real-time as they type.

Google is also adding the ability to reuse a theme, add objects to themes and layouts, and update text styles in placeholders:

Reuse custom themes in new presentations 

There may come a time when you want to reuse a theme that you worked hard to create, and now you can—just select “From another presentation…” in the theme chooser.

Add objects to themes and layouts 

While editing a slide, you can now right click on any object and add it to a theme or a specific layout so that the next time you want to use it, it will already be part of the slide template.

Update text styles in placeholders

Let’s say you’re editing a body placeholder, and you change the font of your text (or other style properties, such as bold, color, etc.). You can now easily apply this formatting across slides that use the same layout by right clicking on the placeholder and selecting “Update in theme.”

 

real-time Stories August 20, 2013

Real-time-waze-reporting-google-mapsGoogle announced today on its Google Maps blog that it’s finally tapping into the talent and technology it picked up with its acquisition of Waze back in June to integrate real time incident reports from Waze into Google Maps. The new integration means that when Waze users report incidents for everything from accidents to road closures, Google Maps users on both iOS and Android will now be able to benefit:

Users of Google Maps for Mobile will now benefit from real time incident reports from Waze users. This means when Wazers report accidents, construction, road closures and more on Waze, the updates will also appear on the Google Maps app for Android and iOS.

The features will initially be limited to users in certain locations, including: Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, France, Germany, Mexico, Panama, Peru, Switzerland, UK and the US. In addition, as Google first hinted back in June, the company will also be integrating Google Search into the Waze apps on iOS and Android, while the Waze Map Editor now has access to Google Street View imagery: expand full story

real-time Stories August 7, 2012

Google announced on the Official Lat Long Blog today that it is expanding the Google Maps live traffic feature first launched in 2008 to cover 130 smaller U.S. cities and the capitals of Panama, Costa Rica, and Colombia. On top of travel time estimates and real-time traffic conditions for the new cities, Google also improved its traffic coverage in a list of other locations including parts of Brazil, Canada, China, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Italy, Mexico, Russia, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom. A tutorial of the feature is presented in the demo video below, and Google has a full overview of supported cities here.

Now the streets of Bogotá, San José, and Panama City and the arterial roads in Kalamazoo (Michigan), Portland (Maine), Tuscaloosa (Alabama) and many more cities will include real-time current traffic conditions as well as estimated travel times. Whether you’re online on your home computer ensuring no unexpected snarls await your drive to the airport or you’ve been stuck behind a line of cars for a few minutes and can ask your friend in the passenger seat to check whether it’ll clear up just around the bend, we hope these updates save you time and stress when getting to your destination. expand full story

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