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google maps

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Google Maps v9.35 Beta adds Plus Codes to dropped pins and an arrival screen to navigation, prepares for speed limits, ordering food online, and more [APK Teardown + Download]

Out of the entire list of apps in Google's lineup, Maps is probably the most consistent about delivering new and interesting features with almost every release. Version 9.35 began rolling out to users signed up to the beta channel yesterday and it's no slouch. Regular drivers can look forward to a new screen to welcome them when they arrive at their destinations, and dropped pins now contain Plus Codes so it's extremely easy to convey fairly precise locations to people through text, IM, and even over the phone. Moving over to a teardown shows that speed limits and current speed are going to be shown during navigation.

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Google Maps tests new location indicator, shows Edits tab to check the status of your suggested changes

If you've been using Google Maps in the past couple of days, there are two changes that you may have noticed, or not depending on how lucky you are with server-side switches. The first one is purely cosmetic and the second is something Local Guides and sticklers for accuracy will enjoy.

The location indicator in Google Maps is seeing a small aesthetic change. Instead of the arrow pointer, some users are getting a widening gradient spray. It serves the same purpose, but might be more accurate in saying the general direction you're pointing at by broadening a little bit the field and not trying to pinpoint it precisely.

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Google Maps: Wi-Fi-only mode and SD card saved data are rolling out to everyone

The latest post to the official Google Maps blog brings some welcome news. A couple of features that have been exclusive to betas of the Android app, not to mention hinted at by our cheeky teardown posts, are now in the public version. Specifically, that handy Wi-Fi-only mode for users on a limited data allotment should now be live for everyone (it was limited to a subset of users before), and the option to save local mapping data to the SD card is now active as well.

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Google employs a cartoon yeti as a virtual tour guide in Verne: The Himalayas

Google's Creative Lab internal division certainly has a diverse body of work. Between all the experimental apps and weird web tools released under the name, you can find entries that range from novel to straight-laced and back again. The latest addition to the catalog falls into the former category. Verne: The Himalayas is a virtual tour of the world's highest mountain range, utilizing both Google's 3D satellite mapping technology and a cartoon abominable snowman.

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Google Maps v9.34 Beta adds features to keep maps pointed north, plans to give advice about parking difficulty, and may reveal the return of Launcher Shortcuts [APK Teardown + Download]

The Google Maps app is back again with a fresh update, and this one is certainly interesting. As far as live features go, there are some changes related to navigation that will help keep maps oriented north, even with accidental swipes. A teardown also shows that Google is planning to give advice about parking at different locations, and Local Guides can look forward to status indicators for edits. And finally, there's evidence suggesting the return of Launcher Shortcuts.

What's New

Unofficial Changelog:

  • New 'Keep map north up' setting
  • Accidental swipe protection for North-up mode in Navigation

Keep map north up

2016-08-03 05.06.172016-08-03 05.06.37

Left: previous version with tilt map toggle.

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Google Maps getting cleaner look for maps with highlighted areas of interest

Google is in the process or rolling out cleaner maps to Google Maps in an attempt to show more relevant information to users without overcrowding. You'll notice certain elements going away, but there is one new thing coming to your maps—areas of interest. If Google thinks there's some cool stuff in a particular area, you'll see it highlighted on the map.

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Google Maps is rolling out Wi-Fi only mode and mass transit delay notifications to some users

A couple of very useful features have started rolling out to a few lucky Google Maps users in the last couple of days. If you've been following along with our APK Teardowns, you might remember sections covering notifications for mass transit delays and an option to restrict data usage to Wi-Fi only. If you've been eager to see either of these, now might be a good time to open up Maps and poke around. But it looks like both features are launching as staged rollouts, so don't be too surprised if you're not in the opening group.

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Google Maps makes crowdsourced Places edits, suggestions, and verifications official

Over the past couple of months, we've monitored several changes to the way crowdsourcing information is handled in Google Maps. Now all of these changes have been made official in a blog post on Google Lat Long's page, adding details about the different features' availability.

First, since May, editing and adding Places has been accessible worldwide. It's available on both the Android and iOS apps, as well as through Google Search. Whether you're viewing an existing listing that has outdated details or you've dropped a pin where there's nothing but you know a listing should exist, you can edit or add those to provide better information for others who might be looking for it.

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Google Maps v9.32 Beta prepares for "Wi-Fi Only" offline maps and new traffic notifications, allows users to clean up places they've never been to, and more [APK Teardown + Download]

A new version of Google Maps hit the beta channel late last night, bring the version number up to v9.32.0. It looks mostly unchanged, but there is a brand new menu option in the Contribute screen that allows users to clean out locations they've never visited before. The bigger news comes from a teardown. A handful of notable new features are on the horizon, including a true cellular-free mode for navigation, real-time traffic notifications, and more. Since this is a beta release and the Google Maps team has been incredibly ambitious with new features, I expect some of the things listed in the teardown are actually live, but for many different reasons they may not appear for everyone or at all times.

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Google Maps Local Guides cuts Level 4 free Drive storage from 1TB to 100GB

Back in November of 2015, Google expanded its Local Guides program with a points and level system that introduced new rewards for each tier. At 200 points, you would reach the coveted Level 4 and receive 1TB of free Google Drive storage for 2 years. Now Google is backing away from that promise and lowering the amount of free storage to 100GB only.

It might be that Google Maps' recent updates that incentivize you with notifications to post photos, reviews, and answer questions about places you're visiting have had a positive effect and Google is seeing more and more people reach Level 4.

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