04
Feb
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Last Updated: February 7th, 2013

A few months ago I wrote "Stock Android Isn't Perfect," an article where I turned my usual harsh UX critique on stock Android, instead of just picking on TouchWiz and Sense all the time in my reviews. The article went over pretty well, and even got a few responses from Googlers! I didn't cover everything that was wrong with Android, though, and there have been a bunch of updates since the original article, so it's about time I wrote a sequel.

01
Nov
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After having successfully survived a thunder-snowicane and completed a black-ops mission into a post-apocalyptic New York City to pick up a Nexus 4,  APK Teardown HQ is back up and running. We've accumulated a bit of a backlog, so today's entry is a 2 for 1 deal: Google Maps 6.14 and Google Search 2.1.

Google Maps

Maps is getting real-time traffic rerouting!

Now, you might be saying "But Maps already takes traffic into account, look at this blog post!" but let's take a look at what that blog post really says:

You don’t have to do anything to be routed around traffic; just start Navigation like you normally would, either from the Navigation app or from within Google Maps.

31
Oct
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Last Updated: November 13th, 2012

If you've ever found yourself lost in Singapore or Hong Kong, then I'm sorry. I hear that if you run into the wrong part of town things can get... bad. It's a shame you didn't have Google Navigation to save you the trouble of ending up somewhere you shouldn't be. The good news, though: future wanderers won't have to suffer your potential strife, because Google Nav should now be available in the aforementioned places.

11
Oct
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Google Maps was already pretty great, with comprehensive Street View coverage in countries around the world, but it just got a little bit better thanks to the 'biggest Street View update ever', which is rolling out today.

Street View coverage has now been increased in no fewer than 11 countries, including the U.S., Britain, and Canada, with over 250,000 miles of roads being updated and added.

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The number of special collections, which allow you to see tourist attractions in countries all over the world on Street View, has also been doubled, with new locations added in South Africa, Japan, Spain, France, Brazil, Mexico, and more.

28
Sep
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Google Maps is awesome. You know why it's awesome? Because of stuff like this. On the Lat Long Blog today, Google announced that it has implemented new 45-degree flyover imagery in 51 cities (such as below) around the world - 37 in the US, 14 abroad.

PIZZA

Satellite imagery has also been updated. 17 cities have refreshed space-based shots, along with 112 various regions in a whole bunch 'o countries. So, today's probably a prime opportunity to go around gloating to those friends of yours who are, shall we say, less geographically fortunate.

25
Sep
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Street View can be used to see the world in Google Maps, but - up until now - users were forced to stay on land. That all changes today, as Google has added the very first under water panoramas to Google Maps - and they started with The Great Barrier Reef.

In a post on the Lat-Long blog, Google highlights some of the more notable things to check out, including a close-up of a sea turtle with a school of fish, a majestic manta ray, and - probably the most beautiful of all - The Reef at sunset.

20
Sep
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Last Updated: October 8th, 2012

Hello and welcome to a new feature! I'm going to start calling this "What's Really New," the series where we do more than just post a change log with the canned screenshots when something important gets updated. We're going in-depth (as usual). We'll be ripping apart APKs, doing full side-by-side comparisons, and, hopefully, letting you know about all the cool new stuff before it comes out.

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Previous experiments in this area have been a stunning success.

19
Sep
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We've all been there: you looked up the directions to the restaurant at home, and forgot them while you sat at work. Now your significant other is somewhat miffed because you're half an hour late, so you search for the address on your phone... and can't remember the French name with all the extra punctuation. Google's got your back: the latest version of Google Maps for Android remembers the searches you've made on the Google Maps website, and brings them up as you begin to type.

23
Aug
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Last week, after Google Maps received a public transit-minded update, it became apparent that the app wasn't playing nice with the HTC Rezound. Befuddled user reports spilled in, relaying tales of inexplicable reboots and crashes. As always, the community found a solution but, unfortunately, the only solution ended up being the "uninstall updates" button.

T-Mobile today acknowledged the Maps update's issues with certain handsets, posting a support document related to the HTC Sensation 4G's problems with the app.

06
Jun
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Google has just announced at today's Maps events that Google Maps offline download feature, previously a "labs" option inside the Google Maps for Android app, is going official. According to the Google, the feature is "coming soon." Unfortunately, there was no word on support for offline navigation.

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Here's are some (less than great) shots of the interface in action on a tablet:

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From what we can tell, the interface has been improved and it is now much easier to make an offline area selection than it was in the Labs version of the feature.

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