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Google is testing a crazy new bottom bar interface in Maps [Update]

The current version of Google Maps has an Explore bar at the bottom of the screen, giving you access to nearby points of interest. It appears that some people have started seeing a different version of that bottom bar with options for seeing locations, driving, or transit details. It looks rather handy.

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Latest Google Maps beta shows distance to locations in search

A few days ago, we posted a teardown of the latest Google Maps beta. Another minor, but much appreciated, change in this beta version is that distances now appear alongside results in search.

This is a very minor feature, but definitely one worth mentioning. Most of the time when I searched for locations, I had to look at the map myself and figure out which was the closest. As you would expect, it shows the distance in either Imperial 'Murican or Metric units, depending on your preference.

googlemaps-screenshot

If you want to try out the beta release, you can download the APK from APKMirror.

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Google plans a Nougat party and an official Android statue for French town of Montélimar

Remember when the fanciful dessert codenames for Android were an inside joke rather than an actual marketing push? Ever since version 4.4 "Kit-Kat" (and the tie-in promotional campaign with Nestle), it seems like Google has been making a sincere effort to make users as aware of the codename - which is now more of a slogan - as the release number itself. So when the French town of Montélimar asked Google if they were interested in some kind of promotional event for Android 7.0 "Nougat," the company jumped at the chance.

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Google+ push notifications now available on Chrome, seems a bit buggy right now

Several major websites have offered push notifications with Chrome (and other supported browsers) for some time, including sites like Facebook and eBay. Today Google+ is now supporting this feature, enabling users to receive notifications even when the site is not open.

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Google finally makes the Nexus 6P 7.0 Nougat factory and OTA images available

The title says it all, really—the Nexus 6P finally has a downloadable factory image and OTA, courtesy of Google. This news comes shortly after Vodafone announced that it was halting the Nougat OTA for the 6P due to unnamed issues. Earlier this month, when the September security update came out for Nexus devices, we were both puzzled and disappointed when only the Marshmallow Nexus 6P build received the security update, but both the image and OTA are finally here.

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Google Play Services v9.6 adds Nearby quick settings tile

There's a new version of Google Play Services rolling out, but isn't there always? Sometimes there are notable new features, and other times not. This time, the updated version includes a nifty extra for Nougat users in the form of a new quick settings tile for Nearby.

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Google plans to mark HTTP sites as non-secure in Chrome, will start with password and payment pages in early 2017

Google is preparing to make a significant change to how users are informed of security online. Beginning in January 2017, Chrome will subtly mark password and payment pages as non-secure if they use HTTP instead of HTTPS. This is just the first step toward marking all HTTP pages as non-secure with a more visible notice. 

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Google Maps adds Lyft and Gett to ride services tab

Back in March, Google Maps added a dedicated ride-sharing tab with comparative prices. This is extremely useful if you want to compare prices easily, and of course to see what services are available in a given area.

Today, Google is improving that feature by adding support for Lyft and Gett. Google claims Maps now displays options from "9 ride-sharing partners in over 60 countries." Google also mentions that the ride-sharing tab shows multiple types of services offered by each company. For example, Lyft may also show a Lyft Line ride as an option.

Google says that options from Lyft will show up all across the United States, while Gett will be limited to New York City (which is to be expected, as Gett is exclusive to that city).

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Google and Box partner to make working in the cloud more powerful

Today, Google took to its Work blog to announce the new partnership between Google Apps for Work and Box. The latter will now integrate with Docs and Springboard for further efficiency in business practices. Box will also serve as a third-party repository for Docs, Sheets, and Slides. The cool thing about that is users will be able to create new files and edit collaboratively within Box itself.

Google also announced that it is working to integrate its Springboard enterprise search tool with Box. Through this, users can find the information or files they need regardless of where that all may be hosted — whether that is in Gmail, Drive, Docs, or Box.

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Android Pay comes to Apple Federal Credit Union, C&F Bank, United Bank, and over 30 others

Android Pay is spreading. If you manage your finances with a big bank, chances are you can make payments by tapping your phone against a payment terminal -- yes, even if you use Chase. If you do your banking with a smaller institution, you may have to cross your fingers.

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