For the longest time, my only involvement with smartphones was limited to Nokia's Symbian devices, then I bought an HTC Desire Z in February 2011 and the rest, as they say, is history. I was immediately ecstatic about most of the Android experience save for two aspects where my heart strings kept tugging back to my Nokia N8: photography and mapping. Android cameras have improved a lot over the past three years — I am amazed by the Lumia 1020's scary-good 41MP sensor, but my LG G3 does an excellent job 99% of the time — and so did Google Maps, but at no point has Google's mapping service completely levelled up with parts of the experience that I used to get through Nokia Maps, even in 2010 on an N8.
Here's a Google app that few people would judge you for not knowing about. There's this thing formerly known as Maps Engine that lets people create custom maps and share them with others. Now it goes by the name of My Maps. And, put bluntly, it's a change that makes sense. This conveys to users what the app actually does. Map Engine? Not so much.
To go with the name change, Google has changed the app's icon as well.
Dear Egyptian readers: yes, we know you're out there. We're sorry to report that Google Street View still isn't available for the vast majority of your country. And while you'd surely prefer Street View in Cairo or Alexandria for the sake of convenience, at least Google has made a small stop in Egypt... at the place where all the other Americans go first, the Giza Necropolis. Street View is now available in and around the pyramid complex.
Update #1 9/6/14: It looks like at least some of those who've run out to buy the Moto 360 at retail are already seeing the KGW42N update. Charge your watch, set it up, and you should get the alert.
Thanks to reader Justin for the tip and the photo!
Update #2 9/9/14: The G Watch is now receiving 4.4W.1 as well, though the build number varies slightly (KGW42Q):
Thanks, Devin Arthur.
Street View has come to 36 universities across the US and Canada. As we approach the start of another academic year, students and their parents (and everyone else) now have the option to get to know campuses by taking a virtual tour. The list is admittedly not comprehensive, but it contains beautiful views of Georgetown University, the University of Miami, and the University of Regina, to name a few.
Though Google explicitly points out the three universities above in its announcement, it has provided a list of others so that we don't have to go through the effort of hunting for these campuses ourselves.
Recently, we posted about a new feature Google was testing to help users better "explore" their surroundings, offering more fine-tuned exploration options for a user's immediate vicinity or their destination, with suggestions of what to do in the area based on time of day or conditions. The interface would apparently get its own button in Google Maps' primary view, but the button only appeared for a few users at the time.
English is one of the most prominent languages spoken in India, but that doesn't mean everyone speaks it, nor do all the people that do necessarily prefer to use it. So Google has rolled out Hindi support in both the mobile app and the browser-based version of Maps. Have a look.
Support is available in the latest release of the mobile app for people running Android version 4.3 and above. To take advantage of it, users must select Hindi under the "Language & input" area of phone settings.