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maps

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Google planning to enter the ride-sharing business with Waze

It looks like Google is finally moving into the San Francisco ride-sharing market. According to the Wall Street Journal, the tech giant is looking to offer commuters cheaper rates (and lower fares) than the two big players, Uber and Lyft. The plan is to connect drivers and riders who are going in the same direction, instead of the on-demand service you would see with other ride-sharing services.

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Google Maps v9.36.0 beta adds voice commands to avoid tolls, ferries, and highways, adds custom lists for saved places, and more [APK Teardown + Download]

A new Google Maps update is rolling out today. For most people, this version might not have a big impact quite yet, but it's introducing a new feature for some high-level members of the Local Guides program. Those that qualify will be able to create custom lists of saved places. For the rest of us, there's a new notification for local traffic and voice commands to avoid toll roads, highways, and ferries. There are also a few new things to check out in a teardown, including integration with another service, another tease about ordering food, and more.

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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 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 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 for Android is finally rolling out multi-waypoint directions

As we discovered in our teardown of Maps v9.31 beta last week, Google has been working on implementing true multiple waypoint directions in the Maps app for Android. Unfortunately, we couldn't actually get the feature to, well, work. But according to multiple tips we've now received, the feature appears to be going live for end users. Multiple waypoints will allow you to set "stops" along your route, as shown in the hero image and the screenshots below, a very handy feature indeed.

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Google releases sharper satellite images in Google Earth and Maps

The Landsat 8 satellite was launched by NASA in 2013 to snap photos of Earth in higher detail than was possible before. This is an open project, so you can dig through all the data if you want. Today, we get to enjoy the benefits of Landsat 8 in a more convenient way. Google has rolled out improved worldwide satellite imagery in Google Earth and Maps using the data acquired by this satellite.

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Google Maps v9.31 Beta Part 2: multiple waypoints, notifications about indoor maps and transit disruptions, and more [APK Teardown]

The update to Google Maps v9.31 brought a couple of fixes for users on Android N developer previews, not to mention some other small changes for everybody. But the most interesting things about this version are still buried below the surface. Yesterday, I covered support for offline maps to be installed on an SD card, and now it's time to dig into the rest of the teardown. If SD card support weren't enough, there are a couple of other features here that have been hotly requested for some time, so it's pretty clearly the Maps team is working hard to fill out the feature set for users.

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