Google Maps received a fairly minor update last night, bumping it up to v9.15. There aren't any big visible changes, and even the teardown was pretty light, but there is one addition to the Settings screen that's worth mentioning. Under the Notifications section is a new checkbox titled "Traffic information." Obviously, it lets you shut off traffic notifications, which might be fairly handy if you already know they're coming or there tend to be a lot of false positives reported in your area. It's not the most exciting feature, but it will certainly matter to a few users.
This is the only noticeable change to the interface we've seen so far, but there may be some others lurking in a corner we haven't checked yet. Read More
This last spring, a couple of trolls took to Google Map Maker and created a park that looked like a bugdroid peeing on an Apple logo. Google's reaction to this was removing the ability to make edits using Map Maker altogether, and the community was told that the feature would be added in at a later time. A couple of weeks ago the service came back to life in six countries: Bangladesh, Brazil, Canada, India, the Philippines, and Ukraine. Notably missing from this list is the United States. Well as of yesterday, the USA and 44 other countries were added to the countries open to edits. Read More
Back in February, we told you about a new experimental service at Google called Tablescape. The app, which at the time served as a stylized funnel for content tied to Google+, encouraged users to upload "foodographs" (photos of food) with specialized categories like "naughty," "cheesy," and "vegetarian" among others. It would also show featured content and special foodography tips for users.
Just a few months later, though, Tablescape was unceremoniously closed, the experiment ostensibly over. But in the update sent to testers, Google was sure to note the following:
This doesn't mean we're giving up on food photography, you may see the influence of Tablescape in future apps.
If you felt like Google clubbed you over the head with tons of announcements and releases last week, you're not alone. Between giving out the codename for Android M, a new preview release, an Android Wear update, and about a dozen other things, it was a huge week. Toward the end of the onslaught, a fairly innocuous update to Google Maps bumped the version up to 9.13 and it has a couple of useful shortcuts that deserve a look. There's also a new Google app, but it's not in the Play Store, and that deserves a Teardown-style discussion of its own. Read More
You've been driving for two hours, and you've got at least two more. You're tired of sitting behind the wheel and you want to stop and stretch your legs, but that just delays the inevitable. There aren't any alternatives, so you soldier on as that robotic voice of Google Maps occasionally pipes up to let you know there's a turn in 2 miles.
Hey, wait a minute, why does she get to tell you what to do? You gave her a phone, a data plan, and you're driving her around. You're taking care of her, so why does she act like the one in charge? Read More
The app updates from the last week seem to be all about where you are, where you've been, and where you're going. It has only been a few days since Google Play services 7.8 began rolling out with a couple of location-related bits hidden inside, and now a new version of Maps is hitting the scene with a host of new features centered around our location history. We can now look back through the places we've visited, when we were last at certain spots, and the routes we've taken. Read More