An increasing number of users have stumbled across a new navigation card when looking for directions using the Google Search app. Apparently the tech giant has decided to pull the switch that opens this feature up to a wider populace. The card resembles Google Maps: it provides a map with the trip drawn out, the option to select the desired mode of transportation, alternate routes to select from, and a giant blue start button for when it's time to get moving.
The Play Store is filled with navigation apps, but only one comes pre-installed on most Android devices. Google's resource isn't without its drawbacks, but it's a pretty solid enough option to satisfy many users out of the box. Of course, the service has to be available in your country before it's usable in any sense. For Panama, the time has come for people to give the app some hands-on time and decide for themselves.
CD slot mounts are a great way to breathe life into what is, for many of us, a neglected part of our car. Depending on your vehicle's layout, these accessories stick smartphones where they're easy to see and very accessible, both for the driver and a passenger. Today two of Mountek's CD slot mounts are available as Gold Box deals. The nGroove Universal grip CD slot mount is going for $15.99, while the nGroove Snap 2 magnetic car mount goes for $18.99.
One issue preventing a bunch of people from viewing Google Maps as the navigation godsend that many others see it as is its limited availability in certain parts of the globe. Well, Google is working to change that. The company has rolled out support for navigation in the countries of El Salvador, Libya, Nicaragua, Paraguay, and Tunisia.
Here are screenshots of the feature enabled in Paraguay, where an Android Police reader has noticed it for the first time.
The Satechi CD slot mount is well worth a buy (oops, I was supposed to save that for the end, wasn't I?). Last week I went hands-on the Kenu Airframe+, an AC vent mount that I absolutely loved. But some readers pointed us in the direction of CD mounts, a category I hadn't yet considered, and one that gives purpose to a part of my car that I otherwise would be just fine with leaving off entirely.
The Kenu Airframe+ mounts phones to a vehicle's vent, placing it in plain sight of the driver without requiring dedicated hardware to occupy precious windshield real estate. It's a simple concept, even if it's not particularly groundbreaking. I first came across the concept at a department store selling a mount for cheap. But Kenu's product has a secret up its sleeve - it's hyper portable, and it's really good. Considering just how many complicated options there are out there, it's good to see someone reduce a mount down to the bare essentials and get it right.
Dedicated GPS units have taken a hit since people started cramming turn-by-turn navigation into their smartphones, but if you do happen to stumble across one in stores somewhere, there's a decent chance Garmin's name is on it. As one of the more ubiquitous brands in the field, the company carries some weight. So when it releases a new navigation app, it's worth taking notice. Víago is far from the first app Garmin has dropped into the Play Store, nor is it even the company's first navigation app, but upon first impressions, it looks like quite the improvement over its previous efforts.
Google Maps/Navigation is fantastic. It's easy to use, stays (mostly) up-to-date, and is built into Android's core. However, it has one major flaw: offline navigation simply doesn't exist within Google Maps. If you're heading into uncharted territory where cell service may be sketchy or non-existent, you're basically on your own. And getting lost is not a fun experience.
The solution? A third-party GPS application with offline support, like Sygic's Maps & GPS Navigation.
Many states, California included, have passed strict laws in recent years meant to reduce distracted driving caused by cell phones. However, the laws lag behind the technology, and that has led to some conflicting opinions on what the statutes mean. After some legal wrangling, a California court of appeals has ruled that it is not illegal to use mapping software while driving.