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.
My football buddy lives on the east side of Dallas. I'm way out west of Fort Worth. Since there are more than fifty miles between us, neither of us know the area of the megacity that's directly in the middle very well. When football season rolls around again, I'll give Meet Me Halfway a try: it's a simple little app that locates the midpoint between two people and helps you find good places to meet in the area.
After Google purchased Waze lock, stock, and barrel back in June of last year, some of the more ardent supporters of the small mapping app thought that it might disappear. But here we are seven months later, and Waze and Google Maps are still separate, though the latter is getting a few perks out of the arrangement. In fact, it looks like Waze intends to expand its functionality, starting with a new beta program.
With the number of options that are out there, our smartphones have gradually become more useful for in-car navigation than dedicated GPS units. Unfortunately, holding a phone in your hand isn't the safest (or most legal) driving habit, and mounting your device to the dashboard doesn't work as gracefully as many accessories out there claim. Yet Scosche might be on to something with its latest products, the magicMOUNT magnetic mounts.
Scosche is offering magicMOUNT in multiple formats, so users can mount devices to dashboards, windshields, tabletops, or walls.
Get this - dedicated GPS units are still a thing. Not only do they still exist, people are still buying them. So with these two things being true, Magellan has announced a new line of RoadMate GPS units running Android. These products aim to address a key advantage smartphones have had over their more-focused counterparts, their highly responsive screens. The company is now bringing the finger-friendly capacitive screens they've reserved for high-end models down to a more affordable level.
If you should suddenly find yourself stranded in a tiny out-of-the-way country after a Nathan Drake-style adventure this holiday season (or maybe if you live there, I guess), take heart in the knowledge that at least your Android phone knows its way home. Google has added 25 new countries to Google Maps Navigation this week, from the landlocked European nation of Andorra all the way to Maldives in the Indian Ocean.
As an Android user, you would be forgiven for having never used a navigation app other than Google Maps. It's not perfect, but it's available for free and remains one of the best GPS solutions around, especially if you live in the US. Yet before Google Maps grew into a household names, MapQuest was synonymous with looking up directions online. Now a redesigned version of its mobile app has found its way into the Play Store.
Earlier today, Google started a staged rollout of a new point release of Google Maps. We've been poring over all the UI differences between the new version 7.3 and the previous version 7.2 from last month for the last couple of hours and managed to catch a few interesting changes. Since the official changelog isn't out yet, these will have to do for now.
Here's what we've spotted.
Duration, distance, and estimated arrival time in the expanded notification
The expanded notification now carries a lot more information than before.
Telenav's Scout for Android app already guides users throughout their daily commute, points out nice places to eat, helps them keep up with local events, and pinpoints gas stations with low prices. Now the versatile navigation app is gaining a new ability that makes it much easier to coordinate and travel to events with friends. The app will track multiple users and provide each with a real-time look at where each person is and when to expect them to arrive.
The refreshed Google Maps app is cool in a lot of ways, but it was a big change and we're still finding little tricks to make things smoother. Some users were annoyed that there is no longer a direct Navigation app icon, meaning more taps to actually start turn-by-turn navigation. There is a shortcut, though.
Skip all that
When you search for a location in Google Maps, there is an information bar at the bottom with the route button.