This weekend the tech world was abuzz with rumors that Google had purchased Israeli mapping and navigation software maker Waze for a sum of over a billion dollars. Today Google has made it official, thanks to a post on the company blog from the VP of Geo, Brian McClendon. While Google declined to mention exactly how much it spent on Waze, it's a safe bet that it was a lot, since both Apple and Facebook had previously expressed interest.
If you haven't been following the broader tech news lately, GPS navigation provider Waze has been the corporate equivalent of a desperate college freshman, trying to find a match before the end of the first semester. The scuttlebutt is that both Apple and Facebook have shown interest in acquiring the Israel-based company within the last year. Now two credible sources, Israeli business websites Globes and Calcalist, report that Google has swooped in and agreed to purchase the company for a cool $1.3 billion.
Bicycling enthusiasts in Europe (of which there are many) are getting a present from Google today with the addition of biking directions in Google Maps for six new countries. Cyclists in Germany, France, Poland, Ireland, Luxembourg, and Liechtenstein can now pull down routes that take into account the available biking trails, paths, and lanes. This applies to mobile and desktop apps.
When biking directions are selected in Google Maps, it chooses routes that avoid busy streets, and sends riders down dedicated bike paths where available.
GPS veteran Magellan announced the SmartGPS system back at CES, touting its social networking integration and "cloud" stuff. The device has just gone on sale in the US for $249, but along with that comes the SmartGPS app. This is a free download that lets your smartphone talk to the GPS unit. If you don't want to buy a $249 GPS unit that duplicates the functionality of your phone, the app includes additional features for a price.
Texting and driving is a pretty heinous crime. Bad enough that it's spawned entire ad campaigns devoted to educating the public on the dangers of such acts. Of this, you are no doubt aware. What you may be less aware of is the fact that figuring out where you're going is exactly as dangerous as sending someone a message that says "Doesn't the Peachoid look like a giant..."
California, despite having no known Peachoids, knows this very well and a court has ruled that using a mapping application is just as bad (and illegal) as texting behind the wheel.
Being a huge fan of keyboard shortcuts (I have most of Gmail's keys memorized and use them exclusively for maximum productivity every day), I jumped at the opportunity to add similar functionality to AndroidPolice.com itself.
On various pages of the site that contain multiple posts, like the homepage, category, author, and tag pages, you can now:
- press "j" to jump to the next article in the list
- press "k" to jump to the previous article in the list
- press "o" or "Enter" to go to the article that's closest to the top of the visible browser area
- (new) press "O" to do the same as above, except in a new browser tab/window
- (new) press "c" or "C" on a post page to zoom to the comments box
Furthermore, if you're at the end of a list, pressing "j" will advance to the next page.
Can we be honest with ourselves for a bit? Notifications on Google+ have sucked for a while. It's never clear what's new and what's old, they're cluttered with information, and up until recently, they've been tucked away in the app underneath the sidebar navigation. Well at least one of those problems is getting fixed today as the Android app gets an update that creates a special new section for notifications on the right-hand side of the app.
In times past, we've seen Google add new countries to its list of supported territories for Google Maps Navigation shortly before we see the update itself rollout. Today, there's been a pretty huge change to that document that added 10 new nations including Bulgaria, Estonia, Ghana, Iceland, Ivory Coast, Latvia, Lebanon, Lithuania, Senegal and Slovakia (for some reason Singapore appears to have been added to the list, even though that nation already has Navigation).
Update: Many of you in the comments along with @GoogleMexico have confirmed that navigation went live earlier today. Congratulations!
Google Maps Navigation(Beta) ahora disponible para Android en México. Descarga la versión más reciente en Google Play: goo.gl/DgNq8
— Google México (@googlemexico) November 28, 2012
Original story below:
It doesn't mean anything yet, and we'd be hard-pressed to tell you when it will mean something, but if you were to take a look at this help file listing countries where Google Maps Navigation is available, you'll see a relative newcomer to the crowd: Mexico.
To call Rdio's latest beta a complete overhaul might be a bit of a misnomer. The feature set is largely the same, even if the design has gotten a facelift. However, seeing as the music streaming wars are heating up, it seems like a perfect time to take a second look at the service that always seems to play second fiddle to the behemoth that is Spotify.
Update: This version of the app is now live.