Articles Tagged:

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PSA: Google Maps for Android Version 7.0.2 Enters Wide Rollout, Everyone (Or Almost Everyone) Should Have It Now

Love it or hate it, version 7 of Google Maps is now apparently rolling out to everyone. The latest release is entirely different from prior versions and gives the mobile app a look that matches that of the new Google Maps soon to hit the web. Upon opening the app for the first time, a solitary search bar hovers at the top of the screen while all other options are tucked away. For a complete breakdown of how things function now, take a look of our in-depth unofficial changelog.

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If you haven't already made the jump, there's a few things you should keep in mind before doing so.

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PSA: Google Maps v7 Removed The Traffic Widget But There's An Even Better Directions/Navigation Widget That's Actually Worth Using [Updated]

The new Google Maps app seems to be positive on balance, but there are always some features that get left behind in big updates. There's the odd caching functionality and the complete lack of My Maps, for example. While it may look at first like the missing traffic widget has taken some functionality with it, that's not quite the case. Google Maps v7 contains a new one-tap directions widget that does much more than the Traffic one did.

Update: It's been brought to our attention that the Directions widget existed before the update under the name Directions & Navigation.

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Google Maps Navigation Expands Into New Countries Including Taiwan, Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, Peru, Thailand, Ethiopia, And A Ton More

To go along with the release of the long-awaited Google Maps update yesterday, Mountain View has just updated the list of countries with full Google Navigation support. There are 18 confirmed new countries, and two that went from limited to full coverage.

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[Update: v7.0.0 APK] Google Maps For Android Gets Updated With Promised Interface Refresh, Functionality Enhancements

Update #6 by Artem: Official Google blog post.

Update #5 by Artem: Google uploaded several official video promos for the new v7.0.0 update:

I'm not going to embed the rest, but you can find them here: The new Google Maps app for tablets, Directions and navigation with the new Google Maps app, Explore with the new Google Maps app, Shake to send feedback with the new Google Maps app.

Update #4 by Artem: The mirror for Android 4.1+ is up.

Update #3 by Artem: We have so far seen at least 6 variations of the APK, with some aimed at API 16 and 17 (Android 4.1+) and some at just API 17 (Android 4.2+).

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Google Makes Its Waze Acquisition Official, Mapping Apps To Remain Separate For Now

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.

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Current Waze users will be glad to know that Google doesn't plan on shutting down the Waze app, at least in the short term:

The Waze product development team will remain in Israel and operate separately for now.

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Report: Google Set To Buy Collaborative GPS Navigation Company Waze For $1.3 Billion

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.

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What's so great about Waze? Its mapping system incorporates data submitted by tens of millions of users, whose smartphones collaborate to make the GPS service more accurate and flexible.

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Google Enables Biking Navigation In Google Maps For Germany, France, Poland, Ireland, Luxembourg, and Liechtenstein

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.

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When biking directions are selected in Google Maps, it chooses routes that avoid busy streets, and sends riders down dedicated bike paths where available. Google worked with other organizations in a few countries to catalog all the bike paths, but several hundred kilometers of trails were added by users.

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[New App] Magellan Releases SmartGPS Turn-By-Turn App To Complement Standalone GPS Unit You Probably Won't Buy

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.

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The free version of SmartGPS lets you search for destinations and plan trips. It contains a full US and Canadian map with tons of points of interest.

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In California, Using Your Maps App Is Just As Illegal As Texting While Driving, Court Says

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. This isn't the first time California has come down hard against GPS in cars.

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[Meta] New At AndroidPolice.com - Post Navigation With Keyboard Shortcuts [Updated: New Functionality]

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.

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