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[Update: Rolling out] Google Maps to improve the Local Guides contribution process

If you're an avid Google Maps Local Guide, or even a beginner, you've probably noticed that the app helps you figure out what to review and which photos to upload. The Your contributions section has plenty of suggestions, but the interface is a little confusing. Pending ratings and reviews are on the main page, but suggested photo uploads are accessible from a separate banner, and there's no easy way to go back and add more info to what you've already submitted. Maps is working on improving all of this.

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Google app v8.22 beta adds new Sound Search widget, prepares auto-download for podcasts, Contributions page, Pixel Stand promotion, and more [APK Teardown]

Google is rolling out v8.22 of its self-titled app. You'll now find a new widget for Sound Search hidden away, and a teardown includes several topics related to auto-downloading podcasts, Google Assistant for Households, a page for your contributions, and an animation to promote the upcoming Pixel Stand.

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Google Maps v9.69 beta adds reviews and comments to lists, improves step-by-step transit notifications, prepares new location sharing option, and more [APK Teardown]

A new version of Google Maps hit the beta channel late Friday evening. At the same time, Google announced improvements to the step-by-step navigation features for moving through public transit. That announcement applies to v9.68 and above, but after poking around in 9.69, there are also a couple of new things to check out. You can now see your reviews on locations in your custom lists, and add comments to those places to add hints or recommendations. A teardown also provides some hints about upcoming features like a new option to share a location without having it track your movements.

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Local Guides can begin submitting videos to Google Maps

A teardown of Google Maps v.9.58 turned up some signs that video contributions would become a feature in the very near future. If you're registered as a Local Guide, that time has come. Or at least it's coming, this seems to have only just started rolling out to members of the program today. It doesn't seem as though the videos are actually visible from the detail views yet, but that will probably come soon enough.

A post on the Local Guides Connect forum details the basic process as it invites members to begin submitting footage. Videos can be shot from within Google Maps, but they are limited to a length of just 10 seconds.

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Google Maps v9.58 beta prepares to add crowdsourced Q&A sections and user-contributed videos [APK Teardown]

There's a new version of Google Maps making the rounds through the beta channel. So far, no major changes are showing up with regular usage of the app, but there is evidence of a couple really huge new features on the horizon. A teardown of the apk reveals that the Maps team is preparing to launch a Q&A section for places that would allow users to ask and answer questions for each other. Also on the schedule is the addition of video to the types of media users will be able to contribute. These are some pretty huge features, so let's get straight to it.

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Google Maps v9.43 beta adds a shortcut to contributions and changes a couple notification settings, prepares to offer recommendations from the menu and more [APK Teardown + Download]

There's an update for Google Maps v9.43 rolling out to beta testers. This one isn't loaded with changes, but there are a few things worth checking out in this release. There have been a couple of changes to the notification options in the Settings screen and a new home screen shortcut is now available. A deeper look through a teardown reveals plans to display recommended dishes from the menu. There is also some follow-up to an odd teardown topic from a few weeks ago.

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Google Maps v9.34 Beta adds features to keep maps pointed north, plans to give advice about parking difficulty, and may reveal the return of Launcher Shortcuts [APK Teardown + Download]

The Google Maps app is back again with a fresh update, and this one is certainly interesting. As far as live features go, there are some changes related to navigation that will help keep maps oriented north, even with accidental swipes. A teardown also shows that Google is planning to give advice about parking at different locations, and Local Guides can look forward to status indicators for edits. And finally, there's evidence suggesting the return of Launcher Shortcuts.

What's New

Unofficial Changelog:

  • New 'Keep map north up' setting
  • Accidental swipe protection for North-up mode in Navigation

Keep map north up

2016-08-03 05.06.172016-08-03 05.06.37

Left: previous version with tilt map toggle.

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Google Maps v9.27 Beta Adds More Notification Settings, A Mini-Splash Screen, And Possibly A Friendly Greeting [APK Teardown + Download]

Google Maps is now accepting beta testers through the Play Store, and it's probably no coincidence that there's already an update to v9.27 to go along with the news. The latest version doesn't appear to have any mind-blowing features, but it's not without a few changes to be found on the screen and buried in the apk. There are new notification settings, a new splash screen for Android Wear, and a few hints from a teardown. We're still looking around for more, so let us know if you stumble across any cool changes.

What's New

Unofficial Changelog: (stuff we found)

  • New Notification Settings: "Show pending contributions notification" and "Driving notifications"
  • Splash screen on Android Wear

More Notification Settings

2016-06-02 21.19.532016-06-02 21.20.10

Just a few days ago I commented on how the Notifications screen had grown quite a bit over the last few months, and with the brand new beta, two more settings join the list.

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Maps v9.23 Adopts Visually Distinct Navigation Notification, Automatically Downloads Offline Maps, And Much More [APK Teardown + Download]

Google is sending out all kinds of things today. First it was Nexus factory images, then an Android Auto update some users can actually care about, and now a pretty full bump to the Maps app. There are plenty of live features to look at in this one, but there is some teardown material, as well. There's no point in wasting words, let's get straight into it.

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Google Expands Local Guides Program With Point System And New Benefits

Google announced yesterday on their Lat Long Blog that the Local Guides program would be receiving one of the largest updates since its inception. Local Guides is a global community of people who love to contribute to Google Maps. These contributions come in the form of writing reviews, uploading photos, adding new places, answering questions, and fixing data about businesses. Millions of people around the world rely on information in Google Maps every day to navigate to their destination or choose where they want to eat dinner, so having more information at their disposal can only be a good thing. Becoming a Local Guide is as easy as visiting this sign-up page.

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