Google has been pumping out significant updates pretty fast recently, likely as the finishing touches are put down on new features that will be cut loose in a couple of weeks during I/O. The latest update brings with it the 'At a glance' widget that debuted in the Pixel Launcher, making it available to many more devices and in different launchers. We've also got a few small topics to cover in a teardown.
Instagram's feed tab is probably the one in which users spend most of their time, since it's the one with pictures and videos from people and brands you actually chose to follow. The "Explore" tab, on the other hand, is meant to surface content from users you don't follow, either because it's content that's popular on Instagram or just because some algorithm decided you might like it. Honestly, it's so often littered with bad memes and overly-filtered photos that I avoid it for the most part. However, Instagram seems to be working on a redesign of the Explore tab that would seem to make it a little easier to browse, as first spotted by TechPP.
Snapchat's Snap Map, the heatmap overview of Snaps shared around the world, was introduced last summer, letting users get a better sense of where their friends were sharing from. However, unless you zoomed out and looked around for Snaps and Stories outside your area, you would likely miss out on content that hadn't been shared nearby. Today, Snap has introduced a feature called 'Explore' that will bring more prominence to content on the Snap Map, regardless of where it's shared from.
As a student, I have written a lot of papers. Considering that I still have a long way to go until my education is complete, research papers and essays are not going away any time soon. The best part about all of those is citing my sources, which can get tedious when some classes want MLA and others want APA (because who wants Chicago anymore?). Sure, there are citation machines that are immensely helpful, but what if you could just get what you need straight from the Google Docs web search? Well, El Goog has students covered.
Android users (or at least the ones who read this site) love a good beta, because it means that they get to check out all the new bells and whistles before anyone else. So it goes with the beta version of Google Maps. Multiple readers tell us they're seeing a new user interface when opening Google Maps' Explore menu, which is an alternate view for finding local businesses and attractions. The new look, which is heavy on Google Now-style cards, is above. Compare it to the current version (on the standard non-beta app) below.
Anyone who has to pore over data on a regular basis knows that it's a best practice to look at some graphs, run basic descriptive statistics, and just generally play around to make sure you aren't missing anything obvious and to assure yourself that there are no mistakes in data entry. This can get really repetitive and sometimes corners get cut. Google is trying to make it easier for you as they have automated the process in Sheets for Android and the web.
All you have to do in the Android app is tap "Explore" in the overflow menu. After that, you'll be presented with a series of charts with summary information to let you know what Google thought you would find interesting.
Recently, we posted about a new feature Google was testing to help users better "explore" their surroundings, offering more fine-tuned exploration options for a user's immediate vicinity or their destination, with suggestions of what to do in the area based on time of day or conditions. The interface would apparently get its own button in Google Maps' primary view, but the button only appeared for a few users at the time. Today, Google officially announced the feature, which is continuing to roll out to more users.
In an entry to the official Google Maps blog, Google explains that the app's suggestions will indeed change based on time of day or weather conditions, and of course allows users to plan ahead by exploring "nearby" in other areas or neighborhoods.
Have you ever wondered what it's like in the giant facilities where Google keeps all your data magically tucked away, ready at the tap of a screen? Well today, you can explore one such data center, street view style. An accompanying video will take you on a guided tour, showing you how the internet giant stores your data, keeps it cool, and destroys it when hard drives fail. Of course you can also walk around the building by yourself, and we certainly suggest you do, as there are plenty of easter eggs. Would you expect anything less from Google?
Mapsaurus, released today by a developer team of the same name, is perhaps the new app to end all new apps. By pairing an interactive map of Google's Play Store with an intuitive UX, Mapsaurus takes app discovery to a new level – not just of ease, but also of convenience.
The app, which promises to help users "discover apps you never would have known to search for," can branch out an interactive web of apps and games based on apps you already have installed, curated subcategories, or general categories and function sets.
What's great about Mapsaurus is that it not only helps you find new apps and games, but that the selections it displays are curated to ensure that no "mediocre" or sub-par entries are suggested.