Google Maps keeps track of your daily timeline, and though its level of accuracy can feel a little too invasive, it's an excellent tool for tracking vacations, road trips, and any other travel. Timeline is getting a fresh coat of paint, along with a couple of new features to help you track your activity on an even deeper level.
While Google I/O gets a lot of attention for Android, Chrome, and Search, Google hasn't rested on its laurels for one of its most successful products: Maps. According to the I/O keynote presentation, over 100 improvements to the system are currently in the works, many of which are relying on new AI developments.
Google I/O day one is just about a wrap, and with it came an absolute tsunami of news. Android is getting its biggest design overhaul in half a decade. Wear OS is being completely pivoted — and merging with Samsung Tizen?! Android Automotive is headed to more cars, and as usual, Google announced a smorgasbord of app updates and changes to apps you use every day. We've got all the big news here, and there's a lot of it, so let's buckle down and get through this stuff!
In 2019 Google added Live View to Maps, a feature that uses AR to overlay directions onto the real world. Since then, Google has slowly improved it, and that continues today at I/O 2021, now allowing us to use it from the map itself.
Google has just announced a handful of new features for Maps at its I/O developer conference, including a new Safer routing feature that takes into account road, weather, and traffic conditions when picking out directions, plus support for more bike lanes (probably as part of its increased street-level details), and a new "area busyness" feature that builds upon the existing busyness indicators, expanding them out from individual locations onto the map itself.
Whether you're ready for it or not, a lot of people are planning to travel this summer for the first time in over a year. Even if you're taking a socially distanced vacation, it's essential to keep up with the latest local guidelines and restrictions for wherever you're headed. Google is getting prepared for the summer rush with some new trip-planning tools for its search results.
Tech companies frequently talk about new initiatives to reduce their impact on the environment, but it's unusually uncommon that those projects have help other people take part in doing the same. Google Maps is jumping in with a new set of tools that make it easier for people to find out where they can dispose of their used up materials so they can be recycled properly.
About two years ago, Google added sidebars to its web apps, enhancing its services with miniature versions of Calendar, Tasks, or Keep, and you can even integrate third-party applets. For the first time in ages, a web app has now received a new standard integration — you can now access an almost full-blown version of Maps right inside Google Calendar.
Until now, Google Maps and Waze (also owned by Google) were the only navigation apps to be fully supported on Android Auto — others were restricted to the phone interface. This is now changing as popular alternative Sygic becomes one of the first third-party navigation apps to have native support for Android Auto.
Yesterday Google highlighted several great new features coming to Maps, but the company left one little detail out of its announcement: The compass is back. The classic orienteering widget is back by popular demand, and it's about as reliable as ever.