Whether you're headed out on a road trip or back into the office, knowing the best way to drive from one place to the next is essential to avoid headache-inducing obstacles. Waze is already one of the best alternatives to Google Maps, utilizing crowdsourced data to track speed traps and traffic jams. With a new update, the app wants to ensure drivers know what they'll face well before rubber hits the road.
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It's almost shocking the extent to which smartphones have replaced dedicated cameras in many of our lives. Between the advanced optics, next-level image processing, and being able to share pics with just a couple taps, who would ever dream about lugging around an old-fashioned point-and-shoot digicam? But for as far we've come, there's still a lot of appeal in larger, more flexible cameras, with their big sensors and interchangeable lenses. As it turns out, you can use your phone to bring a little bit of extra smarts to even a dumb DSLR, helping to modernize your Google Photos pics with GPS info.
Apple and Google are each slow-stepping their ways to giving their customers more privacy options up front when they want to interact with apps. For example, Android has been offering users the choice to give specific permissions like access to location data to an app for one time only, while the app is in use, or not at all. With Android 12, users get to control how accurate the location data they give is.
Most of our Winter recreation options are either restricted or entirely off limits due to the pandemic, but most of the ski lifts are staying open this year with only basic rules about social distancing and face covering while standing in lines. If you've ever wanted to keep track of your downhill antics, the Slopes app can take care of all the hard work and feed you all the information you might want. Already popular among iPhone users with a 4.8 rating on the App Store, Slopes has made its way to Android.
GPS has made it possible to always know where you are. Actually, scratch that—not always. GPS can be flaky in dense urban areas, but Google has a solution. The Live View AR feature from walking navigation is now available as an option to calibrate your location and orientation. The option is a bit hidden, though.
The Fitbit Charge 4 is among the better fitness trackers out there, but it's placed awkwardly between the Inspire HR and the Versa 2, overlapping with both in a lot of areas. The lines between the Versa series and the Charge are about to get even blurrier, as the latest firmware update (1.96.29) gives the fitness tracker Smart Wake, dynamic GPS, and a customizable display timeout.
Dual-band GPS — or, technically, dual-frequency GNSS — should be able to provide a better navigation experience by pulling additional data from navigation satellites. A number of Android devices have the hardware required to use this method, including the newly-announced Pixel 4. And according to Google, the feature is "coming soon."
The Galaxy S20 lineup comes with exceptional hardware and Samsung's familiar high-end design, but just like any tech product, they're not perfect. We were not too impressed by the ratio of the S20 Ultra's capabilities and its price, and now an issue has popped up that affects the whole S20 series: Some people report that they can't get a GPS lock in Google Maps and Waze on their brand-new phones.
The Garmin Speak Plus is an interesting multi-function device. It's a dash cam that also functions as a standalone GPS and takes Alexa commands. If any or all of those things speak to you, now's a great time to pick one up: BuyDig's got a coupon that'll get you a Speak Plus for $99.
Waze helps many commuters avoid traffic and report hazards to other users. Thanks to its community, the service is able to crowdsource a wide array of information, ranging from road conditions to gas prices. Waze is now leveraging its user base to provide more details to drivers, as it's starting to show toll prices along your route.