It's crazy to think that before smartphones were a thing we had to rely on actual physical maps or our own sense of direction to get around on foot, or our satnavs in our cars. We probably take for granted quite how amazing it is that we can whack an address into Google Maps and it'll plot the ideal route from our current location. This is only possible because of the GPS capabilities of our smartphones, and it's set to get even more accurate in the next generation of smartphones. Read More
We are all familiar with GPS. It has been guiding us to our destinations for years. But what happens when you arrive and you need to find a specific store in the mall or a specific item in a grocery store? Google will have you covered with a new technology it announced today called "Visual Positioning Service" or VPS. This technology builds on the idea of augmented reality tightly coupled with real world information. It will look for distinct visual features in your environment to create a map of the location using only the camera on your phone. Read More
Google really wants the snapshots you take to have as much contextual information associated with them as possible. So much, in fact, the the Google Photos app can dip into your phone's location history (not just the GPS or other location data supplied by the camera app at the time of the shot) to tag it. At least one Android Police reader noticed that some of his photos had been amended with location data, despite the fact that he says he never turned the Save Location option on in the camera app. Read More
GPS Status & Toolbox is a very popular app with tens of millions of downloads. It's a useful way to test your device's GPS functionality, but it's also ugly. The app was just updated to v6.0, and the changelog says it includes material design, but it's not very material at all. Luckily, there are some other things in this release too.
A late afternoon update to the Play Store just hit the scene. While we've only witnessed a single new dialog box in the live app, there are plenty of things standing out from a teardown. Preparation for Android 6.0 is clearly a big part of this release as signs pop up for support of the new optional permission model and fingerprint readers. There is also an uninstall manager in the works for those times when you've run out of space. We can also look forward to a new interface for requesting refunds and an option to get very precise recommendations based on location. Read More