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.
When navigating via Google Maps, traffic lights are one of the biggest unknowns and something Google won't warn you about — I could sing a song or two about this as I once caused an accident due to a red light I oversaw at an unfamiliar, complicated crossroads (thankfully, no one got hurt). It looks like Google recognizes this potential hazard and wants to help people navigate unknown streets better, as the company is working on adding traffic lights information in Maps.
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Google Maps is far more than a tool we use just for finding our way around, and there's a huge discovery component to it as well — who hasn't scrolled around Maps looking for a new restaurant to try out? And while the standard overhead view is plenty useful, sometimes you want to really immerse yourself in a place with a first-person Street View experience. So far, though, navigating Maps in Street View has come at a price, as you wouldn't see those discoverable markers for businesses and points of interest. Now that's finally changing, as Google deploys an AR-style overlay that bring place markers to Street View.
Although Google Maps still doesn't have dark theme support, a workaround as been spotted that could give us a glimpse of what the feature will look like when it does arrive. Some searches in the Google app load their own stripped-down Maps view, and if you can get the app to work in dark theme on your phone, that Maps view is dressed up in a snazzy dark theme, too.
Google Maps has picked up a new location-sharing interface in the last week or so. Precipitated (we think) by an app update, the new interface updates the menu's Material aesthetic to be a bit more modern, with a snazzy new floating action button and more detailed information at a glance.
Have you ever realized you were driving on the leftmost lane while you needed to turn right? To avoid this embarrassing moment, most navigation systems feature a lane guidance system to show you which one to remain in. Surprisingly, Waze, which is one of the most popular ones around, wasn't able to do this until now. Thankfully, the app is testing out the feature in beta.
Google's apps and services are among the most-used in the world, so it's no wonder that people turn to the company when they want to find out more about the coronavirus pandemic. In order to suppress misinformation and help its users find trustworthy sources, Google took a lot of measures, including a COVID-19 website created in cooperation with the WHO and the CDC and many editorialized search results in all products. While it's pretty easy to spot all of this information yourself while you're using Google apps, we'd still like to give you a broad overview of some of the measures.
We've known for a long time that Google Hangouts was destined to shut down, but most of us couldn't have predicted individual features would be slowly picked from its not-quite-dead body. That seems to be the case with the location sharing function formerly found in Hangouts. As of v32, the convenient messaging feature has been quietly removed.
Many people take legal residences and their significance for granted, but in a lot of places around the world, some individuals don't have or use proper addresses. This makes it hard to access banking and emergency services, let alone receive mail. In a blog post dedicated to Google Maps' 15th birthday today, Google CEO Sundar Pichai has shared his vision on how these people may someday be able to use the company's open-source plus codes as an alternative.