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Android P DP4 introduces new rotation toggle icon, gives it more prominent placement in gesture nav

The original Android P developer preview added a neat rotation toggle that let you lock the screen into portrait or landscape when auto-rotate was disabled. Google has played around with how to present this feature, and the new dev preview makes the biggest change yet. The button has been completely redesigned, and it shows up in a different location (sometimes).

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Android Auto less distracting than native infotainment systems, study finds

Research by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety has found that both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are less distracting than various infotainment systems built into 10 model year 2017 and 2018 vehicles. The study compared how much attention various tasks require on each platform and found Android Auto's attention demand to be moderate, whereas overall demand of native systems was found to be very high.

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Google Assistant coming to Maps this summer

Even though Google Assistant has been available for nearly two years now, it hasn't been added to the navigation mode on Google Maps. Tapping the microphone icon triggers the older voice search functionality - but that's finally changing. The company announced today that Assistant is finally coming to Maps.

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Google departure time notifications have stopped working for many users

Have you noticed something missing from your notification shade lately? According to an increasingly lengthy support thread on Google's product forums, those handy departure time notifications have mysteriously vanished. Some users have found a Chrome-based workaround, but the root cause remains unknown.

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Google Maps adds wheelchair-accessible routes to public transit navigation, starting with six major cities

Subways and buses may be convenient for most of us, but that's often a different story for individuals who can't get around as easily due to mobility needs. In an attempt to make public transit more accessible for that portion of the population, Google is introducing new "wheelchair accessible" routes in Maps' transit navigation, starting with six major cities.

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Google rolled out the Maps traffic layer to 10 more countries

You might take for granted that you can just open Google Maps and see what traffic is like, but that feature isn't available everywhere. There are still numerous countries that don't have live traffic, but today ten more of them do. Google has updated its support docs to call out the newly added markets, but not all of them will get the same features.

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LG partners with former Nokia property HERE for autonomous vehicle information systems

LG Electronics announced a partnership today with HERE Technologies to create a new platform for self-driving cars' navigation systems and onboard sensors. The two companies plan to offer a "next-generation telematics solution for autonomous vehicles," combining the considerable digital mapping and navigation expertise of HERE with LG's communications technologies.

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Spotify is testing a new three-tab interface, simpler list layouts, and other visual changes

Spotify's been doing incremental tweaks to its Android UI for a long time. Since I've been working here at AP, it seems like we get at least a tip or two a month related to one minor change or another. That means the company's server-side A/B changes are pretty well known to us as a result of our position in the grapevine. Recently we've been getting reports of a UI test that includes a new consolidated three-tab navigation, simpler list views, larger interface elements, and the return of an old UI test. 

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Microsoft OneDrive introduces improved navigation in the latest beta release [APK Download]

If you're looking for a decent alternative to Google Drive for cloud storage, you could do a lot worse than Microsoft's OneDrive. Most of us have an old Hotmail account knocking around somewhere anyway, so it's easy to set up and get 5GB free storage. The developers seem to pay attention to it, too, and they've just released a bit of a redesign on the beta channel for users to give feedback on.

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Google Maps v9.60 brings usable Picture-in-Picture mode, prepares for adding personal notes to locations, food reviews, and more [APK Teardown + Download]

Friday saw the launch of video submissions by Local Guides, some of which are already popping up. But that wasn't the only thing to come with the v9.60 update, the Picture-in-Picture mode added in the last update has been fixed and now offers a useful window into your trip while you're using other apps. There are also several new topics for a teardown, including personal notes for locations, food reviews with photo submissions, and much more.

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