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Google Maps has started showing a travel time graph for directions

Google is always adding something new to Maps, but not everyone gets the new stuff at the same time. Right now, it looks like Google has added a nifty travel time graph to directions so you'll know how much traffic there will be. This appears to be one of the rare instances where a new feature was quietly rolled out to all users in the space of a few weeks.

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Google Maps navigation is crashing on Android Auto for many - here's how to fix it [APK Download]

Google gets made fun of for treating its customers like beta testers quite often, and the latest situation the company has gotten itself into doesn't do that reputation any favors. In very close proximity with another Android Auto issue, users on the Android Auto User Community in Google's Product Forums are reporting that Google Maps is crashing when navigation is initiated.

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Mr. T's voice finally comes to Waze for directions and navigation

Users of Waze have a new voice option for navigation: Mr. T, known as B. A. on A-Team among other things, is bringing his iconic voice to the app. You can update your settings to get listening to several instances of the word "fool" along your commute.

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Google Maps will now remember your route preferences when searching for directions

Most of us rely on Google Maps to find directions when we don't know the way ourselves. Maps defaults to showing you the fastest route based on the data it has at its disposal. Although, maybe that's not the way you want to go. There's some good news if you always have to set preferences for routes like avoiding highways or tolls. Maps now remembers them.

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Invites are going out to the Waze Beta Community to begin testing on Android Auto

Android Auto doesn't boast new features all that often, which is part of the reason many people became excited when a roadmap including some of the most requested improvements was announced at last year's Google I/O event. One particular item, Waze integration, had fans of the navigation app ready to sing. However, the months wore on and news about the pairing dried up. That is until today. Members of the Waze Beta Community have been receiving emails asking if they would like to participate in testing out the new capabilities.

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[Pretty cool] ViewRanger lets you see and navigate your outdoor maps in Augmented Reality with Skyline

ViewRanger is popular among outdoorsy people for its hiking trails and off-road topographical maps from different sources and known publishers. The fact that you can track and create your own trails, navigate using an Android Wear watch, and keep all your maps offline for use when away from a signal is more than just one big plus. And now there's a new cool feature for ViewRanger users: Skyline.

Skyline is an augmented reality map layer inside the ViewRanger app. It transforms your camera view into a lively map, pointing out the peaks, cliffs, lakes, glaciers, towns, villages, mountain passes, and other known places as you pan around your environment.

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Google testing modified navigation interface in Maps

Something weird happened to me on Sunday. I was driving to my friend's house with Google Maps, but my navigation interface was screwed up. Only the big roads were showing, without any street or highway names, nor any other details. I was on 9.42.3 and in the beta channel so I just attributed it to that.

But today, after getting the new 9.42.3 Maps installed on the Pixel XL (note it's the same version number), and noticing it didn't fix it, I decided to delete app data. When trying again, I got a new interface:

screenshot_20161206-175756 screenshot_20161206-172856 screenshot_20161206-172901

Left: current interface, Center: new interface, Right: after expanding "more"

Tapping on the ETA bar will bring up a menu where another tap gets you search, alternate routes, directions, and a shortcut to navigation settings.

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[Update: Live on stable build] Latest Spotify beta brings back a redesigned bottom nav bar

I am certainly not the first to say it, but I do not like the bottom navigation bar thing. Perhaps because I have been trained to like the slide-out navigation in my years of using Android. Who knows. Regardless, it is a trend and we are seeing more apps toying with the idea. A few months ago, the Spotify beta app introduced this change. You had five tabs with which to navigate and that was that.

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Google is rolling out a ton of new navigation voice commands

Driving is serious business—you're in control of a rolling pile of metal and glass weighing thousands of pounds, and one moment of inattention can have very messy consequences. So, for goodness' sake, don't screw around with your phone while driving. Google Maps has voice commands while in navigation or driving mode to help you keep your hands off the phone, and today there are a lot more available.

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[Update: Android app too] Google Maps' speed limits start showing up while driving... on Android Auto

There are some missing features in Android and some of Google's apps that are simply incomprehensible. Speed limits are one of them. In countries where speed limits are enforceable by the law and mandatory to respect (ie not here in Lebanon), it's quite unfathomable to me that you would be using a routing and navigation app that didn't show you the speed limit of each road you were taking so you could drive safely and lawfully.

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