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Hands-on: Elegant bucket list app 'Soon' launches on Android

In a world that bombards us with things to do, it can be tough to stay on top of everything we think is worth checking out. Movies we want to see, music to listen to, books to read, restaurants to try, and places to go, there's just so much to do and almost no central way to keep track of all of this. You can use a simple list app, like Google Keep for example, but where's the fun in that? Now there's a new way to stay on top of your bucket list: Soon.

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Google Maps now lets you quickly, and mindlessly, rate places from a notification

There's a passionate love story between the Google Maps team and Android's notifications. Every few months, sometimes even weeks, a new type starts surfacing, and it's gotten to a point where the notifications settings in the Maps app no longer fit on one screen and require sub-categories. The latest isn't a new notification per se, but it's a change to an existing one: you can now directly rate a place from the notification drop-down.

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OnePlus Gallery v2 has a new 3-tab interface, adds map UI for geotagged photos

Even when a manufacturer strives for a stock-like experience, they'll still include a few OEM made apps, and that's the case for OnePlus as well. The OnePlus Gallery app might only be up to v1.2.1 on Google Play, but a build for v2 has been making the rounds, and it actually has some significant changes. Most notably a redesigned interface with tabs moved to the bottom and a new "places" section that shows where images were taken. 

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Google Maps now lets you create and share lists of places from your desktop or laptop

Google Maps has gotten a lot more social this year. Earlier in 2017, location sharing was enabled for the masses. Google also launched a feature allowing users to create and share lists of places. However, only Android and iOS users were able to set up these lists, and web-based Google Maps users were limited to just seeing them. That's changing now, as Google begins a phased rollout of the list creation and sharing feature for desktop-bound Maps users.

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Google Maps v9.45 beta brings redesigned arrival cards and timeline emails, prepares for sharing user-created lists [APK Teardown + Download]

Google Maps was recently promoted to v9.45 in the beta channel. This update includes a partially redesigned arrival card when users reach their destinations and introduces a feature where Google will send emails with highlights from your timeline. Turning to the teardown, it's clear that Google will soon allow users to share their custom lists with others. As usual, there's a download link at the bottom of the post, but since the v9.45.1 update came out shortly after the .0 release, both versions are linked.

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Google Maps v9.36.0 beta adds voice commands to avoid tolls, ferries, and highways, adds custom lists for saved places, and more [APK Teardown + Download]

A new Google Maps update is rolling out today. For most people, this version might not have a big impact quite yet, but it's introducing a new feature for some high-level members of the Local Guides program. Those that qualify will be able to create custom lists of saved places. For the rest of us, there's a new notification for local traffic and voice commands to avoid toll roads, highways, and ferries. There are also a few new things to check out in a teardown, including integration with another service, another tease about ordering food, and more.

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Google Has A New UI For Suggesting Place Attributes In Maps

Google appears to be rolling out a new UI for suggesting attributes of businesses and places in Google Maps on Android. The new UI would appear to possibly be a replacement for the card-flow suggestions UI that has been rolling out for a number of a months now, and is substantially more compact.

The new attribute suggestions UI is surfaced right in the summary section of the place card of a business, with bolded text guiding Maps users to provide information. The UI is a categorized list of large radio-style selection buttons which allow you to suggest attributes for a business like "Beer," "Healthy options," or "Good for kids."

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Latest Google App Offering Up New Notifications For Some Users

In case you aren't getting enough Google Now inside the normal interface, it looks like the Google app is bumping out into some users' notification trays with new, richer, higher priority notifications.

While it's hard to say when the rollout began, some users on version of the Google app (myself included) have begun noticing new notification settings in the Google app, toggling notifications for "substantial changes in weather condition," sports, places, and "stories and videos." Other users' settings lists still stop at "priority notifications."

Screenshot_2015-09-11-17-32-18 Screenshot_2015-09-11-20-36-11

So far we've only seen weather notifications - which offer temperature changes or other condition changes expected for the next day - and sports notifications in person.

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Google Officially Introduces New "Explore Nearby" Functionality For Maps

Recently, we posted about a new feature Google was testing to help users better "explore" their surroundings, offering more fine-tuned exploration options for a user's immediate vicinity or their destination, with suggestions of what to do in the area based on time of day or conditions. The interface would apparently get its own button in Google Maps' primary view, but the button only appeared for a few users at the time. Today, Google officially announced the feature, which is continuing to roll out to more users.

In an entry to the official Google Maps blog, Google explains that the app's suggestions will indeed change based on time of day or weather conditions, and of course allows users to plan ahead by exploring "nearby" in other areas or neighborhoods.

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Google Mobile Page Gets Updated, Adds Places, Improved Search Capabilities, And Instant Previews

Google held a press conference today where several new search features were unveiled, including some pretty nice improvements to the Google Mobile site. Among these features is the addition of Google Places on the main Google page, with quick links to areas of common interest at the bottom. Tapping any of the icons uses geolocation to provide results specific to the area that you're in.

Also announced were improved search capabilities in the browser and the ability to add additional details to Instant results by tapping the plus sign next to the suggestion that you wish to alter.

Instant Preview will now be incorporated into mobile search as well - by tapping the magnifying glass next to any result, you can scroll through images of the suggested pages, much like hovering over a link on the desktop search.

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