Google Maps lane guidance reaches 15 new European countries

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Google’s beloved Maps service recently had its 10-year birthday. It’s been a long road, if you pardon the pun, and it’s amazing to see how far this intrepid project has gone.

But Google definitely isn’t sitting back yet. Starting immediately, the new lane guidance feature in Maps will now be delivering instructions to drivers in 15 new European countries. The feature has been available to certain markets, like the United States, Canada, Ireland, and the United Kingdom to name a few, since last year.

If you’re a resident of one of these new locations and are running at least Maps 8.0, you should be noticing lane guidance as of now. Read more

Google Street View goes for a camel ride

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Google has released a new video highlighting their most recent “experiment” with their Google Maps product. For this latest attempt to bring some fun to Maps users, Google strapped a Street View camera on the back of a camel and set it off wandering through the Liwa Desert in the United Arab Emirates. The location is about 150 km (93 miles) south west of Abu Dhabi near the Persian Gulf coast. Read more

[APK Download] Google Maps now has richer biking navigation and voice input

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A Google Maps update is rolling out now (to version 8.2). Firstly, it brings a much better experience to bikers that use Maps. When designing a route for biking, Maps will now show much information such as altitude. This will be very helpful for bikers that are serious bikers. the other part of this update is in the form of new voice input while navigating. Just hit the microphone on the display and voice input is ready to go with whatever you throw at it.

The update is unsurprisingly moving at a slow pace, but we have the APK file ready for you.Hit the break for download links.

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Google creates Smarty Pins, a cool trivia game involving Maps

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That’s not Smarty Pants, it’s Smarty Pins because it involves Google Maps. It’s a trivia game created by Google that isn’t as simple as just knowing the answer. Each question will be about a particular location, and you will have to move the pin to the right location within Google Maps.

The game features six categories: Featured Topics, Arts & Culture, Science & Geography, Sports & Games, Entertainment, and History & Current Events. You will find various topics within each of these categories.

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US Transportation Department investigating ways of regulating navigation apps on your smartphone

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One of the greatest features of a modern smartphone is its ability to completely replace your GPS. There are tons of navigation apps, from Google Maps for your location searching and turn-by-turn directions, to Waze for crowd-sourced road data, to apps like Foursquare that help you find interesting places in your area. The apps are fantastic, but there’s always a risk of distracted driving (and accidents) if a user plays with the app instead of paying attention to the road. Because of those accidents, the US Transportation Department may be looking into ways to impose stricter rules on the use of those apps. Read more

For non-stop World Cup coverage, Google’s got your back

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Google has become better and better at providing contextual cards at the top of search results based on queries made by users. If you don’t know what I mean, just search “What’s the weather?” and you’ll find a nice-looking card with the current temperature, precipitation, humidity levels, wind speed as well as the week’s forecast.

Similar cards appear for various queries, including sports data.

Now, Google has added some really great looking cards for World Cup information, including team lineups before matches, schedules/brackets, standings, stats, and even a timeline of plays from the game. Just search “World Cup” or “World Cup USA” and you’ll see what I mean.

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Google Maps Android update brings elevation levels for bikers and hikers

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Last week, Google brought elevation levels to the desktop version of Maps. Of course, it would make the most sense to have something like this on your phone, and that is exactly what Google did. The Maps app for Android was updated to 8.1 bringing this feature, so if you are a biker or a hiker, you will now be able to see exactly how hard you will need to work to get to where you’re going.

As usual, this update is rolling in stages, but we have the APK download for you after the break, as well as the old fashioned Play Store links.

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