Google Maps update improves navigation functions, adds Driving Mode

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Google has started rolling out an update to the Google Maps app that includes some significant changes to the Navigation portion of the app. The app on mobile devices is getting updated to version 9.19, although some of the new features appear to require Google to flip a switch on your account on the server side of things. The headliner for this latest update is a new Driving Mode that has been added to the app. Read more

Nokia’s HERE Maps for Android gets route sharing feature

nokia_HERE_072215Nokia has introduced a new standout feature of its HERE Maps app on Android that should appeal to anyone who likes to take trips with their friends and family. Now if you’re using HERE Maps you’ll be able to quickly share your route with someone through text message, email, or any other app that supports Android’s share menu. That can also be pretty useful for giving directions to someone without having to type out a list of twist and turns in a Facebook message. Read more

Google adds path to send Google Maps directions from desktop to Android device

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Google seems to be working on a lot of small refinements to their apps lately to help make their use that much easier. A new update for Google Maps on the desktop works with the latest Google Maps update for Android devices to do that by easing the process of sharing directions you look up on the desktop to your Android device. Read more

Google Maps will let you know if a place will be closed by the time you arrive

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Showing up somewhere late is bad and showing up somewhere that is closed is even worse. You could have saved yourself a trip having known the hours. Now, Google Maps will help prevent any of that from happening. Google Maps will alert you when a place you are plan to head to will be closed by the time of your arrival.

In addition to this, Google Maps added car rental reservations to search results of personal events.

Hit the break for the changelog and download links.

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Google Maps getting offline search and navigation

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There are still downfalls when it comes to using your phone for navigation. The world is not blanketed with one giant internet connection. Some parts of the world have no access to an internet connection whatsoever. Also, navigating with a phone is heavy on data and battery life. At Google I/O 2015, an update to Maps debuted that combats those downfalls.

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VIDEO: First look at Android Auto (Android in the car) at Google I/O 2014

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Android for your car has been a long-rumored concept, and now it’s finally here in all its glory at Google I/O.

Dubbed Android Auto, it isn’t a fully embedded OS for your car, but a connection between your car’s interface and your device. Each system is personalized just for you, because all you have to do is plug in and go. For more information about the platform, click here.

Be sure to check out the rest of our Google I/O 2014 coverage as well. Read more

Garmin launches new premium navigation app called víago

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Garmin finally decided that its $30 StreetPilot app might be a little overpriced, and has just released a new app called víago. With víago, pricing starts at $1.99 ($.99 until July 13), but you can also add additional features through in-app purchases.

Let’s start with what you get for $1.99. You will get off-board maps for many regions around the world along with lane assist, weather information, in-map traffic display, photo-realistic junction views, and the current speed (with speed limits). Premium add-ons include downloadable maps (“Maps to Go”) for when you don’t have a data connection, real-time traffic, urban navigation with public transportation, 3D terrain view, and more. In app purchases range from $4.99 to $19.99.

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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

Hands on with the Garmin HUD+ at CES 2014

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At CES 2014, Garmin decided to announce its HUD+ device to make driving safer. Like the original HUD did, information is projected onto the driver’s windshield. The difference is on the software side. Before, the HUD only worked with select Garmin apps that users had to purchase from the Play Store. The HUD+, however, allows drivers to use its own companion app. The original HUD will stick around for $149 while the new HUD+ will retail for just $179. Not bad for people that want a heads-up display.

Hit the break to watch our hands on video. Read more