My Google Map Blog

Tag: android

5 of our favorite Android widget features

by Luke Wroblewski on Jun.16, 2022, under 3D Models, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, California, Denmark, England, Germany, Google Earth News, Google Earth Tips, Google Sky, Google maps, Hawaii, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Mexico, Natural Landmarks, Netherlands, Sightseeing, Street Views, USA

Widgets are a simple way to personalize any Home screen, putting the information that’s most important to you — your inbox, the weather, your to-do list or even a photo of your dog — front and center.

With the upcoming launch of the nearby traffic widget for Google Maps (more on that soon), 35 Google widgets will be available on Android. To celebrate, we’re spotlighting five of our favorite widget features to help everyone better organize and personalize their Home screens.

Check local traffic with a tap

Whether you’re commuting or heading out to meet friends, Google Maps’ real-time traffic predictions can help you easily plan your route. And with the new nearby traffic widget, launching in the coming weeks, you’ll see this information for your current location right from your Android Home screen. So if you're about to leave home, work, school or anywhere else, you’ll know at a glance exactly what local traffic might be like. And because Android widgets are tappable, you can zoom in and out without opening the Maps app.

Dark green Android wallpaper showing a bamboo palm with the Google nearby traffic widget laid over the top. The widget shows a local map of traffic levels and zooms in and out.

Tap to instantly archive emails

The Gmail widget is a simple way to keep your inbox organized. Just tap to archive an email when it hits your inbox, without having to open the Gmail app.

An Android background with light purple orchids. In the foreground, the Gmail widget animates through the archive feature. An email arrives in the inbox, the archive button is tapped and the email disappears.

Scroll through your to-do list

Lots of you love the scrollable to-do list in the Keep widget. It’s an easy way to keep track of your tasks for the day, and there’s nothing quite as satisfying as crossing them off when you’re done — except maybe scrolling back up to see everything you accomplished.

A light peach-colored pastel background, with the Google Keep widget in the foreground. The widget scrolls through a list of items to pack for vacation.

Skim through your favorite translations

The Google Translate widget’s scrolling feature can help you stay organized, too. If you need to keep certain phrases handy while you’re traveling or speaking with friends and family, you can set them up to always appear on your Home Screen. Just star your favorite translations in the app and you’ll see them right on the widget.

Light orange Android wallpaper of a flower stamen. In the foreground a user scrolls through the Google translate widget, with selected saved translations to use.

Resize widgets to fit your needs

Android widgets are easy to resize and even change shape to help you declutter your Home screen — while keeping helpful features intact. For example, if you make the Drive widget smaller, it’ll turn into a toolbar so you can still quickly search for your files.

Light green Android wallpaper showing a green flower. In the foreground, an animation of different Google Drive widgets resizes.
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CES 2022: Making the most of your drive with Google

by Mickey Kataria on Jan.06, 2022, under 3D Models, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, California, Denmark, England, Germany, Google Earth News, Google Earth Tips, Google Sky, Google maps, Hawaii, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Mexico, Natural Landmarks, Netherlands, Sightseeing, Street Views, USA

Editor's note: Google planned to attend CES 2022 but pulled out of having an in-person presence due to concerns over COVID-19.

Google’s vision of helpfulness on the road is to provide a safe and seamless connected experience. Today, we’re introducing several updates for cars compatible with Android Auto and cars with Google built-in.

Your Android phone as your car key

With digital car key, you can now use select Samsung Galaxy or Google Pixel phones to lock, unlock and start supported BMW vehicles from your phone. Starting later this year, phones with Ultra Wideband (UWB) technology will allow you to unlock your compatible car without taking your phone out at all, and key sharing will allow you to securely and remotely share your digital car key to trusted friends and family. We’re working to bring these features to even more Android phones and vehicles later this year.

Gif of a phone being placed on a car door handle to unlock it.

Unlock your car with your mobile phone and a simple tap.

A more helpful drive with Android Auto

Now available on nearly 150 million cars around the world, Android Auto brings the best of Google onto your car display via your Android phone. Most of the world's top car brands are bringing wireless Android Auto to their newest models, meaning you never need a cord to connect. And with just one tap, Fast Pair makes it easier than ever to connect your phone and wireless Android Auto. It’s available today on select BMW and Ford cars, with more to come. Also, with new accessories like the Motorola MA1 wireless adapter, you can now enjoy the wireless Android Auto experience even if your car doesn't have wireless support built-in. Connected via USB, the adapter stays in your car and wirelessly projects Android Auto from your phone to your car display as soon as you step inside.

You can already enjoy thousands of media, messaging, navigation, parking and charging apps that support Android Auto. And this summer, we’re bringing you more. We’re partnering with Lyft and Kakao Mobility to integrate their driver apps into Android Auto, so drivers will be able to view and accept rides right from their car display. And with access to points of interest apps like MochiMochi, Fuelio and Prezzi Benzina, you can explore more of the world, find and pay for all types of car services, and track your mileage and costs.

Image of car dash with Lyft app driver interface shown on car display.

Lyft Driver app for rideshare drivers will be projected onto their car display (UI for illustration purposes only and may not reflect final product).

New capabilities for cars with Google built-in

Car manufacturers like Polestar, Volvo Cars, and General Motors - with more to come - are already shipping select cars with Google technology built right into their infotainment systems, allowing you to get more use out of helpful features.

With Google Play built-in, you can soon download navigation apps like Sygic and Flitsmeister, charging apps like ChargePoint and PlugShare, parking apps like SpotHero and ParkWhiz and points of interest apps. In fact, later this year, you will be able to access video entertainment in the car while parked, starting with Volvo Cars with content from providers like YouTube. Suddenly, waiting for curbside pickup or for your car to charge isn't so boring anymore.

Image of car dashboard with Youtube video "Google Year in Search 202"  playing.

Enjoy watching YouTube while parked on select Volvo Cars with Google built-in.

This deeper integration allows you to get help from Google beyond the car display. Coming this spring to Volvo Cars, you’ll be able to check on and adjust even more car settings by asking Google. From activating features like lane keeping assist to checking when your next service is due, your voice can replace looking around for the right button or scrolling through settings.

Smart home, meet smart car

With remote actions, you will soon be able to ask Google for help even before leaving the front door. Ask Google to warm up or cool down your car, lock and unlock it and check on the status of things like your battery charge, all from the comfort of your own home with the help of any Google Assistant-enabled device. This is coming first to select Volvo Cars, with more to follow.

Whether you’re getting ready for a drive or already on the road, we’re working hard to make sure Google helps make every ride a safe, smart and seamless experience.

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Upgrade your drive with Google as your copilot

by Jack Krawczyk on Sep.24, 2021, under 3D Models, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, California, Denmark, England, Germany, Google Earth News, Google Earth Tips, Google Sky, Google maps, Hawaii, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Mexico, Natural Landmarks, Netherlands, Sightseeing, Street Views, USA

Do you drive with your phone clipped to your air vent? Or does your car have the latest built-in infotainment system? No matter what kind of car you own, Google is ready to make your drive better.  We’re bringing updates to Google Assistant driving mode, Android Auto and cars with Google built-in (welcome Honda!) to help every driver find their way around, stay entertained, and keep in touch.


Google Assistant driving mode on Android phones gets a new dashboard

Millions of people in more than 12 countries use Google Assistant driving mode every day, by offering  voice-activated help via your Android phone in older cars. We originally launched it for active navigation in Google Maps, helping drivers manage tasks, like answering a call or responding to text messages with minimal distraction. 

Thanks to early feedback, we heard how important it is to have your go-to apps handy for your drive, even when you don’t need turn-by-turn navigation. So coming soon, you’ll be able to say “Hey Google, let’s drive” (or connect your phone to your car’s Bluetooth) to open the new driving mode dashboard, reducing the need to fiddle with your phone while also making sure you stay focused on the road. With glanceable, tappable cards, the basics you’ll need for the road are available with a single tap — no scrolling required: Start your navigation, see who called or texted recently and quickly resume media from Amazon Music, Audible, iHeartRadio, JioSaavn, Pandora, Podcast Addict, SoundCloud, Spotify, YouTube Music and more providers. Plus, there’s a new messaging update: Just say “​​Hey Google, turn on auto read” to hear new messages read aloud as they come in and to respond by voice.

Driving mode will be the primary experience for Android phones going forward and will fully roll out in the next few weeks for Android phones in English (U.S., Australia, Canada, Ireland, India, Singapore and U.K.), German, Spanish (Spain, Mexico), French and Italian.

Image of the new Google Assistant driving mode dashboard which features easy to see, tappable cards to find media, navigate and call / text..

Improvements coming to Android Auto on car displays

We’re also launching new features for the more than 100 million cars compatible with Android Auto — bringing help from Google onto your car display via your Android phone. 

You’ll now see music, news and podcast recommendations from Google Assistant, and be able to set which app launches whenever Android Auto starts. You’ll even be able to enjoy games from GameSnacks right from the car’s display while you’re parked, waiting for a to-go order or charging your vehicle. 

If you’re a dual-SIM Android phone user, you can now choose which SIM card to use when making calls through Android Auto. And great news for commuters: ​​Android Auto will support your “Work profile,” which lets you see upcoming work meetings and messages on your car’s display. 

When it’s time to fill up at the gas station, you can now put away your credit card or cash and say, “Hey Google, pay for gas” on Android Auto or from your Android phone. Select your pump number and  complete contactless payment with Google Pay. This will be available at over 32,500 gas stations across the U.S. starting with Exxon and Mobil, Conoco, Phillips 66 and 76 stations. 


The best of Google apps and services built-in to more cars

In the coming years, millions of cars will have Google fully built-in to their infotainment systems, so you can get around with Google Maps, use Google Assistant to turn on the A/C, download your favorite apps on Google Play and much more, even without a smartphone.

Image of Honda's brand logo

We’re excited to share that our newest partner, Honda, will be launching future models with Google built-in starting in 2022. In addition to Honda, this experience will be available on cars from top brands including Ford, General Motors, Polestar, Renault and Volvo Cars. Today, you can test drive or purchase cars with Google built-in —  like the Polestar 2 and Volvo XC40 Recharge — and it’s coming to many more cars soon, like the new Chevrolet Silverado and Renault Mégane E-TECH Electric.

Image of a user asking Google to help find the nearest charging station from a car with Google -built in

If you drive an electric vehicle with Google built in, we make it easy to find charging stations and minimize charging time with Google Maps. Just say, “Hey Google, find me a charging station” to instantly see nearby stations compatible with your car, payment type and speed preferences, along with real-time information about whether or not a charger is available. And with new support for thermal battery management, Google Maps saves you precious time by helping your car’s battery heat up or cool down before you charge, reducing the amount of time you need to spend at a charger. 

No matter what car you drive, we’re working hard to make sure you have the help you need from Google to get things done while keeping your hands on the wheel and eyes on the road. 


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16 updates from Google I/O that’ll make your life easier

by Keyword Team on May.21, 2021, under 3D Models, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, California, Denmark, England, Germany, Google Earth News, Google Earth Tips, Google Sky, Google maps, Hawaii, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Mexico, Natural Landmarks, Netherlands, Sightseeing, Street Views, USA

Part of our mission is to help make your daily life easier. At I/O this year, we shared news about a wide range of products and services that’ll do just that, from starting your car with your phone to searching your screenshots using Google Lens. Here are just a few of the features you should keep an eye out for. 

Quickly view your notifications, invoke Google Assistant on Android.

Android 12 includes the biggest design change since 2014. We rethought the entire experience, from the colors to the shapes, light and motion, and made it easier to access some of the most used features:

  • To invoke Google Assistant wherever you are, long press the power button.
  • Swipe down to view your new notification shade, an at-a-glance view of all your app notifications in one place.
  • And to make it easier to access everything you need, Google Pay and Device Controls have been added to your customizable quick settings.

Learn about all the big changes in Android 12.

Manage your privacy settings more easily on Android.

On top of the new design changes, we’ve also launched a new Privacy Dashboard, giving you easy access to your permissions settings, visibility into what data is being accessed and the ability to revoke permissions on the spot. You also have new indicators that let you know when apps are using your microphone and camera, as well as a way to quickly shut off that access. And we’ve added new microphone and camera toggles into quick settings so you can easily remove app access to these sensors for the entire system. Learn about new privacy controls in Android 12.

Change the channel with your phone.

Lost your TV remote? Don’t sweat it — we’re building remote-control features directly into your Android phone. Another bonus: If you need to enter a long password to log into one of your many streaming services subscriptions, you can save time and use your phone’s keyboard to enter the text. This built-in remote control will be compatible with devices powered by Android TV OS, including Google TV, and it’ll roll out later this year. Learn more about how we’re helping your devices work better together.

GIF of a user typing a password onto a phone and that password appearing on a TV screen

Use your phone to enter your password for your streaming services.

And unlock your car with your phone while you’re at it.

We’re working with car manufacturers to develop a new digital car key in Android 12. This feature will enable you to use your phone to lock, unlock and even start your car — and in some cases you won’t even need to take it out of your pocket. And because it’s digital, you’ll also be able to securely and remotely share your car key with friends and family if needed. Read more about Android Auto.

Understand more about your Search results.

When you’re looking up information online, it’s important to check  how credible a source is, especially if you aren’t familiar with the website. Our About This Result feature in Google Search provides details about a website before you visit it, including its description, when it was first indexed and whether your connection to the site is secure. This month, we’ll start rolling out About This Result to all English results worldwide, with more languages to come. And later this year, we’re going to add even more helpful contextual details — like how the site describes itself, what other sources are saying about it and related articles to check out.

Change your password using Chrome and Assistant.

Chrome on Android will help you change your passwords with a simple click. On supported sites, whenever you check your passwords and Chrome finds a password that may have been compromised,  you will see a "Change password" button from Assistant.  Powered by Duplex on the Web, Assistant will not only navigate to the site, but actually go through the entire process of changing your password for you.  This feature is already available for purchasing movie tickets, ordering food, and checking into flights.  

Use Google Lens to translate your homework into a language you’re more comfortable with.

Google Lens enables you to search what you see — from your camera, your photos and even your search bar. For a lot of students, their schoolwork might be in a language they’re not as comfortable with. That’s why we’re updating the Translate filter in Lens, making it easy to copy, listen to or search translated text in over 100 languages. Learn more about how information comes to life with Lens and AR.

And search your screenshots with Google Lens.

Lots of people take screenshots of things they’re interested in buying — but it can be hard to follow up on those screenshots afterward. Now when you look at any screenshot in Google Photos, we’ll prompt you to search the photo with Lens. This will help you find that pair of shoes or wallpaper pattern that you liked so much. 

A GIF demonstrating using Google Lens to search a screen shot of a basketball player, returning results for his shoes

Search your screenshots using Google Lens.

When shopping online, keep track of your open carts when you open a new tab.

Raise your hand if this has ever happened to you: You’ve got a browser open to do some online shopping, but then you get distracted and open up two, three, or 10 other windows — and you forget what you were online to do in the first place. We’re introducing a new feature in Chrome that shows you your open carts when you open a new tab. No more lost shopping carts here.

And get the best value for products you’re buying online.

Coming soon, we’ll let you link your favorite loyalty programs from merchants like Sephora to your Google account to show you the best purchase options across Google. Learn more about all our latest shopping updates.

Explore unfamiliar neighborhoods with more detailed views in Maps.

If you’re traveling by foot, augmented reality in Live View will show you helpful details about the shops and restaurants around you – including how busy they are, and recent reviews and photos. And if you’re traveling, Live View will tell you where you are relative to your hotel – so you can always find your way back. 

Avoid the crowds with area busyness.

Maps already shows the busyness of specific places — in fact, more than 80 million people use the live busyness information on Google every day. Now we’re expanding that functionality to show the busyness of an entire area, allowing you to see just how bustling a neighborhood or part of town is at any given moment. This means that if you want to keep things low-key, you can use Maps to see the hotspots to avoid. And if you’re looking for the most popular places to visit, you can use area busyness to scope out the liveliest neighborhoods at a glance.

See breakfast spots in the morning and dinner joints at night. 

We’re updating Maps to show you more relevant information based on what time of day it is and whether you’re traveling. That means we’ll show you things like coffee shops in the morning, when you need that caffeine fix, and burger joints at night, when you’re hungry for dinner. And if you’re on a weekend getaway, we’ll make tourist attractions and local landmarks easier to spot. Learn more about our latest updates to Maps

Discover unexpected Memories in Photos.

Starting later this summer, when we find a set of three or more photos with similarities like shape or color, we'll highlight these little patterns for you in your Memories. For example, Photos might surface a pattern of your family hanging out on the same couch over the years — something you wouldn’t have ever thought to search for, but that tells a deeply meaningful story about your daily life. Learn more about Little patterns in Photos.

Bring your pictures to life with Cinematic moments.

When you’re trying to get the perfect photo, you usually take the same shot two or three (or twenty) times. Using neural networks, we can take two nearly identical images and fill in the gaps by creating new frames in between. This creates vivid, moving images called Cinematic moments. Producing this effect from scratch would take professional animators hours, but with machine learning we can automatically generate these moments and bring them to your Recent Highlights. Learn more about Cinematic moments.

A GIF showing two similar pictures of a child and his baby sibling being converted into a moving image.

Cinematic moments will bring your photos to life.

Transform how you work with smart canvas in Google Workspace. 

As part of our mission to build the future of work, we’re launching smart canvas, a bunch of exciting updates across Docs, Sheets and Meet. New features include interactive building blocks—smart chips, templates, and checklists—as well as a new pageless format in Docs and emoji reactions. We're also bringing Meet closer to Docs, Sheets and Slides, and much more. See all of the big updates to Google Workspace.

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Your Android is now even safer — and 5 other new features

by Hideaki Oshima on Feb.24, 2021, under 3D Models, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, California, Denmark, England, Germany, Google Earth News, Google Earth Tips, Google Sky, Google maps, Hawaii, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Mexico, Natural Landmarks, Netherlands, Sightseeing, Street Views, USA

It wasn't all that long ago that we introduced Android users to features like Emoji Kitchen and auto-narrated audiobooks. But we like to stay busy, so today we're highlighting six of the latest Google updates that will make Android phones more secure and convenient — for everyone.

1. Keep your accounts safe with Password Checkup on Android

Password Checkup notification screen

Password Checkup notification screen

On Android, you can save passwords to your Google account, making it quicker and easier to sign into your apps and services using Autofill. Your login credentials are one of your first lines of defense against intruders, so we’ve integrated Password Checkup into devices running Android 9 and above. This feature lets you know if the password you used has been previously exposed and what to do about it.


Now when you enter a password into an app on your phone using Autofill with Google, we’ll check those credentials against a list of known compromised passwords — that is, passwords that have potentially already been stolen and posted on the web. If your credentials show up on one of these lists, we’ll alert you and guide you to check your password and change it. 


Learn more on our support page about changing unsafe passwords. And you can find additional information about how this product works in this blog post.


We’re passionate about building defense into every detail on Android, from downloading apps to browsing the web to choosing where and when you share your data. Learn more about how Android keeps you safe.

2. Use schedule send in Messages to write a text now and send it later

Schedule a text to send it at your chosen date and time

Click on the image above to learn how to schedule a text to send at your chosen date and time

Over half a billion people across the world use Messages to seamlessly and safely connect with family, friends and others every month. To continue  improving the way you communicate and help you stay in touch, we’re starting to roll out schedule send in Messages for phones running Android 7 and newer. 


Having loved ones in another time zone or on a different schedule can sometimes make it difficult to send a text at an appropriate time. With schedule send, you can compose a message ahead of time when it’s convenient for you, and schedule it to send at the right moment. Just write your message as you normally would, then hold and press the send button to select a date and time to deliver your message. Download Messages or update to the latest version to schedule your next text.

3. No need to look at your screen, with TalkBack

Start and stop media with Talkback gestures

Click on the image above to see how to start and stop media with Talkback gestures 

For those who are blind or have trouble seeing the display, the new version of TalkBack, Android’s screen reader, is now available. Using spoken feedback and gestures, TalkBack makes Android even more accessible and opens up a full phone experience without needing to look at your screen. We worked closely with the blind and low vision communities on this revamp of TalkBack to incorporate the most popularly requested features including: more intuitive gestures, a unified menu, a new reading control menu and more. Get TalkBack today by downloading or updating your Android accessibility apps in the Google Play Store.

4. Get more done hands-free with Google Assistant

Use Google Assistant to send a text, even when your phone is locked

Use Google Assistant to send a text, even when your phone is locked

We want to give you more ways to use your phone hands-free — so you can do things like use your voice to make calls, set timers or alarms and play music. Now, the latest updates to Google Assistant make it easier to get things done on your phone without needing to be right next to it.


Assistant now works better even when your phone is locked or across the room with new cards that can be read with just a glance. Just say “Hey Google, set an alarm” or “Hey Google, play pop music on Spotify.” To get the most out of Assistant when your phone is locked, simply turn on Lock Screen Personal Results in Assistant setting and say “Hey Google '' to send text messages and make calls.

5. Come to the dark side with dark theme in Google Maps 

San Francisco on Google Maps dark theme

San Francisco on Google Maps dark theme

These days, we’re all experiencing a bit of screen fatigue. With dark theme in Google Maps soon expanding to all Android users globally, you can give your eyes a much-needed break and save on battery life. Simply head to your Settings, tap on Theme and then on “Always in Dark Theme” to lower the lights when you’re navigating, exploring, or getting things done with Maps. Change your mind? Just tap on “Always in Light Theme” to switch it back.

6. A better drive with Android Auto

Stay entertained with voice-activated games on your display with Android Auto

Stay entertained with voice-activated games on your display with Android Auto

Android Auto’s new features help you enjoy the drive more. With custom wallpapers, you can now select from a variety of car-inspired backgrounds to personalize your car display. For longer drives, you and your passengers can stay entertained with voice-activated games like trivia and “Jeopardy!” Just say, “Hey Google, play a game” to get started. 


We’ve also launched shortcuts on the launch screen. These provide convenient access to your contacts and even allow you to use Assistant to complete tasks like checking the weather or remotely adjusting the thermostat by simply tapping on the icon on your car display, just as you would on your phone. For cars with wider screens, you can do more with a split-screen that features a real-time view of Google Maps and media controls. And if you have family and friends coming along for the ride, you can now set a privacy screen to control when Android Auto appears on your car display. 


These Android Auto features will be available in the coming days on phones running Android 6.0 or above, and when connected to your compatible car.

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6 new ways Android can help this holiday season

by Ajay Gokhale on Dec.04, 2020, under 3D Models, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, California, Denmark, England, Germany, Google Earth News, Google Earth Tips, Google Sky, Google maps, Hawaii, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Mexico, Natural Landmarks, Netherlands, Sightseeing, Street Views, USA


With the holidays around the corner, we’re sharing six new Google features for Android—a few more ways your phone gets more helpful over time, even outside of major OS updates. Whether you’re texting holiday greetings to loved ones or winding down with a book, here’s how Android can help.


1. Mix up more of your favorite emoji

Emoji Kitchen gets new stickers and mixing experiences

Click on the image above to see a video of the latest mixing experience coming to Emoji Kitchen 

With Emoji Kitchen on Gboard, people have mixed their favorite emoji into customized stickers over 3 billion times since it was released earlier this year. With this latest update, Emoji Kitchen is going from hundreds of unique design combinations to over 14,000. Each mix makes it easier for you to express yourself with a little extra flair. Now you can simply tap two emoji to quickly see suggested combinations, or double tap on one emoji to reveal some more intense emotions. 

Already available on Gboard beta, the new version of Emoji Kitchen will be available on Android 6.0 and above over the coming weeks. Download Gboard on Google Play to enjoy the new emoji kitchen stickers this holiday season. ❄️️⛄️

2. Enjoy more stories as audiobooks

Auto-narrated audiobooks give voices to more ebooks

Click on the image above to see a video of how Google Play is bringing more audiobooks to Android

The holiday season is the perfect time to wind down and catch up on some books, and audiobooks make it even more convenient to immerse yourself in a story. But not all books, like the one written by your favorite indie author, are converted into an audiobook. Now Google Play, working with publishers in the U.S. and the UK, will use auto-generated narrators so books without audio versions can be narrated—meaning you’ll have more audio titles to choose from on Play Store. The publisher tool to create auto-narrated audiobooks is currently in beta, but it will roll out to all publishers in early 2021.

3. Use Voice Access to navigate your device 

Easily use and navigate your phone by speaking out loud with Voice Access

Click on the image above to see a video showing how Voice Access can help you navigate your smartphone

Built with people with motor disabilities in mind, Voice Access lets you control your phone using your voice. Now using machine learning technology, you can add labels to the screens of your Android apps to help you work within them with your voice. For example, you can say “open Photos”, “tap Search”, “tap Your Map” to see a map of all your photos. This makes navigation convenient and hands-free, using just your voice. Previously rolled out on Android 11, this new version of Voice Access is now available globally on all devices running Android 6.0 and above. You can download Voice Access on Google Play and try the new version out by joining the Beta today.

4. Get around with the Go Tab

New Go Tab in Google Maps is available today

Click on the image above to see the video of the new Go Tab in Google Maps

With the new Go Tab in Google Maps, you can more easily navigate to frequently-visited places with just one tap. Pin your favorite driving destinations like school or a grocery store to quickly see directions, live traffic trends, disruptions on your route, and an accurate ETA—all without typing the place’s address. If you take public transit, you can pin specific routes, which will let you see accurate departure and arrival times, alerts from your local transit agency, and an up-to-date ETA right from the Go Tab. You can even pin multiple routes (including a driving route and a transit route) to the same destination to see which one will get you there most efficiently. The Go Tab starts rolling out on Android and iOS in the coming weeks. 


Be sure to check out other helpful Google Maps features on Android, like live transit crowdedness and Assistant driving mode to help you navigate and get things done this holiday season.


5. Android Auto expands to more countries

Android Auto is rolling out to more countries


Over the next few months, Android Auto will be expanding to new countries, bringing your favorite apps and services from your phone onto your car display. With Android Auto, you can talk to Google to play music, send messages, get directions, and more, so you can keep your eyes on the road and your hands on the wheel. With phones running Android 10 and above, all you need to do to get started is plug your Android phone into a compatible car. For Android 9 and earlier phones, you can download the app.


6. Share your favorite apps with Nearby Share

Send and receive apps without cell or wifi connection

An upcoming update to Nearby Share will let you share apps from Google Play with the people around you with an Android phone, even if you don’t have a cell or Wi-Fi connection. Simply open Google Play, go to the “Share Apps” menu in “My Apps & Games,” select the apps you want to share, and let your friend accept the incoming apps. This update will roll out in the coming weeks.

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Google Maps adds dish-covery to the menu

by Ronnie Falcon on May.31, 2019, under 3D Models, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, California, Denmark, England, Germany, Google Earth News, Google Earth Tips, Google Sky, Google maps, Hawaii, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Mexico, Natural Landmarks, Netherlands, Sightseeing, Street Views, USA

Update September 10, 2019: We've launched popular dishes on iOS, making dish-covery even easier.

When you’re trying out a new restaurant, Google Maps already shows you how to get there, photos, reviews and ratings. But as you scan the menu, you’re probably wondering, “What’s good?” Now Google Maps is making it easy to “dish-cover” a restaurant’s most crowd-pleasing meals with a new popular dishes feature.

Popular dishes from down the street and around the planet

Whether you’re craving a tea cocktail in Brooklyn or sampling Pacific Rim cuisine in London, Google Maps now highlights a restaurant’s most popular items on the menu, so you can place your order with confidence.

The popular dishes feature is powered by a machine learning algorithm that matches dish names, provided by Google Maps users, with relevant photos and reviews. This creates a handy arrangement of a restaurant’s most popular meals right at your fingertips in Google Maps.

Simply pull up a restaurant on Google Maps to find its popular dishes in the overview tab. Feeling extra peckish? Dive into the menu tab to scroll through all the most-talked about meals, and tap on a popular dish to explore reviews and photos. In a country where you can’t read the language? Maps will also translate the reviews for you too.  

Animation showing popular dishes feature on Google Maps

The new popular dishes feature makes it easier to discover a restaurant’s most talked-about meals.

At the end of the day, this feature is  made possible because of contributions from people around the world who want to help others using Google Maps. So if you want to pay it forward to the next diner, simply take a photo of your meal (before you’ve scarfed it down!) and add a dish name so others can know what’s good on the menu.

From getting you directions to helping you find a popular dish, Google Maps is there for your dining journey. You’ve heard of “farm-to-table”—now we bring you from “door-to-dish.”

It’s all part of Google Maps becoming even more helpful as you travel, dine and get things done. From a redesigned Explore tab in Google Maps that helps you find things to do, group planning features that make it easier to coordinate with friends and family, and now popular dishes, Google Maps is helping you get out and enjoy the world.

Starting today, popular dishes is live on Google Maps for Android devices worldwide and will be rolled out to iOS users in the coming months.

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Do you think you know your aerial imagery? Find out on QuizUp.

by Mickey Mellen on Apr.07, 2014, under 3D Models, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, California, Denmark, England, Germany, Google Earth News, Google Earth Tips, Google Sky, Google maps, Hawaii, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Mexico, Natural Landmarks, Netherlands, Sightseeing, Street Views, USA

A few months ago I started playing QuizUp from time to time on my phone. It’s a fast-paced trivia game that pits you against other players around the world in real-time. It has a very wide variety of categories, and you can get in and play a game in only a minute or two.

They’ve recently added a new category that many of you will find interesting: “Google Maps: Earth from Above”:

quizup: earth from above

Each question will show you an aerial image and a bit of text, and you have four possible answers. As with all of the categories on QuizUp, speed is important. Go try it out and see just how good your geography skills are. You can download the app for Android or iOS.

(via Android Central)

The post Do you think you know your aerial imagery? Find out on QuizUp. appeared first on Google Earth Blog.

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10 things you didn’t know about Google Earth

by Mickey Mellen on May.15, 2013, under 3D Models, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, California, Denmark, England, Germany, Google Earth News, Google Earth Tips, Google Sky, Google maps, Hawaii, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Mexico, Natural Landmarks, Netherlands, Sightseeing, Street Views, USA

PC Advisor recently published an article that discussed the “10 things you didn’t know about Google Maps and Google Earth” and I thought we’d take a look at it.  Some of these won’t be surprises for you, a Google Earth Blog reader, but it’s a list that would be fairly helpful to the typical computer user.

1 – Google Maps isn’t Google’s only mapping product.

You don’t say? :)

2 – Because it uses software on your own PC, Google Earth offers a more polished interface than Google Maps.

That could be argued either way.  I’d say that Maps is actually a bit more polished, but Earth offers many more features.

3 – No doubt you’ve used Google Maps Street View feature but did you know it works in 3D?

That’s indeed a fun tip. Press “3″ or “T” to enable it (only in Google Maps).

3d-street-view

4 – Google Earth includes a flight simulator so that you can view the Earth from a unique perspective.

The flight simulator can be quite a lot of fun.  Try it for yourself by activating it from the [Tools] –> [Enter Flight Simulator] option or check out this post for more.

5 – Thought that Google Maps was just for exploring the surface of the Earth?

Along with locations like the underground Akiyoshi-do caves in Japan, you can also visit other planets on Google Earth such as Mars.

mars

6 – Google Maps can show up-to-the-minute traffic conditions.

Google Earth can as well, under [Layers] –> [More] –> [Traffic].  The Maps versions is great if you use it for GPS navigation, as the traffic data is factored into your estimated travel time.

7 – Don’t think of Google Maps as a universal panacea because there are some places you can’t see.

It’s relatively rare, but some places have their imagery blurred out, such as the example found here.

Noordwijk

8 – If you’re an Android user you’ve probably discovered the Google Maps app but you might not have realized that it can be used offline too.

You can read details about the Android offline features, and don’t forget that Google Earth can be used offline as well.

9 – Using Google Maps doesn’t have to be a passive experience.

Google Maps has some great ways to save your points of interest and maps, and Google Earth has a very comprehensive set of layers to enhance your experience.  Over time, I think we’ll see those features begin to merge more and more, which would be a great thing.

10 – You can even create your own 3D models of buildings to view in Google Maps or Google Earth.

Even though they’re discontinuing the excellent Building Maker tool, you can still use SketchUp to create 3D models for use in Google Earth.

What do you think is missing from the list?

The post 10 things you didn’t know about Google Earth appeared first on Google Earth Blog.

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Google Earth Android app gets a nice update

by Mickey Mellen on May.09, 2013, under 3D Models, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, California, Denmark, England, Germany, Google Earth News, Google Earth Tips, Google Sky, Google maps, Hawaii, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Mexico, Natural Landmarks, Netherlands, Sightseeing, Street Views, USA

Google has just pushed out a nice update to their Android app, bringing a handful of new features to it including native Street View support!

streetview

The official changelog for this update, version 7.1.1:

  • Google Maps Street View: With Street View, you can explore the world at street level.
  • Improved directions/search: Updated directions let you can visualize transit, walk, bike and drive directions in 3D while update search result list will let you browse search results quickly.
  • Improved interface: Easily browse and enable different layers through use of new left hand panel

If you have an Android device you can go grab the update here on Google Play.

The post Google Earth Android app gets a nice update appeared first on Google Earth Blog.

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