My Google Map Blog

Tag: android

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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