Google Maps

‘Local Guides’ now baked into Google Maps, could be bad for Yelp

‘Local Guides’ now baked into Google Maps, could be bad for Yelp

Do you know what a Google ‘Local Guide’ is? It’s the latest re-branding of Google’s community outreach program, once dubbed “City Experts”, which was previously led by teams of Googlers actually doing stuff in your city. The ‘Local Guides’ program was announced last month, but google is getting serious about their crowdsourced restaurant review program. The feature is now baked straight into the Maps app, and apparently resides in both iOS and Android versions of Google Maps. It also steps right on Yelp’s toes.

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Google Earth Pro drops $399 subscription, now available for free

Google Earth Pro drops $399 subscription, now available for free

Google has recently revealed that it is dropping the paid subscription from Google Earth Pro, a more robust version of its Google Earth software. The Pro service will now be available for free, previously costing $399 per year. While the standard version of Google Earth has often been more than enough for casual map and globe users, the Pro version has seen use among professionals from scientists to businesses, who have been able to take advantage of advanced features previously not available for free.

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Sheriffs want Google, Waze to disable ‘police stalking’ feature

Sheriffs want Google, Waze to disable ‘police stalking’ feature

Sheriffs around the nation want Google and Waze to stop tracking their whereabouts. A feature in Waze allows users to report on traffic accidents or other traffic slowdowns, but also allows for users to report where police might be stationed. According to law enforcement officials, that presents a danger to them. The existing feature shows where a police officer might be located, but doesn’t report why they are there. Sheriffs are even going so far as to call Waze a “police stalker” app.

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Google Maps for Android and iOS updated

Google Maps for Android and iOS updated

Google Maps has been updated for both Android and iOS, bringing users both new features and improvements. This takes iOS users up to version 4.2.0 (the version varies for Android users), and while there are a couple similarities between the two updates, both give users different new features on their respective platforms. The most notable new feature for iOS users is the ability to see weather for cities around the globe; Android users, meanwhile, can see their contacts when they're searching for addresses in Maps.

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Google adds Christmas window shopping to Maps

Google adds Christmas window shopping to Maps

Google has been progressing nobly in its effort to bridge the physical world with the digital one, and the end result is the ability to tour all sorts of locations you otherwise never would. The recently added The Colbert Report set is one excellent example, and now in time for the holidays is something similar and entirely more festive: virtual window shopping by looking at actual, decorated store front windows. The company recently announced the new feature for Google Maps.

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Google’s iOS app gets Material Design, Maps

Google’s iOS app gets Material Design, Maps

Material Design sure is pretty, but if you’re on iOS — you’re not getting the full effect. You can still take advantage of Google’s new visual design with the Google Search app for iOS, which has been updated today to take full advantage of Material Design. It’s not just better looking, though. It’s also smarter, and will have you searching and re-searching faster than ever. Google has also baked Maps right into Search, giving you street view imagery and optional directions, all from the search app.

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You can now stow your own My Maps in Google Drive

You can now stow your own My Maps in Google Drive

With yet another holiday fast approaching, Google is trying to help make your vacation planning a lot easier, and keep you inside its ecosystem of services while doing so. But even if you're not dreaming of your remote island getaway, getting Google's My Maps creation tool inside Google Drive is still a convenience for any traveler, or even just a digital surveyor, as it puts all your custom-made maps in a single location, stored on Google's cloud, of course.

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Nokia’s HERE Maps arrive on Google Play, coming to iOS in early 2015

Nokia’s HERE Maps arrive on Google Play, coming to iOS in early 2015

You know Nokia the handset maker, but are you familiar with Nokia the services provider? After dislodging their hardware division and shuffling it off toward Redmond and Microsoft, Nokia has become a services company first, hardware (distant) second. One of their more fascinating and profound services for consumers is HERE, a Maps app that is putting the rest of the world on notice. After a beta period meant for testing the app and finding bugs, HERE is now rolling out to Android users, and will challenge Google Maps in a significant way.

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Apple: iOS 8.1.2, Bose, Apple Maps all ready for prime time

Apple: iOS 8.1.2, Bose, Apple Maps all ready for prime time

It must be Apple’s day to roll stuff out and update their services, because there’s a lot going on. After seeing Apple TV would get some needed love from YouTube, as well as some new channels, there is a lot more to discuss. Apple’s iCloud seems to have replaced Google Maps for their own when using Find my iPhone, and Bose is coming back to the Apple Store. There’s also a new version of iOS out, though we wouldn’t get too excited there. The latest iOS fixes one small issue regarding iTunes ringtone purchases.

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Google Street View adds its first Arab city: Dubai

Google Street View adds its first Arab city: Dubai

Back in February, it was revealed Dubai would be the first city in an Arab country to be featured on Google Street View, though no launch date was provided at the time. As it turns out, that day was yesterday, and users can now take a virtual tour of the city using Street View. This launch was preceded by Google taking its cameras up Dubai's towering Burj Khalifa skyscraper, something that was likewise its own first for both Google and Dubai.

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