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Waze redesign puts driver Moods front and center

Waze redesign puts driver Moods front and center

Waze has launched a big new UI revamp, with everything from colors through to how individual members are represented changing in the refreshed navigation app. Promising to be more lively and visually attention-grabbing than most apps, the new Waze also builds on what the Google-owned company calls Moods.

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China’s Beidou GPS rival is now complete

China’s Beidou GPS rival is now complete

The shutdown of Chinese facilities earlier this year due to COVID-19 showed just how much the world's products and businesses are dependent on them, perhaps much to the chagrin of the US. That said, the drama surrounding US export bans against Huawei also revealed some of China's own dependence on US and international technologies. One of the lesser-known dependencies is on global navigation systems, commonly (and inaccurately) referred to as GPS. As of today, China may no longer need to rely on the US-based system as it successfully launched the last two satellites to complete its own Beidou navigation system.

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Google Maps Plus Codes make sharing your exact location easier

Google Maps Plus Codes make sharing your exact location easier

Next to Google Search, Maps is one of those Google products that truly changed the way we live. Getting around has become easier and pointing people to locations has become less of a hassle. That, however, usually only applies if you have an exact address at hand that's actually searchable on Google Maps. With the addition of Plus Codes, Google Maps is now offering an alternative way to locate people using the age-old method of longitudes and latitudes.

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Google Maps Accessible Places will show wheelchair-friendly locations

Google Maps Accessible Places will show wheelchair-friendly locations

It may be hard for most people to get around these days but it has always been a gamble for less able people to go out. Although mandated by many laws across the world, accessibility for those with physical handicaps hasn't always been implemented properly and uniformly in places that should. Wheelchair access, for example, is still a hit or miss, which is why Google Maps is now rolling out its latest accessibility feature so that you can check if a location has wheelchair access even before you leave home.

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Waze finally adds lane guidance feature, but only for beta users

Waze finally adds lane guidance feature, but only for beta users

Navigation app Waze has finally added a feature that users have been requesting for years, one that helps you get where you're going without any last-minute chaos. Called lane guidance, the feature alerts users about which lane they need to be in for any upcoming turns or exits, though it is only available to beta users at this point in time.

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Google Maps update adds filters for finding takeout and delivery food

Google Maps update adds filters for finding takeout and delivery food

Google has pushed out another Maps update that makes things easier for businesses and consumers impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. With this update, Google Maps features two new search filters: Delivery and Takeout. Both are related to food, of course, helping users figure out which restaurants in their city are still taking food orders. The feature is live on mobile.

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Google Maps Hacks shows how 99 phones can change traffic flow

Google Maps Hacks shows how 99 phones can change traffic flow

Google Maps has changed the way we navigate the world but its influence actually goes beyond just locating and navigating. A whole flood of new businesses, experiences, and mentalities have grown up around the ability to zoom and pan around more than just a digital version of a map. But, as the cliché goes, with great power comes great responsibility, and one "hack" showed just how easy it was to game Google's system and literally change the flow.

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Huawei to replace Google Maps with TomTom

Huawei to replace Google Maps with TomTom

Although matters have been quieter on that front, Huawei remains barred from accessing many US products critical to its smartphone business. It hasn't stopped trying to look for key apps and services to replace its dependence on Google's popular software. The latest piece to be replaced is Google Maps which has now become the go-to service for location and navigation and the Chinese OEM has just closed a deal with Dutch mapping company TomTom exactly for that purpose.

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China GPS alternative will be completed by mid-2020

China GPS alternative will be completed by mid-2020

The US and China may be butting heads over 5G dominance among other things but that isn't the only technology that two giants are fighting over. Far older and years in the making, China has been working to create its own navigation satellite system independent of the popular US-owned GPS. While it might still take more than a decade before it goes fully online, China is close to completing its Beidou constellation with the launch of the final two satellites by June 2020.

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Waze update helps drivers avoid unplowed roads this winter

Waze update helps drivers avoid unplowed roads this winter

Waze, the navigation app owned by Google, is popular due in part to its report functionality, which enables drivers to submit reports that help other drivers avoid various issues on the road. The latest update to this feature is the ability to report when a road hasn't yet been plowed, a key warning that will help many drivers avoid troublesome roads during the winter months.

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Google Maps narrows Waze gap with broader incident reporting

Google Maps narrows Waze gap with broader incident reporting

Google Maps keeps borrowing features from Waze, and latest to be bundling into the navigation software is an easy way to report road hazards and other events directly from the iPhone app. The new feature allows Google Maps users on iOS to report crashes they pass, along with speed traps and traffic slowdowns, straight from their phone.

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Google Maps adds ridesharing and bikes to transit directions

Google Maps adds ridesharing and bikes to transit directions

Google Maps and, later, Waze have changed the way we navigate through roads and streets but another revolution also changed the way we travel. While it's not unusual for many to take multiple modes of transportation on a single trip, nowadays some people prefer to cover that last mile with less conventional means, like two-wheeled bicycles and the even more recent ridesharing system. Fortunately, Google Maps is now adapting to the latest trends and will inform users of such options when trying to find their way to their destination.

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