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EV drivers are getting better Google Maps route planning – with a catch

EV drivers are getting better Google Maps route planning – with a catch

Google is adding new features for electric vehicle drivers to Google Maps, improving its algorithms for EV route planning, though just who'll be able to make the most of them will depend on what's parked in your garage. The goal, Google says, is to improve how trip planning for journeys that involve two or more recharging pitstops is handled, to reduce stress and trim driving time.

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HERE shows just what’s possible when AV tech turns to futuristic mapping

HERE shows just what’s possible when AV tech turns to futuristic mapping

Figuring that it doesn't matter whether cars are autonomous or human-piloted if the brain in charge doesn't know where they're meant to be going, HERE is rolling out a trio of new mapping tech products at CES 2021. The announcements focus on better navigation through dense and complex urban environments, getting smarter guidance for electric vehicle journeys, and tapping an until-now siloed wealth of location data that could upend logistics and autonomous vehicle development.

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Android location data in urban areas is about to become more accurate

Android location data in urban areas is about to become more accurate

It's almost too easy to take for granted the number of technologies and estimation required to get your specific location on a map. Most people probably think of GPS as some hi-tech satellite or group of satellites that can pinpoint your location with frightening accuracy, just like in TV shows and movies. That's why they easily get frustrated, confused, and unamused when maps put them on the wrong side of the street or even the wrong block. With upcoming updates to Android and its Play Services framework, Google is promising that will soon be a thing of the past, all without upgrading GPS satellites to match their fictional counterparts.

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Google Maps to show business and busyness info without having to search

Google Maps to show business and busyness info without having to search

The way we approach businesses, stores, restaurants, and services, has drastically changed over the past months. Beyond simple operating hours, which may have been shortened, people are now warier about the busyness of a particular spot, whether the place is packing lots of people or if it's safe to go there. Having that information before you actually go there has now become more critical than ever before and Google is starting to roll that out to the rest of the world to make sure people get the right info at the right time.

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Waze update promises smarter suggestions and better traffic tools

Waze update promises smarter suggestions and better traffic tools

Waze is revamping its navigation app, boosting trip suggestions, promising more accurate traffic and ETA calculations, and adding Amazon Music as a new partner. The collaboration means that Amazon Music users will be able to control playback through the built-in Waze audio player, while Waze access will also be available through the Amazon Music app.

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Waze now lets you move planned drives from Web to phone

Waze now lets you move planned drives from Web to phone

A lot more people are spending their time online these days but those are probably done on their desktops and laptops. There will come a time, however, when they will have to leave the comfort and safety of their homes but moving their information from computer to mobile isn't always as seamless as moving from your desk to your car. Sure, Google Chrome can sync your tabs but what about that meticulously planned driving route you made? You can now transfer that to your phone, too, provided you were using Waze in the first place.

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Google Maps’ new UI is colorful genius

Google Maps’ new UI is colorful genius

Google Maps is getting a graphics upgrade, making it easier to see where lakes, beaches, forests and more are at a glance. The new update brings more color to the regular Google Maps view, distilling some of the details from Google's satellite imagery, but not letting it overload the default interface.

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Android Auto finally adds more navigation apps, Automotive OS expanding

Android Auto finally adds more navigation apps, Automotive OS expanding

Many owners of Wear OS and Android TV devices complain about being treated like second-class citizens when it comes to Google's platforms but they have nothing when it comes to Android's automotive incarnation. Android Auto has been around for many years and has even branched out to an Android Automotive OS but adoption by carmakers and app developers haven't exactly been that much. Part of that may have to do with the fact that, unlike on regular Android, getting apps on Android Auto has a lot more requirements and red tape to go through. Case in point, after years of being available, it's only now that Android Auto is letting third-party navigation apps in.

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Google Maps just switched on smarter bikeshare navigation

Google Maps just switched on smarter bikeshare navigation

Google Maps is getting a cycling upgrade, with new features intended to make bike journeys more efficient and safer - as well as warning riders if they're likely to get sweaty on the way. Although biking directions in Google Maps have been available for a decade now, the updates promise to take advantage of new cycle lanes and temporary road closures, as well as embracing bike-share schemes.

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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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