iOS: Earlier this year, Google teamed up with Nintendo to turn Google Maps into Mario Kart, replacing the app's usual location icon with a fist-bumping plumber riding a red go-kart. The crossover didn't last very long, but Google is now bringing back some of that magic with a new update to the Maps app on iOS.
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Google's done more than almost any other company to bring virtual reality to the masses, from making cheap Cardboard headsets to giving the public easy ways to create and share 360-degree photos. Now the company is giving VR fans another way to dive in with a new tool called Tour Creator.
Google's annual I/O developer's conference always provides an exciting swathe of Google-related updates and improvements to their services and so far, it's delivering. Their key messaging this year is solving problems with AI and with the incoming upgrades to Google Maps, their advanced AI and algorithms will help you find things to do, places to eat and organise getting together with your friends.
Google is rolling out an update to its Maps app, giving it a refreshed visual style, more easily recognisable markers, and context-aware information. If you're prone to getting disoriented using public transit, or get frustrated searching for a petrol station during a road trip, the update makes it easier to know where you're going, what's around you, and where you'll end up if you've missed your station.
If you've ever considered sharing your every move with a significant other, you probably have an opinion about location-sharing apps. "This is great! I'll always know where they are!" is one opinion. "This is creepy! I'm not trying to stalk someone I could easily talk to instead!" is another. I'm of that second opinion.
Android/Web: It's easy to use Google Maps to see how far your office is from your favourite restaurant, or how long it will take to drive from Sydney to Melbourne. Estimating the distance between two locations without relying on winding roads messing up your estimate, however, is a bit more complicated. Sure, you could try and measure it with the distance scale at the bottom corner of your screen, but a little-known trick, as mentioned by Redditor niktemadur, makes estimating distances from point to point (or "as the crow flies") pretty easy, depending on the device you have.
Android/iOS: One of the best little features in Waze is the ability to share your location and ETA with a contact. This way, you can answer the "when will you get here?" question before it's even asked. Now, you can do that in Google Maps too.
From overseas tourist destinations to your own neighbourhood, there are beautiful spots to photograph all over the world. This interactive map shows you where people are taking pictures worldwide.