Google Maps launches new ‘Explore’ and ‘For You’ tabs for iOS and Android that feature personalised recommendations for places to visit
- Local activities, events and museums are now included inside the navigation app
- The update also brings Top 10 food lists created by algorithms and local experts
- Google Maps now anticipates how much you will enjoy a restaurant you have never visited before, thanks to a new Your Match score which ranks it out of 100
Google Maps has started to roll-out a dramatic update to its Android and iOS mobile apps.
The update features a redesigned ‘Explore’ tab and a new ‘For You’ tab with personalised recommendations for places to visit.
Google first took the wraps off the new functionality during its annual developer conference, Google I/O, which was held in Mountain View, California in early May.
The company is now pushing-out the new features to iOS and Android users in the UK, United States, Canada, Australia, and Japan, with more countries to follow at a later date.
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Although it’s still primarily a navigation app, the all-new Explore tab is designed to showcase the best venues and events around your current location, surfacing lists of top rated bars in the area, as well as nearby museums, dance classes, and more. Pulling up on the tab inside the app will show photographs and descriptions of any activities nearby
At its heart, Google Maps is still very much a turn-by-turn navigation app.
However, the latest update adds a new focus on personalisation, with suggestions for nearby restaurants you might like, as well as the ability to keep-up with updates from preferred venues.
This new functionality is found in the redesigned Explore tab, and the all new For You tab.
Both are located in the navigation bar that runs along the bottom of the screen in the main app.
Explore is designed to showcase the best venues and events in and around your current location, surfacing lists of top rated bars in the area, as well as nearby museums, dance classes, and more.
Google will present photographs and descriptions of any activities listed within the tab.
You can also drill-down on these events by time, like Tomorrow, This Weekend and This Month.
Google’s Explore tab will include suggestions for nearby eateries, bars, outdoor activities and events. These can be filtered by day or by category within the tab
Google also lets you filter any nearby events with categories like ‘good for kids’, ‘cheap’ or ‘indoor or outdoor’ so you can find the right activity to fit your mood.
The new Explore tab is now available to all Android and iOS users in select countries, however, only Android users will be able to see recommendations for local events and activities for now.
As its name suggests, the For You tab is designed to showcase personalised recommendations.
This all-new tab will be populated with food and drink suggestions in areas that are important to you, including your home address, work, as well as any towns or cities you visit frequently.
List of the best food and drink spots are created with a combination of local experts and algorithms, Google says.
As you might expect, the For You tab is designed to showcase personalised recommendations, with food and drink suggestions in areas that are important to you, including your home address, work, as well as any towns or cities you visit frequently
Google will also generate a score out of 100 to indicate how much it thinks you will enjoy the venue, with higher scores indicating a higher likeliness that you’ll have a good time in a restaurant, or bar.
The feature is known as ‘Your Match’ and only works when users enable location history, which keeps a record of all of the locations you have visited with Google Maps.
If you’re unhappy with the match scores Google has assigned to some cuisines or pubs, the navigation app allows you to specific what types of food you prefer.
To do this, head to Settings within the app, and then select all the types of cuisines and restaurants you like, along with anything that you’re not into – which Google will then take into account.
Your Match is only available for Android users for now.
Your Match is a new feature to Google Maps which sees Google automatically generate a score out of 100 to indicate how much it thinks you will enjoy an specific venue, or restaurant
However, both iOS and Android users can follow individual venues to guarantee Google Maps keeps them updated with the latest news from a particular restaurant or bar.
This is done by tapping the small bookmark icon to the right of the venue name.
The icon will turn green when you have successfully followed a venue.
Google Maps’ new For You tab lets you follow an entire neighbourhood, so that you’re always kept in the loop when a new eatery everyone is talking about pops-up near your home address.
The Mountain View-based company will also alert you whenever a new venue with a high match score opens in a neighbourhood you’re following.
If you want to work your way through a curated list of the best restaurants, Google can automatically keep tabs on your progress as you dine out.
Google Maps Senior Product Manager Sophia Lin said: ‘Indulge your inner foodie on Android by automatically keeping track of your progress against any of the restaurants featured in the trending lists.
‘So if you’re on a mission to try the 10 best tacos in your area and you’ve only tried 5, Google Maps will note that for you so you can get to the tacos pronto.’
The feature is now available on Android in the UK, United States, Canada, Australia, and Japan.
The new Explore tab is out now on iOS and Android in the same countries.
WHAT DID GOOGLE ANNOUNCE AT ITS 2018 I/O CONFERENCE?
Google CEO Sundar Pichai kicked off the search giant’s annual I/O developer conference in Mountain View, California on Tuesday, with the event running through Thursday.
Pichai began his keynote speech by jokingly addressing a ‘major bug’ that the firm had to deal with this year – referring to ‘burgergate’, when users criticized where the cheese was placed on the firm’s burger emoji.
He shifted to a more serious topic, explaining that expectations are greater than ever before about how technology affects society, saying that while it can create a positive impact, we ‘can’t just be wide-eyed’ and need to address the negative consequences, too.
Google CEO Sundar Pichai kicked off the firm’s annual I/O developer conference in Mountain View, California on Tuesday, with the event running through Thursday
The firm made some significant announcements around Google Assistant, its latest mobile OS Android P, Google Lens, Google Photo and Waymo, among other areas.
Pichai announced that its AI Assistant is getting six new voices, to make it more conversational and natural.
The goal is to capture dialects, languages and accents more accurately and realistically on a global scale, the firm said.
What stole the show, however, was when Google announced that award-winning R&B artist John Legend would be voicing some commands for Google Assistant.
Google also surprised viewers when it debuted a new Duplex tool that enables Assistant to call businesses and schedule appointments or make reservations.
In a live conversation, Assistant is able to field many questions and even knows to ask how long the wait is without being prompted.
Plenty of new features are on the way with Android P, including ‘Digital Wellness’ tools to limit screen time, iPhone X-like gesture controls and AI to extend battery life
Google revealed new details about Android P, which is the successor to its Android O, or Oreo, software that currently runs on billions of smartphones.
Plenty of new features are on the way with Android P, including ‘Digital Wellness’ tools to limit screen time, iPhone X-like gesture controls and sophisticated AI to extend your phone’s battery life.
Google also unveiled a suite of ‘Digital Wellbeing’ apps aimed to cut down on screen time and smartphone addiction.
Other new features include App Actions, which try to predict which apps you use most and least often, as well as ‘Slices’ which shows snippets of apps in other application windows to help with multitasking.
Android P is only available in beta mode for now, with eligible devices including the Google Pixel, as well as some Sony, Xiaomi, Nokia, Oppo and Vivo phones.
To download Android P beta, users have to sign up to be a part of the Android Beta Program.
Other new Android P features include App Actions, which try to predict which apps you use most and least often, as well as ‘Slices’ which shows snippets of apps in other application windows to help with multitasking
Waymo’s driverless car service is heading to Phoenix before the end of the year.
CEO John Krafcik took to the stage at Google’s I/O 2018 developers conference today to reveal the firm’s plans to extend its self-driving car rides to members of the public in just a matter of months.
Waymo has been testing out the technology on public roads in the metropolitan area through it’s ‘early riders’ program – but soon, anyone will be able to download the app and hail a ride.
According to Krafcik, Waymo’s driverless ride-hailing service will be available to the public in Phoenix later this year.
Aparna Chennapragada, vice president of product for AR and VR at Google, introduces the new Google Lens features
After passengers book a ride through the app, he says an autonomous vehicle will pull up and ‘whisk them away’ to their destination.
Google Lens/Google Photos
Google first introduced Lens at last year’s I/O developer conference.
It uses machine learning and AI to help identify objects and answer questions just by using the smartphone’s camera.
Now Google Lens is getting some major updates, arriving in the cameras of many major smartphones and new features like ‘Smart Text Selection’ and ‘Style Match’.
Smart Text Selection allows you to copy and paste words from the real world right onto your smartphone’s screen, just by highlighting them, while Style Match lets you point your camera at an outfit, which prompts the phone to serve up suggestions for items that are similar to what it sees.
Those features are expected to arrive in the coming weeks.
Google Photos is also getting a variety of useful tools, like suggested actions that give you the option to brighten, share rotate or archive a photo.
An even cooler feature allows users to instantly colorize old black-and-white photos, or pop out one color and keep the background greyscale.
Google says these features are expected to arrive on the Google Photos app soon.
An even cooler feature, coming soon to Google Photos allows users to instantly colorize old black-and-white photos, or pop out one color and keep the background greyscale
Google is working on some nifty new features for Google Maps, including a short list of your favorite places, the possibility of a ‘virtual positioning system’ and more.
Assistant is coming to Google Maps in a big way, with a ton of new shortcuts, as well as the ability for the digital assistant to text your friend when you’re on your way.
Google is rolling out a tool called ‘Your Match’, which uses machine learning to determine your location and interests, serving up targeted suggestions for new businesses opening up in your area and more.
Google Lens is getting some visual features, like info cards that pop up in the app to tell you which building your looking at, in this case the Wrigley Building in Chicago
From there, users can create a shortlist of their favorite destinations that they can share with their friends.
And Google could soon roll out a new version of maps that addresses an age-old issue where you’re unable to figure out which way is North or South.
Instead, a new version of Maps would use Google Lens to show you on-screen which way to go, as well as insert a playful assistant, in this case a fox, to help guide you on your way.
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