About That Google Maps Video With the Missing App Drawer…

UPDATE 2/29: Google reached out to confirm to us that this Google Maps video is an inaccurate (read: bad mock-up as we suggested below) version of their UI and that this is not a hint or preview of what’s to come, as has been rumored over the previous couple of weeks.


Yesterday, Google posted a tweet through the Google Maps Twitter account that has Android enthusiasts going a big nuts, all because the video included shows a Nexus 6P without an app drawer. Seriously, lots of people are freaking out because this phone doesn’t have an app drawer. I don’t know that I’m ready to freak out just yet without knowing the full story, but it is worth talking about.

First of all, here is the tweet that’s to blame for this weekend’s fun.  (more…)

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Waze Announces Version 4.0 With New, Cleaner Design

Through an upload to the Waze YouTube channel, the community-based traffic service announced version 4.0 for its Android app. This version leaked out of an alpha group a few weeks back, so you may have heard of this version already. If not, this is what’s new.

According to Waze, we’ll see a “new, cleaner design for easier navigation, reporting and sharing.” That means you’ll see a minimized number of steps for navigation, items like map, menus, and road reporting, designed for higher visibility and clarity, plus less clutter overall. Waze users will also see brighter buttons and color-coded pins to round out this “head to toe” revamping.  (more…)

This Google Maps Video Shows Android Without an App Drawer and People are Freaking Out (Updated)

UPDATE 2/29: Google reached out to confirm to us our initial thoughts, that this Google Maps video is an inaccurate (read: bad mock-up as we suggested below) version of their UI and that this is not a hint or preview of what’s to come, as has been rumored over the previous couple of weeks.


Yesterday, Google posted a tweet through the Google Maps Twitter account that has Android enthusiasts going a big nuts, all because the video included shows a Nexus 6P without an app drawer. Seriously, lots of people are freaking out because this phone doesn’t have an app drawer. I don’t know that I’m ready to freak out just yet without knowing the full story, but it is worth talking about.

First of all, here is the tweet that’s to blame for this weekend’s fun.  (more…)

Google Maps Gets “Driving” Mode to Give You Suggestions on When to Drive

Google is pushing out a pretty decent new feature to Google Maps this week, called Driving mode. The mode attempts to help you decide if now would be a good time to leave for home or to the gym or to other favorite destinations or to stay put. It provides quick overviews on ETAs, traffic updates, etc.

The new Driving option can be found in the slideout menu in Google Maps or you can create a shortcut to it on your home screen, as it will show up as an option in your home screen widget picker after updating to the newest version of Maps.  (more…)

Google Awakens the Force With Star Wars Themes for Apps, Includes Gmail and Maps

Because there was not already an over saturation of Star Wars crap for you to buy in stores, Google has launched Star Wars themes for your apps, just in case you needed more Force in your life. If you have a Google account, and use it for Gmail, Google Maps, YouTube, and other Google services, you can experience what the Light or Dark side have to offer their users.

To start, you will need to choose a side – Light or Dark. Once a side is chosen, you will begin to see Star Wars themes throughout many of Google’s applications, whether it is on an Android device or desktop computer. For example, I chose the Dark side, opened my Gmail, and I was greeted with a darkly colored Empire theme. In addition, if you open Google Maps, find your home, you should see a Death Star.  (more…)

Google Maps on Android Gets Offline Navigation Today

Back at Google I/O, Google told us to expect full offline navigation in Google Maps before the year was up. Today, they delivered on the promise, at least on Android. Noting that 60% of the world is without Internet, you are more than likely going to be in a situation during your life where access to Google Maps may come in handy, even though you don’t have any sort of data connection.

With Google Maps offline navigation, you can download a map ahead of time, so that when you need it, you’ll have use of turn-by-turn navigation and the option to search for places, where you can then see information about them, including hours of operation and their rating. It’s basically a Google Maps experience, only without the need to be connected to WiFi or a cell tower.  (more…)

Google Maps and Search Updated With Business Holiday Hours

It’s that time of year again, when every business thinks it is cool to just close up shop early because it’s the holiday season. It can be a total pain to go to your usual spot, just to find they are shut down. Thanks to an addition inside of Google Maps and Google Search, holiday hours for virtually every business you can imagine are now available for viewing.  (more…)