Cyclists might be the only beings on the planet who still ask others for directions. That’s because there’s a bunch of necessary bike-specific knowledge you can get only from other cyclists. How steep is that hill? What are the bike lanes like on this route? An app usually can’t tell you those things.
Now, Google is adding some new features to Maps that will tell you those things. The improved view for cyclists includes more data about bike routes (when available) that shows where the bike lanes are, how busy vehicle traffic is, and whether your chosen route includes a steep hill. It can also warn you about stairs along the route, or tell you that you have some gravel sections to look forward to. Maps will also provide turn-by-turn directions made just for bikes.
Cyclists will now have to find some other excuse to talk to one another. Maybe they can complain about the lack of transportation infrastructure investments.
Google is also adding 3D photorealistic views of landmarks and more nuanced tools for sharing your location with others. Earlier this year, the company teased a Maps feature it calls Immersive View, a souped-up Street View setting that lets you zoom and pan around the world with unprecedented freedom. Google’s new landmarks aren’t exactly that, and the company hasn’t said when the feature will actually come out, but it seems a step in that direction.
Along with the Maps update, some changes are coming to the Google Play store, the official repository of apps on Android devices. The updates are aimed at cleaning up some of the more unsavory app practices on the store. That includes banning lookalike apps that try to trick people into downloading them, removing vaccine misinformation, and limiting full-screen ads in apps. While the company’s changes may help ads be somewhat less annoying, Google still isn’t ready to do away with tracking cookies entirely. Nearly all Play Store updates will be live by August 31.
John Ravenporton is a writer for many popular online publications. John is now our chief editor at DailyTechFeed. John specializes in Crypto, Software, Computer and Tech related articles.