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Generative AI on Google Maps: A New Way to Discover Places

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Google Maps Gemini voice

Google Maps is experimenting with a new feature that uses generative AI to help users find places that match their needs and preferences. The feature uses large-language models (LLMs) to analyze Maps’ rich information about more than 250 million places and insights from over 300 million contributors.

Users can simply ask Maps what they are looking for, such as “vegan-friendly restaurants” or “rainy day activities”, and get personalized suggestions from Maps. Users can see results organized into categories, photos, ratings, and reviews that highlight why a place might suit their needs.

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Users can also continue the conversation with follow-up questions to refine their search or explore other options. For example, users can ask “How about lunch?” and obtain more refined results that match their preferences and context.

This feature is currently available to select Local Guides in the US, who will provide feedback to help improve it. This is just the beginning of how Google is using generative AI to make it easier for users to discover places and explore the world with Maps.

Hey, Camila is here! From the very beginning, I love using Samsung phones like a die-hard fan. Apart from detailing One UI features for readers, I love exploring different apps of the Samsung ecosystem with a cup of tea!

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Google Maps adopts system share sheet on Android 14

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Google Maps share sheet

Google Maps is now using the system share sheet on devices running Android 14, following other Google apps such as Chrome and Photos. This change signifies a withdrawal of the custom share interface previously used by the app and available in Google Maps version 11.122.x.

With the new system share interface in Android 14, users are presented with a more detailed link preview that includes the name of the location and an image. It also offers a direct share option with contacts and a more organized apps grid, with the “Maps: Add to list” feature prominently displayed.

In addition, Google Maps has improved accessibility by adding a share button to the full listing view, making it easier and quicker to share than before.

The older version of the share feature displayed a full-screen user interface, with a share button and an option to close at the top. It also showed the user’s profile information in the corner as part of a “Sharing as” feature.

The interface allowed for quick typing of a name, phone number, or email, followed by a carousel of suggested contacts and app shortcuts, including the ever-useful “Copy to clipboard” and an option to access more apps.

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Google Photos introduces Magic Editor and more AI features free for all users

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Google Photos is enhancing photo editing by making its AI-powered tools widely accessible. Starting May 15, AI-powered features like Magic Eraser, Photo Unblur, and Portrait Light will be available to all users, free of any subscription. This update expands the capabilities of Google Photos beyond Pixel devices, providing professional-level photo enhancements.

The suite of tools being made free includes Magic Eraser, and  Unblur, HDR effects for photos & video. Users can also enjoy Portrait Blur and Light to focus on subjects, Color Pop for vibrant hues, Sky Suggestions, Cinematic Photos for depth effects, and Styles in the collage editor for creative layouts. Additionally, Video Effects will enhance motion pictures.

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Introduced last year with Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro, the Magic Editor uses generative AI for intuitive, complex edits, such as repositioning subjects or changing the sky’s color.

Now, all Pixel users can access this feature, and Android and iOS users will receive 10 Magic Editor saves per month. To exceed this limit, a Pixel device or a 2TB Google One Premium plan is required.

This update will be rolled out gradually across devices that meet the necessary specifications. With these tools, Google Photos aims to make its photo editor smarter and more useful.

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My Apps disappears from Google Play Store, but you can get it back!

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Google Play Store My app issue

Several Android users have been experiencing a bug that has caused the “My Apps” shortcut to disappear from the context menu of the Google Play Store icon. This shortcut provides quick access to the “Manage applications and devices” page, but users are not able to use it.

According to the information via 9to5Google, the My Apps shortcut is usually found by long pressing the Google Play icon and is preferred for the direct route to app updates, but it is now missing. However, it seems to occur after the Google Play Store updates itself in the background, and it’s not related to any particular app version.

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To resolve this, users can clear the Play Store’s storage in System Settings. For that, you just need to open System App Info of the Play Store >> Storage & Cache >> Clear storage. When it takes effect, this fix will reset some preferences and update history.

Alternatively, users may consider waiting for the next Play Store update, which could bring the shortcut back. Users can check for updates by going to Settings >> About >> Updates Google Play Store.

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