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Google Maps gets public transit directions feature for Wear OS 

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Wear OS 4 TTS

At MWC 2024, Google announced a set of new features for its wide range of products including the Wear OS, and one of them is the public transit directions feature for Maps. Google Maps for Wear OS is surprisingly missing a lot of functionality that is present on the smartphone version of the app.

Therefore, to offer users a more seamless experience,  Google Maps has added public transit directions for Wear OS. It will help users leave their smartphones in their pockets and glance at their wrists for the next steps. However, this feature will reduce the risk of mishaps and elevate the user’s experience.

Notably, when searching for a location in Google Maps on Wear OS, public transit will appear alongside driving, cycling, and walking. After selecting the bus, train, ferry, and more options, Google will show recommended routes with departure times. You can scroll through the steps and see where you’re getting off.

It also offers compass-guided navigation directions for your destination to ensure you catch your bus, train, or ferry. You can also mirror directions to your watch from your phone and navigate hands-free.

However, the feature has been released and it will be available for eligible Wearables with the update of Google Maps for Wear OS. So just have patience and get ready to enjoy a more optimized and seamless interpretation while traveling.

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Google Maps Wear OS public transit directions

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Google

Google Maps for Android Auto gets enhanced icons and search bar

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Google Maps Android Auto

Google Maps has introduced some impactful design changes to its Android Auto app to enhance visibility and user experience.

Now, when you look at the map, the places you go often, like your home and work, stand out with bigger, bolder icons. This change is particularly noticeable in dark mode, where the contrast is more prominent.

In addition to icon updates, the search bar at the top looks cleaner. The previous surrounding bar has been removed from the search bar, adding to the clean and contrasted appearance of the UI.

Furthermore, if you like seeing buildings pop up in 3D when you’re looking at the map on your phone, you’ll be happy to know that now the same setting will work in your car too. They added this cool 3D view earlier, but it didn’t work in the car until now.

These updates not only improve functionality but also ensure a seamless change between mobile and car navigation.

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Google

Google Messages introduces 3-second ‘Selfie GIF’ feature

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Google Messages Selfie GIF feature

Google Messages is enhancing its messaging service by introducing a new feature that allows users to create a Selfie GIF. This feature enables users to record animated GIFs of up to three seconds directly within the messaging app.

The search giant also integrated a quick-access prompt within chats for creating these GIFs, similar to other interactive prompts for sharing photos or initiating video calls.

To use this feature, one must long-press the camera icon in a message thread, which will bring up the camera viewfinder and gallery. The Selfie GIF option is separate from the app’s custom camera.

The recording process of Selfie GIF is very intuitive with a countdown to guide users in Google Messages. Although there are no editing options, users can manually start and restart recording. The completed GIFs are automatically saved to the user’s camera roll, making sharing easy.

The support documentation for the Selfie GIF feature is already available, but the feature itself has not been widely released on either the beta or stable versions of the app. Hopefully, Google will soon make it available for Android users.

Google Messages Selfie GIF feature

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Google Photos bringing ‘Hide Clutter’ feature for organized view

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Google Photos Hide-Clutter feature

Google is set to release a new feature named ‘hide clutter’ to the Photos app for a simplified user interface. The function will allow users to maintain a cleaner main photo feed by hiding screenshots, memes, and more

The Hide Clutter feature was discovered in strings of the latest version (6.79.0.624777117) of Google Photos by PiunikaWeb. Once activated, it will automatically hide backed-up photos that fall under the clutter category.

The new feature will not delete these images but will hide them from the main view. Although they will remain accessible in their specific folders.

In addition, the Memories section is being redesigned to offer a better experience. For users in the United States, the Photos app offers AI-generated title suggestions for their memories, adding a touch of personalization and creativity.

With the introduction of ‘hide clutter’ and the existing Photo Stacks feature, Google Photos users now have two powerful tools to keep their photo collections organized and appealing.

Google Photos Hide-Clutter feature

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