Which is better for navigation?
Navigator for kids and adults, or a new wave of smartphones?
Source Axios article What to know about navigation on smartphones with a range of apps.
article We asked Google’s Navigator team what they think about a new generation of navigation apps, as well as what they’re doing to help kids navigate.
“We believe it’s important to offer a range and be flexible in how people navigate on their phones,” says Krista Mather, director of product for Google Maps and Android.
The team wants apps that can take advantage of phones’ new capabilities.
“When you have more devices, it’s easier to keep them on the road and be more efficient,” she says.
Google has made navigation apps for kids available since last year, but only with Google Play services.
“That’s a very large, complex set of APIs and a lot of work to build those,” Mather says.
“The new generation, with the help of kids and the Google apps, is now on everyone’s phones.”
But Mather adds that the goal of the new generation is to make navigation “simple, efficient and fun.”
“We’re seeing the benefits,” she adds.
“Kids are really using our products and are really loving it.
They’re excited about what they can do with it.”
Google’s goal is to build apps that help kids to better understand and use their devices, and they’re working hard to get there.
“Navigation is the single most important tool that a child has in their hands,” Mutha says.
And Google has been pushing out new apps and changes to existing apps in an effort to make it easier for kids to navigate.
In the latest version of Google Maps, Google is introducing a new navigation pane, called a “navigation button.”
When it’s clicked, the pane will let you see information about where you are, including directions, your speed and elevation.
It also lets you see where you’re currently in the world and what you’re doing.
“You’re in the right place at the right time,” Mutch says.
The app will be available on Android phones, and Google will launch the feature for iOS in early 2018.
But Mutch adds that kids should also be able to use the app to plan their next trip.
“They can go in the Google app, and then when they’re ready, they can go on to Google Maps,” she explains.
“Or they can just start there, and it will work seamlessly.”
And kids can even use the new apps to track where they are with Google Maps.
“In Google Maps now, if you go somewhere on Google Maps in a neighborhood, you can see a map of the whole neighborhood,” Muhl says.
In Google Maps for Android, the company’s navigation pane also lets kids see their distance to a location.
“There’s a lot more information in the app now that’s accessible from the phone,” she added.
But for the moment, it won’t let kids see exactly where they’re going, Muhls adds.
And she says the new Navigator will be updated to better support iPhone navigation.
Google’s navigation app is the latest update to Google’s Maps, and Muhll says she thinks it’s a “huge step forward.”
She also says Google is adding support for apps like MapQuest and OpenStreetMap to the Navigator suite of apps, so that kids will be able access these data sources.
“This is a huge, huge change,” she notes.
But she says there’s still a lot to do.
“What’s missing from the app right now is the ability to view data like traffic,” she said.
“I think that’s going to be the biggest hurdle for kids.”
Muhhl says that in addition to making Google Maps easier for parents to use, she hopes the new app will make it more intuitive for kids.
“Google is giving us a platform where kids can easily get information about what’s going on around them,” she explained.
“And we have all of this information on our phones.
We want them to have the ability for kids just to go, ‘Oh, I want to find out what’s happening in the city that I live in.'”