Google Maps is fixing its most irritating Android issue

QUICK SUMMARY

Google is working on a way to make Maps more accurate. The orientation of Android phones can often be incorrect but should soon be addressed.

When using Google Maps, there’s nothing more annoying than making a wrong turn. except making a right turn you thought was a wrong turn. That’s because the device orientation on Google Maps has been off for millions of Android users – me included. Thankfully it might now be fixed.  

Walking around London a couple of weeks ago with my Android phone, I found myself taking several wrong turns and doubling back just because my device wouldn’t know which way I was facing.  Needless to say, it was maddening, and unless I twisted my elbow to all kinds of angles I was constantly going the wrong way, 

Currently, Android phones use the Android Rotation Vector to judge orientation with Google maps, but Google has apparently had feedback from developers about its inaccuracies.

So what’s the potentially incoming fix? That’s where things get a bit technical. Google explains it has added a new Fused Orientation Provider (FOP) API  “that provides quality and consistent device orientation by fusing signals from accelerometer, gyroscope and magnetometer.” Still with me? Well, Google has promised this new system will bring”more consistent behaviour and high performance across devices.” 

As long as your phone runs Android 5 or later (so everyone- if not you are a security risk) It should be a fairly simple change to roll out and as long as my phone faces the same direction as me, I’ll be happy. Google Maps is a brilliantly useful bit of software when it works and this latest news comes on the back of the implementation of a brand new feature last week. 

Now if only they could improve my lacklustre sense

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Google releases Android 14 Beta 1.1 patch, fixing a lot of bugs

Google has today released Android 14 Beta 1.1. As the rather weird naming implies, this is a mere small update to the first beta, which came out a couple of weeks ago. The next, second beta is scheduled for next month, so you might be wondering why Google would go through the trouble of releasing an intermediary version right now.

The answer is bugs. Apparently the company thought some of the bugs running around in Beta 1 were too annoying to let be until Beta 2 comes around, and that’s how Beta 1.1 came about.

Google releases Android 14 Beta 1.1 patch, fixing a lot of bugs

The new build is labeled UPB1.230309.017.A1 for Pixel 6, Pixel 6 Pro, and Pixel 6a units on Verizon, and UPB1.230309.017 for all others. It’s going out over-the-air to the Pixel 4a 5G and later models which are enrolled in the Android Beta Program. As usual with Google updates, expect the rollout to take at least a few days, if not more, to reach all eligible devices.

Google highlights a few of the bugs that have been squashed:

  • Fixed an issue where the system UI crashed when trying to access the Wallpaper & Style screen either through the Settings app or by long-pressing from the home screen.
  • Fixed some issues that prevented fingerprint unlock from being used.
  • Fixed an issue where the status bar did not display the mobile network.
  • Fixed an issue that prevented a SIM card or eSIM from being detected or activated in some cases.
  • Fixed an issue where the lock screen displayed a message with an unresolved string placeholder when Smart Lock was enabled.

Source 1 | Source 2

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