Android Auto is rolling out another new design for Google Maps

New tweaks to the UI design of Android Auto come pretty frequently, with Google Maps now getting another facelift to the navigation screen.

Rolling out now on Android Auto, the navigation section of Maps is getting a facelift with new button designs and less crowded information.

The update, which appears to be server-side and may not be showing for all users just yet, has the estimated travel time listed at the top in bold text, with distance and estimated time of arrival (ETA) below that. Further down, button to stop navigation, look at alternate routes, search for additional locations, see stops on the route, and an overflow button are shown. These have also been slightly redesigned, and removed a line divider between the two sections that appeared in the previous design.

The new look is much more modern, and plays especially nicely with the new sidebar that Google launched on Android Auto recently.

We’re seeing the change on Google Maps v11.104.0100 and Android Auto v10.8, which are rolling out via the Play Store.

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Google Discover rolling out air quality (AQI) card on Android, iOS

In addition to directly surfacing it when searching for air quality, Google is getting ready to show AQI in Discover on Android and iOS.

Update 10/21: After pulling in August, Google is now widely rolling out the AQI card in Discover on iOS and Android (in the Google app and to the left of your homescreen). We’re not seeing AQI (or the carousel of sports, stocks, and weather) on Android tablets. (It’s also not available on the Pixel Fold.)

The company redesigned the Customize menu to use checkboxes instead of Material You switches. This is presumably to maintain visual parity between Android and iOS.

Original 8/10: Underneath the Search bar suggestions, Google Discover already shows a carousel of mini cards for:

  • Finance: Stocks prices and market trends from industries you follow
  • Sports: Event updates from teams you follow
  • Weather: Conditions from your current location

This will soon be joined by “Air quality from your current location.” Currently, we’re seeing a blank card in the Google app beta on Android (version 14.32) and iOS that performs an “air quality” search when tapped. However, the App Store listing today already shows what this will look like:

You get the numerical AQI with an accompanying color-matching dot and where, as well as how long ago, the reading was taken.

As part of adding air quality, Google Discover in the app and to the left of your homescreen appears to be switching to a full-width weather card. It’s mostly unchanged from the compact version, but you also get the condition and chance of precipitation.

Seeing the weather in more places is always handy. On a side note, the carousel of mini cards does not appear on Android tablets.

If this feature is ready to be rolled out, as evidenced

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Oxygen OS Firmware Update Rolling Out for OnePlus Nord 3

OnePlus has started rolling out the Oxygen OS firmware update for the OnePlus Nord 3 smartphone. This update brings several system-wide changes as well as camera improvements specifically for the India Variant of the device.

The update includes the October 2023 Android Security Patch, which ensures that the device remains secure from potential threats. Along with this, the firmware also introduces system optimization to reduce battery drain when the phone is in idle mode. This will help users to conserve battery life and ensure longer usage time.

One of the highlights of this update is the improvement in camera quality. The firmware optimizes the camera performance to deliver better results while capturing photos in certain scenarios. Users can expect enhanced image quality and improved overall photography experience.

The Oxygen OS firmware update is currently available for OnePlus Nord 3 users in India. It is expected to be rolled out globally in the coming weeks. To check for the update manually, users can go to Settings > About > Software Update. However, as it is an incremental OTA (over-the-air) update, it may take some time to reach all units across the country.

OnePlus encourages users to provide feedback or report any bugs they encounter after installing the firmware update on the OnePlus Community platform.

Overall, this firmware update brings important system-wide changes and camera improvements to enhance the user experience of OnePlus Nord 3 smartphone owners. Users can look forward to better battery performance, improved security, and enhanced camera quality with this update.

– OnePlus Community

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Google Maps for Android rolling out new voice input

The Google Maps app for Android has, for years now, had the same old voice input that’s slow and not as accurate as Google’s latest offerings. Finally that’s changing, as Google Maps is rolling out a new voice input experience powered by Google Assistant.

Rolling out widely now on Android devices, Google Maps has a new voice input method. The new voice input replaces “Speech Services,” a component that was used by many Android apps for voice input years ago, but has been outdated both in its functionality and its interface for quite some time.

The new Google Maps voice input is powered by Google Assistant. When you first trigger it, a new interface pops up saying that there are “faster ways to search on Maps.”

The new interface pops up in a card that takes up most of the display. There are shortcuts to search for restaurants, gas stations, and similar categories, which does seem a little redundant. But the big perk here is that voice search is much faster and there’s now visual feedback. You’ll see a live display of what you say and recognition is much faster. Commands such as “navigate to” also feel drastically quicker overall in our brief testing.

This change appears to be server-side, and is showing up for us on the latest Google Maps for Android version 11.90. It seems to have started rolling out yesterday, as was spotted on Telegram.

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WhatsApp’s Phone Number Privacy Feature for Communities Reportedly Rolling Out to Android, iOS Beta Testers

WhatsApp is reportedly rolling out a new privacy-focused feature for community members. The new functionality previously said to be in testing would let users hide their phone numbers while joining a community. The feature called “phone number privacy”, is reportedly available to all Android and iOS beta testers. With this, users can participate in conversations and show their reactions to messages by hiding their names and phone numbers from other members of the community. The Meta-owned instant messaging app has not officially revealed when it intends to make the phone number privacy feature live for all users.

As per a report by WhatsApp features tracker WABetainfo, WhatsApp has released a phone number privacy feature for communities for all Android and iOS beta testers. It is said to be available for all Android and iOS beta testers with WhatsApp beta for Android version and iOS beta version for iOS respectively.

With this feature, the phone number of the user can be hidden from all members while joining a community. At present, the community participants list is already hidden in the community announcement group, but if a user interacts with messages through reactions, their phone number would be revealed. The new phone number privacy feature will ensure that your contact number will remain out of sight of other participants in the Community even while adding reactions to a message.

The report also includes a screenshot showing the phone number privacy feature for communities, giving users an idea of what it might look like when it starts widely rolling out. It can be accessed from the ‘Community announcement group info’. While turning on this feature, WhatsApp alerts users that their number will stay hidden from other participants except for the community admin and the members who have already saved their contact

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Samsung Galaxy S23’s July 2023 security patch has started rolling out

After a delayed June update, Samsung is back on track with its monthly security patch rollout

Samsung has always been at the forefront of updating its premium phones to the latest monthly security patch right at the beginning of the month. The June 2023 update was an outlier though, with the Galaxy S23 series firmware rolling out after a couple of weeks of delay. To Samsung’s credit, the build included several camera-focused changes, including adding a 2x mode for portrait shots. The Korean giant is back on track with the July 2023 patch’s rollout, as the update is now available for its flagship phone in the US.

T-Mobile Galaxy S23 owners report receiving a 425MB AWFD update containing the latest monthly security patch. Given the relatively small size of the firmware, it is unlikely to include any other improvements besides some minor bug fixes. For now, users of other Galaxy S23 carrier variants have not reported receiving the update, but it should not be long before the build is available for them.

Samsung is also typically quick to release updates in Europe, so S23 owners in European and other international markets could expect the latest security patch to land on their phones later this week. Other Galaxy S, Fold, and Flip devices should also get the July 2023 security firmware as soon as this week.

The first Android 14-based One UI 6 beta for the S23 lineup is expected to drop in the third week of July. So, the company may have moved its attention to that instead of adding more features to One UI 5.1.

If you are on T-Mobile’s network, you can grab the Galaxy S23’s latest firmware from Settings > Software update > Download and install.

Galaxy S23 series

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