Google and Nintendo have partnered up for something pretty cool!
March 10 is Mario day (because MAR10, get it?) and because of this, Mario is making a week-long special appearance on Google Maps.
Have Mario navigate for you by tapping on the yellow icon beside destinations and you’re all set for a fun drive — no 1-UP mushrooms this time, though. Pro tip: Tap the yellow icon 100 times and up your speaker volume for a surprise!
— Nintendo of America (@NintendoAmerica) March 9, 2018
Happy driving and enjoy MAR10 day!
Google is opening Maps for game developers!
Get ready for more AR games
There’s a wave of location-based augmented reality games that highly depend on Google Maps. However, the inability to create accurate mapping has been keeping developers from optimizing game design. Luckily, Google just announced that it’s opening up its mapping platform to game developers. This means anyone one can create AR games now with more ease.
Google says that its new Maps platform has been optimized for game developers. These developers can start by signing up to be given access to real-time Google Maps data.
To support developers after signing up, Google is also working on launching a new software development kit on Unity. Unity is one of the most popular game engines in the world so incorporating mapping data into this engine will help aspiring developers everywhere.
Even further, Google is introducing a new API to help create gameplay experiences around real-world locations. Google will be working closely with developers on this aspect, especially regarding appropriating elements, like span points and quest locations, within games.
One of the goals of the project was to help developers build detailed worlds using Maps data as a base to paint over.
“In this way you can create unique game environments that still feel connected to the real world,” says Patrick Donelan, lead engineer on the project.
This is a much-awaited move from Google. Following the raging success of Pokemon Go’s launch, they started receiving a surge of requests from developers looking to utilize Google Maps data for mobile games.
Over the years, Google has had a multitude of discussions with game developers and players as to how to help create a platform that optimizes AR game development. Google’s new Maps gaming initiative is the result of those discussions. This, Google says, focuses on location-based AR mobile games.
Google says it will be talking more about the initiative at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco on March 19-23.
Tinder Feed rolls out to users worldwide
Times are changing, and so is Tinder
“Welcome to the world beyond the swipe.”
Tinder, as you know it, is about to change.
Last December, the world-famous dating app was testing out a chronological timeline feature. This allows users to swipe around for potential mates with more than just a bunch of photos as basis. On a post, Tinder said: “It’s an exciting new way to see more of what someone is all about by giving you a true glimpse into their world — their passions, their personality, their latest adventure — all leading to better conversations and deeper connections.”
Today, Tinder announced that they’re rolling out the Feed to users worldwide.
For all swipers, expect a different type of soulmate-search experience. More and more, the dating app is moving towards a more social experience through a chronological feed structure similar to what most social media apps used to have. The scrolling list will include user activity and the ability to comment on each of these activities.
Think of it as a Facebook feed solely dedicated to dating. More talk points? Definitely. Will this mean more matches for you? Not necessarily, but you can try!
Google Maps get Plus Codes in India to make navigation simpler
Google Maps will also support voice navigation in six additional Indian languages
Google unveiled an open-source project that aims to make sense of the chaos of India’s hyper-growing cities: a shifting web of hidden alleys, ever-changing landmarks, and missing street signs. Called Plus Codes, it’s a location-based digital tagging system that divides the landscape into tiles and assigns a unique code to each, making navigation easier.
Google Plus Codes are based on the concept that the world can be divided into small grids, each of which gets assigned a unique code to ensure a more consistent address system. On Google Maps, Plus Codes assign six characters to a location plus the city name. According to Google, each Plus Code represents a unique geographical location.
For example, instead of typing out the long address for an office, the Plus Code can be shared with people. Typing in the code in Google Maps or even in Google Search will take you to the location. The seven-string code is unique to the location, on a global scale.
The project used to be called “Open Location Codes” which worked as an alternative to using latitude and longitude. It worked like a street address for places that don’t have a specific address. But back then, it could only be seen on the desktop application of Google Maps.
Plus Codes may be the future, but it’s still far out. Plus Codes are not replacing the traditional street addresses in India anytime soon. And for that too, Google has a solution. Using machine learning, Google will parse the addresses to find known landmarks or a familiar street name to get the user as close as possible to the destination.
Google has made the process of adding missing addresses much easier with the “Add an Address” feature wherein users can contribute to improving the Maps experience. To ensure that the addresses are accurate and not duplicated, Google will verify the added address and ensure that it “is searchable in due course.”
Google has also added support for Gujarati, Bengali, Kannada, Telugu, Tamil, and Malayalam so that the users who speak these languages can use these languages for navigation.
While the Plus Codes feature has been rolled for the Android version of Google Maps, the iOS version of the app will get the feature later.
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