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Since the release of Google Maps, Google has been adding a lot of useful features to it. While you can just use the basic mapping feature, here are eight ways you can fully utilize Google Maps to give you a better travel experience.1. Zoom In and Out with One Finger
It can be tricky to navigate the map while driving. You can zoom in and out on the screen using only one finger. All you have to do is double-tap anywhere on the map screen. On the second tap, keep your finger pressed down.
Raise your finger up to zoom out of the screen, and bring your finger down to zoom in. You can then choose to remove your finger and scroll over to another section of the map to zoom in or out.2. View Your Google Maps History
Tap on the three buttons at the top-right corner of the screen. Go to your timeline and pick a day on the calendar icon. You will be able to view your location history on that particular day including any new places you visited where you might have forgotten the location.3. Mark the Spot Where You Parked Your Car
After you park your car in a parking spot, turn on Google Maps. You will see the blue dot on the screen representing your current location. Tap on the dot and you will see three options. Tap on the “save your parking” option to pin the spot on your map. You can also add a photo to the location for better recognisability.4. Share Location with Friends
Meeting up with friends at a new location can be quite difficult if everyone is coming from different directions to a common area. With the “Share your location” feature you can lead your friends directly to where you are currently. To activate, simply tap on the blue dot representing your location and choose the “Share your location” option from the page that appears onscreen. Now select the people with whom you wish to share this information.5. Create Lists of Your Favorite Spots
You can separate the places you visit regularly into different categories of lists. Like professional, fun, out-of-state, etc.:
1. Search for the place on Google Maps that you wish to save.
2. Tap on the dot representing the location on the map.
3. Tap the address of the location that appears at the bottom of the screen.
4. Hit the “Save” icon next to the share icon and assign the location to a list, or create a new list.6. Change Songs without Leaving the Google Maps Screen
1. Open “Settings” on Google Maps.
2. Go to “Navigation Settings.”
3. Toggle on the “Show media playback options” switch.
The music control options will now appear at the bottom of the Maps screen.7. Follow Businesses and Public Events
1. Search for a business or a public event on Google Maps.
2. Tap on the dot representing the business.
3. On the information screen that appears, choose the “Follow” option.
You will now receive updates about the business on your map under the “For you” section.8. Switch to Night Mode During the Daytime
Night mode usually turns on during nighttime, but you can also turn on the feature during the day to save battery life:
1. Go to “Navigation settings” under the Settings menu.
2. Scroll down until you get to the Color Scheme option.
3. Switch the scheme from “Automatic” to “Night.”Conclusion
Google Maps is a useful accessory for your travels with new features being added to the application regularly. Make use of the tips above to master Google Maps and allow it to help you out during your trip.
Content writer with a keen interest in global technology and pop culture trends.
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Should you sneak marketing into your newsletter?
Email marketing is an oldie but goodie. It ties in second place as the second-most popular marketing method in the United States.Why it’s getting harder to get your email through
It’s popular because it works. As long as you can get your message to the right person, and you can convince them to open it, you’re golden. Of course, getting the message to the recipient has become more difficult over the last few years.
The use of AI in email scanning services has made it a lot harder to get marketing emails through. In fact, they’ve become so effective that we’ve seen a drop in the overall percentage of spam emails. In 2012, 69% of emails were spam. By March of 2023, that figure had dropped to 56%.
The days of spamming clients and hoping for the best are long gone. If that was the only issue marketers faced, it would be bad enough. Unfortunately, they’ve also got to contend with consumers who need to be convinced to open the email.Why it’s getting harder to convince prospects to open your email
Most of us are extremely busy. We don’t have the energy, time, or inclination to deal with the hundreds of emails that come into our inbox every day. We’re generally tired of having people sell to us all the time. We expect more from the companies that we deal with.How do we get past this?
The best way to get past a spam filter and to convince people to open your emails is to provide valuable information in the emails. That’s how the idea of the newsletter came into being. It provides companies with a simple way to keep their clients at the top of consumer’s minds.
The newsletter is more likely to be opened as they contain items that the person is interested in. So, the question then becomes, “Can we sneak marketing information into our emails?” The answer is, yes. In fact, it’s now common practice to do so. Should you though?Should you sneak marketing into your newsletter?
From a business perspective, it makes sense to use every opportunity as presented. We’ve got a slightly different take on the matter. Just take a look at the chart below to see how clients feel about you sneaking marketing messages into your newsletters.
Perhaps a better idea would be to adopt a content marketing approach instead. Introduce the idea behind the product, or explain a core concept related to it. Then, at the bottom of the article, create a link for them to find out more information if they’re interested.
That way, you’re getting the best of both worlds. You’re providing interesting and valuable content without it looking like you’re trying to shove sales down your audience’s throat.
To get more out of your email marketing, take a look at this infographic from EveryCloud featuring great hacks and stats that could inform your email strategy.
Chris Usatenko is a Computer geek, writer, and gamer. He is interested in any aspects of the PC industry and videogames. Freelancer in his nature, he is willing to get experience and knowledge from around the world and implement them in his life.
Google rolls out Incognito Mode for Maps, password checkup tool
Google today began rolling out a host of new features for various apps centered around security and privacy. One of the biggest launches is undoubtedly that of Incognito Mode in Google Maps. Incognito Mode for Google Maps was first revealed back in May, so users have been waiting on this particular feature for several months at this point.
Of course, we had some indication that Incognito Mode was about to land, as users in the Google Maps preview test group reported that it was live for them a couple of weeks ago. In any case, Incognito Mode in Google Maps works more or less the same as it does in other Google Products: when you turn it on (which can be done in the menu that appears when you tap your profile photo), your Maps activity won’t be saved to your Google account.
That also means you won’t get personalized results like restaurant recommendations, but on the other side of that coin, the stuff you search for in Incognito Mode won’t be used to influence your preferences in the future either. Google says that Incognito Mode is rolling out to Android this month, while iOS users will get the feature “soon.”
Next up we’ve got an expansion of Google’s auto-deleting history, which is making its way to YouTube. This feature works just like the name suggests it does, as it allows users to determine when their YouTube history is automatically deleted from Google’s servers. Users can set the time period to 3 months or 18 months, though they also have the option of keeping YouTube activity until it’s deleted manually.
Google is also adding new security and privacy tools to Google Assistant. First, users will be able to ask things like “Hey Google, how do you keep my data safe?” to receive information about how Google secures the data it collects.
You’ll also be able to give the Assistant commands such as “Hey Google, delete the last thing I said to you,” or “Hey Google, delete everything I said to you last week.” When you attempt to delete more than a week’s worth of voice data, you’ll be directed to a Google Account settings page to finish the deletion. This feature will be available in English next week and “all other languages,” next month.
Finally, Google is looking to beef up password security for its users. In a separate blog post, Google discusses its new Password Checkup tool that’s on the way to Chrome’s password manager. Password Checkup will give you a rundown of the relative security of your stored passwords – if, for instance, one of those passwords was compromised in a third-party breach, it’ll let you know. It’ll also let you know which passwords are being used across multiple logins and which could use with a bit of strengthening.
For the moment, this feature is only available through Chrome’s Password Manager (or through the Google-made Chrome extension of the same name), but Google says that it will be built into Chrome proper later this year so users can get real-time feedback on the strength and security of their passwords.
You’ve decided to ditch Zoom and give Google Duo a try. You’ve figured out how to use it, but you may feel like you’re missing out on something. You know there are tips and tricks more experienced users are using, but once you get through this list, you’ll using them too.
You’ll master Google Duo and be able to do things such as turn on low light mode, Change your phone number, Download your call history, and more. Ah! If there is an annoying contact that won’t leave you alone, there’s a way to block a contact on Duo too.How to Block a Contact on Google Duo and Record a Message
After giving that contact multiple warnings to cut it off, it’s time to block that contact. To block someone:
Swipe up from the bottom of your screen so you can see your contacts.
Long-press on the contact you want to block.
Choose the Block number option.
As long as you’re there and if you change your mind and decide not to block that user, you’ll also see the option to record a message.How to Move the Position of Your Video Window in Duo
When you start a video call on Duo, your video window will always be on the bottom left-hand corner. To change it, just drag it to where you want to place it. You can drag to whatever position you want.How to Add Fun Effects and Filter to Your Duo Calls
If you want to add some spice to your Google Duo calls, you can add filters or fun effects. To do this, swipe down to record a video message, and to your right, you’re going to see options such as Filters and Effects.
For now, there are only 13 options, but hopefully, Google will add more soon. You can choose from options such as:
I miss you glasses
Flowers, among others.Send a Note, Video, Photo, or Voice Message with One Tap
When you swipe down, underneath the record button, you’re going to see various options such as:
Voice messageHow to Add a Google Duo Contact Shortcut to Your Home Screen and Delete Duo History
These two options are together because you need to follow the same steps to access either one of them. After opening Duo, swipe up to access your contacts.
Tap on the contact you’re interested in, followed by the three dots at the top right. There, you’ll find the Add to Home screen and Delete Duo history options.How to Enable Data Saving Mode
Who doesn’t want to save mobile data, right? If you spend too much time on that Duo call, you might spend more than what you would like. To enable Data Saving Mode Open the app and tap on the three dots.
Select Settings, followed by Call Settings. Just toggle on the option, and you’re good to go.How to Turn Off Video Preview in Google Duo
There’s a feature that allows you to see a video preview of the person who’s calling you before you answer and vice versa. It’s a useful feature, but by disabling this feature, you lower the risk of showing more than what you would like.
To turn it off, go to Settings by tapping on the dots at the top right. Select Call settings, and the feature is called Knock Knock. It’s going to be the first one on the list.
Once you select it, go ahead and toggle it off at the bottom right.How to Turn On Dark Mode in Google Duo
Dark mode on any app is always a popular option. The good news is that Duo also has it and to turn it on you’ll need to go to:
You can choose from options such as Light, Dark, and System default.How to Create Group Video Calls in Google Duo
If you’ve had enough of Zoom’s security issues, you know you can always use Google Duo as an alternative. As soon as you open the open, you’ll see the Create group option at the bottom left.
After selecting this option, choose the people you want to include in the video call and tap on Done. The video call will only begin when you tap on the Start button.Conclusion
With video conferencing being the way you can connect with family and friends, you can bet that Duo will see a user increase. If you’re going to end up using it, why not know how to get the most out of it. What’s your favorite trick on Duo?
We all know, it’s no secret.
So, instead of rehashing what we already know about the size of the impact to date, let’s pull back a few more levels and take a bigger picture look at:
What this means.
Who is joining the party.
What you should think about as we head into 2023.
What we need to do is stop thinking about what is to come in silos and pull our holistic digital butts together. (I want to add other butts, like offline and local, but one thing at a time, eh?)
They’re just trying to get you to spend a little more.
So, when you think about investments in the platform, reporting capabilities and attribution, a search engine is highly incentivized to answer those questions and often provide those tools for free to keep you on the platform and searching versus a marketplace.
OK, end rant.Advertising in Marketplaces
Target (via Roundel) (select sellers)
Kroger (via 8451)
That’s a lot longer list than the big two of Google and Microsoft before it gets social with Facebook/Instagram, Pinterest (ecomm friendly-wise).
But what interests me is that there is a natural desire to diversify budgets and now we either have to find more budget or steal it from elsewhere.The Return of Traditional Advertising
That being said, there are some new players to the traditional space we haven’t seen there before, specifically, startups and D2C brands that are looking for places and spaces to gain awareness and have been pushed out of the digital channels on price or saturation.
Rob Schultz, Roman, told Digiday:
“With new business, you’re going to push for scale and at some point, you get priced out on Facebook prospecting. That’s a trend now – companies are looking for ways to fill the funnel to get people in a re-targeting bucket. Especially with TV – you see a lot of brands on the direct-response side spending more money there because it’s an effective channel. It’s being treated similarly to a digital channel.”Get Ahead of the Rise of Advertising on Marketplaces
I can’t tell you what to do exactly – or where to get the funds, that’s not how this works.
I can only give you what is coming:
More silos to break down.
But here are a few things you can do, organizationally speaking, that will set you up for success to navigate this ever-expanding digital universe.1. Retail Readiness
This means being able to:
Compete on pricing, multiple fulfillment centers (or staffing the one appropriately) inventory intelligence (in-stock, quantities and decrementing) in an automated fashion.
Process returns, customer complaints, reviews and get those orders out the door. The new norm is two days.
Search folks aren’t often involved here – I get it, we sell the thing. But you need to start understanding this stuff, too.2. Content & Creative
Some reasons are better than others, but there are key differences in how they function (for example, Amazon product pages vs. Walmart product pages.)
Plus, having product content that is informative, helpful, customer-friendly, consistent and – well – pretty, causes conversions.
And product pages are crawled, indexed and totally show up in search results. Own that SERP all the way.3. Internal Organization
This is the number one “thing” I have seen collapse or stunt ecommerce efforts.
If the people in the organization are not incentivized to work outside their boxes within digital, then they won’t.
And if not incentivized, at least having the conversation, getting clear on roles and responsibilities and how those touch upon one another.4. Process
Piggybacking off the internal organization piece, if there is not a clear process for rolling out products on which platforms, price points and fulfillment, things get very messy, very fast.5. Product
Invest in the tools of the trade that enable growth. Or build it. Whatever.
(Or set fire to the proprietary tool/system that’s been in place since 2010 that requires that one dev guy to hold together, but he’s always busy and therefore is holding the business hostage. A true story, more than once, unfortunately.)Ask for More
For example – point of sale data.
If you’re at a brand or working for one that has brick and mortar stores, what are they doing or getting or could be getting that would be useful.
Some offline attribution would be great, but how about some location-based bidding, on category or product level?
Think about what is popular online: Is that because they can’t get it where they live? And is it bought in-store more elsewhere for those that live nearby vs. online?
It’s a nerd masterpiece – but face it, it’s the Matrix and you’re Neo. Not everyone can dodge bullets.
Equip yourself with software that makes your life easier and insights faster. Then, when the bullets start flying, you won’t even have to dodge them.
More than anything else though, plan on expansion. It’s happening. Get ahead of it now and own it, rather than it owning you.
Screenshot taken by author, October 2023
Google Maps just evicted Uber bookings [Updated]
Google Maps users can no longer use the app to book a ride with Uber, with the option quietly disappearing from both the Android and iOS versions of the mapping app. The change means that, in the US at least, only Lyft is integrated as a route option when using Google Maps for directions.
Google added the ride sharing integration to Google Maps back in 2014, offering Uber as an alternative to the regular driving, pedestrian, and public transit options. In early 2024, it opened that up to some of Uber’s rivals, adding a Services tab. Still, it wasn’t a free-for-all: Google worked with specific companies on a country by country basis.
Later that year, Lyft showed up in the Service tab. At that point, Google Maps was showing different car types for each ride sharing service – such as UberX or UberXL – together with an estimate of how much the selected trip might cost. Come early 2023, meanwhile, Google Maps integrated Uber trip bookings, allowing the whole ride to be managed from within the app rather than requiring a handover to Uber’s own software on the phone.
Now, though, things are changing again. Google Maps for both iPhone and Android is no longer showing Uber even as an option in the Services tab. In the US, that means Lyft is now the only option, location depending.
[Update: According to Google PR, what we should be seeing is Uber as an option in the Services tab, but with the “Open App” button. However, we’ve tested that from multiple locations and on multiple devices, and only a small number of them are actually showing Uber details at all, only Lyft. Google says it’s investigating what might be happening.
Update 2: Google tells us that the reason we’re not seeing Uber as an option is that Google Maps hides it when there are no nearby vehicles available.]
According to a service support page update, spotted by Android Police, the change is no mistake but an intentional switch. “You can no longer book Uber rides directly in Google Maps,” the page read. “But you can still look up the route in the Maps app and then request the ride from the Uber app.”
Interestingly, when we checked the Google Maps app on an Android device, the Uber option was not present at all. That’s in contrast to Lyft, which still shows estimates for different car types, though you have to tap thew “Open App” button to actually order the ride in the Lyft app. If you don’t have that app installed on your phone, you’re directed to the Play Store or App Store – OS depending – to download it first.
It’s unclear what prompted Google’s change here, though it’s worth noting that the company does have a stake in the game. Google’s corporate parent, Alphabet, has a $1bn stake in Lyft, which it bought in late 2023 via its CapitalG investment arm. In 2013, meanwhile, Google Ventures invested $258m in Uber.
However that was followed by a lengthy legal battle in which Waymo, the autonomous driving company spun out from Google as a standalone business under Alphabet, accused Uber of stealing self-driving car tech secrets. That ended in a settlement in February of this year.
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