Google Maps will help you pay parking and transit fees ahead of time

Google Maps today introduced a few updates to help you get around town without having to slow down to pay at a parking meter or wait in line for a train ticket. The company announced integration with ParkMobile and Passport, allowing you to pay for your parking meter in some cities right within Maps. Once you arrive at your location, you’ll see a ‘Pay for Parking’ button in maps. Enter your meter number and payment info, and you’re good to go. Likewise, you can extend  the time on your meter via Maps as well. Given we’re all trying to avoid…

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How to use Google Assistant driving mode in Google Maps to control your phone with your voice while on the road

Summary List PlacementAs time goes on, more and more people are throwing away their old GPS devices, and just using smartphone apps like Google Maps to get directions. The downside here is that although apps like these can be useful, having to look at your phone while driving is still dangerous.
To help reduce the risk of distracted driving, Google’s introduced a new feature for Android phones in the US: Google Assistant driving mode.
Google Assistant driving mode gives Google Maps a simplified interface and voice commands, so you can control your phone without having to leave Google Maps, pick it up, or even look at it. If your car doesn’t support Android Auto, this is a great replacement.
Here’s how to enable, use, and customize Google Assistant driving mode.
How to enable Google Assistant driving mode in Google Maps
Before anything, you’ll need to make sure that your Android phone is up to date.
 To update your Android, or check that you’ve got the latest version, start the Settings app and search for “Software Update.” Once you find it, tap it and see if there’s a new version waiting to be installed.
Also note that Google Assistant driving mode is only available in English, even if your Google Assistant is set to another language.
And of course, remember that although voice controls can make things easier, you should always prioritize watching the road over using your phone.
1. Start the Google app.
2. In the lower-right corner, tap “More,” and then tap “Settings.”
3. Tap “Google Assistant.”
4. Scroll down and tap “Getting around.”

5. Tap “Driving mode.”
6. Turn on “Driving Mode” by swiping the button to the right.

Now it should start automatically when you start navigating. 
How to use the Google Assistant driving mode in Google Maps
Start Google Maps and begin navigating to a destination in the usual way, choosing “Car” as your mode of travel.
You should see a new toolbar at the bottom of the screen under the navigation controls. Here are what the icons mean:

Microphone. You can tap this to give Google a voice command, but if you’ve enabled OK Google, you can use your voice to activate this instead.

Music. Tap this to minimize Google Maps and switch to the phone’s selected music or audio app — in the photo below, it’s the Podcasts app.

Apps. Tap this to see a list of apps you can launch. If you start an app, you can return to Google Maps using the Maps icon at the center of the toolbar (where the Home button was). 

Voice commands you can use in Google Assistant driving mode
Driving mode gives you access to a handful of common tasks you can do entirely with your voice. Say “Hey Google” or tap the microphone icon, and then do any of these tasks:

Make a call: Say “Call [name of contact].”

Answer an incoming call: Say “Yes” when Google Assistant asks if you want to pick up an incoming call.

Send a text message: Say “Send a message to [contact].”

Listen to messages: Say “Read my messages.”

Play music: Say “Play [artist], [song], [album], or [genre].”

How to change your Google Assistant driving mode settings
To change how Google Assistant driving mode works, you can head back to the same screen you used to enable it.
If you’re already in driving mode, tap the apps icon at the bottom-right of the screen first, then open your Settings from there.

Once you’re done editing the settings, tap the Maps icon at the bottom-center of the screen to return to Google Maps.

Related coverage from Tech Reference:

How to calibrate your Google Maps app to give more accurate directions, on iPhone or Android

How to use Incognito mode on the Google Maps mobile app to keep your searches private

What is Google Assistant? How to use and customize Google’s smart assistant on any compatible device

How to change your Google Assistant voice across your Google devices

How to add Google Maps to CarPlay to safely navigate with the app while driving

SEE ALSO: The best Google Assistant smart speakers you can buy
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The Apple privacy offensive continues — and Google and Facebook are shook

One of my favorite longburn stories over the past couple of years is the Apple privacy drive. It’s a winding narrative, but the easiest way to sum it up is the company has made privacy one of its leading products. This has been bubbling away in the background for some time, but hit fever pitch recently with the launch of iOS 14. You can read more about the specifics of the Apple privacy offensive in its latest iPhone software here, but there’s one update that’s particularly relevant to the state of things today: app tracking and data. To put it… This story continues at The Next WebOr just read more coverage about: Apple,Facebook,Google

Google announces new AI-powered heart and breathing monitors for Pixel phones

Google announced today that it’s adding AI-powered measurements of heart and respiration rates to the Google Fit app. The tech uses a combination of sensors and computer vision algorithms to take measurements through a smartphone camera. The Big G said the features will be available from next month on Pixel phones, with more Android devices to follow. Users will then be able to measure their breathing rate by placing their head and upper torso in view of the phone’s front-facing camera. [Read: How much does it cost to buy, own, and run an EV? It’s not as much as you think] Their… This story continues at The Next WebOr just read more coverage about: Google

Google’s restructuring of its AI teams sparks further criticism

Google has restructured its responsible AI teams in the wake of Timnit Gebru’s firing, sparking further anger from the researcher and her supporters. The ethical AI teams will now be overseen by Marian Croak, a Black Google executive who’s credited with inventing the Voice over Internet Protocol. Google announced her appointment in a blogpost: Now, she’s taking on a new project: making sure Google develops artificial intelligence responsibly and that it has a positive impact. To do this, Marian has created and will lead a new center of expertise on responsible AI within Google Research. Sources told Bloomberg that Croak… This story continues at The Next WebOr just read more coverage about: Google

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