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Top Stories: Google Maps ‘hack,’ ‘Pigweed’ OS, more

Google Maps redesigns its mobile app and logo

On this week’s high tales: an artist “hacks” Google Maps with a minimum of 99 cell telephones to create pretend visitors jams, Google information a trademark for a brand new working system known as “Pigweed,” a robotic folds and unfolds the Motorola Razr to its inevitable demise, and extra.

Beginning out the week on a light-weight notice, German artist Simon Weckert determined to have a little bit of enjoyable with the best way Google Maps routinely determines whether or not or not there’s a visitors jam in a location based mostly on how rapidly these utilizing navigation are capable of transfer via visitors.

To perform this, he loaded 99 smartphones right into a wagon and turned all of them onto Maps navigation. As he walks down a road, Google acknowledges the excessive focus of “customers” and the slow-moving “visitors” and marks that road as having dangerous visitors.

The outcomes communicate for themselves and make for a particular “must-watch” video to brighten your weekend.


Elsewhere in Google Maps information, the service celebrated its 15th birthday this week in fashion — a model new fashion, that’s! Ditching its basic “pinpoint on a map” icon, Google has utilized its conventional colours onto a pinpoint to match the icon of apps like Google Residence, Put on OS, and Google Match.

As you’d count on from a radical change like this although, the neighborhood just isn’t all on-board with the brand new icon. Our Stephen Corridor shared his disdain for the brand new brand on Alphabet Scoop. A ballot of 9to5Google readers reveals that solely 44% favor the brand new icon, with the feedback part sharing some fascinating insights.

It’s undoubtedly not dangerous certainly not. However in fact the Google branding is kinda misplaced via it. Solely individuals who know the colors can establish it with Google. And even then it’s just a little bit flat for 2020, imho. — Henny Roggy

I prefer it, however I hope Google doesn’t go an excessive amount of additional standardizing their app icons to make use of this coloration scheme. Drive, Google, One, WiFi, Residence, Maps, Information, Photographs…I have a tendency to simply look at icons when searching for a selected app to open, so I need them to be just a little bit extra totally different. — WiscoNative


In an odd little bit of Google information, the corporate was discovered to have filed a brand new trademark within the US this week. The itemizing reveals that Google could also be engaged on a brand new working system with the identify “Pigweed.” Our crew was capable of uncover that Pigweed is certainly present process some stage of improvement, discovering proof of it in each Chromium and Fuchsia code.

Sadly, we are able to’t take this alone as conclusive proof that Google’s Pigweed and Fuchsia tasks are associated. The developer who proposed the code change is concerned in a number of Google tasks and should have merely made a typo. That stated, each builders within the dialog appear keenly conscious of what Google Pigweed is.


On the Android aspect of issues, the Motorola Razr has been garnering quite a lot of consideration this week. Retaining the custom began with the Samsung Galaxy Fold, CNET acquired and livestreamed a robotic specifically designed to repeatedly fold and unfold the Motorola Razr till it “died.” With the Galaxy Fold lasting via ~120,000 repetitions, many puzzled how lengthy the Razr would final.

Simply hours into the stream, the Motorola Razr died after simply 27,000 folds. The cellphone’s show didn’t cease working, however the hinge itself was failing, trigger the system to not totally shut. That is… not good. By our math, 73 folds per day would kill a Razr in only a yr. That’s not an unrealistic quantity both.

CNET was capable of get the Razr again in working order with a little bit of “massaging,” fortunately, however this check nonetheless didn’t fairly bode nicely for foldables sturdiness.

In a weird twist, unhappy with CNET‘s findings, Motorola has since confirmed off a phone-folding robotic of their very own with a declare that the Razr can “flip for years.”


Lastly, the eyes of WhatsApp followers around the globe can rejoice as the most recent beta model of the app (2.20.32) has introduced six totally different coloration schemes to make use of as a part of WhatsApp’s darkish mode. When you haven’t already signed up for beta updates to WhatsApp, ensure to take action now.

The largest draw back to those new tweaks is that gadgets which might be a part of the beta program and working Android Pie or decrease nonetheless don’t have the darkish theme possibility — as this was eliminated as a part of the two.20.29 replace.


The remainder of this week’s high tales comply with:

Samsung |

Android |

Chrome / OS |

Google |

Google apps |

Google Pixel |

Wearables |

Movies |

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