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Google Maps for Android Replaces Direction Arrow With Beam to Indicate Accuracy

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Google Maps for Android Replaces Direction Arrow With Beam to Indicate Accuracy
Highlights
  • The beam shows the accuracy of the direction shown by phone
  • Wider beam means that the phone's compass is temporarily uncalibrated
  • Move the phone in figure 8 motion to get more accurate direction

Google Maps is one of the primary apps used for finding out locations and routes. However, the accuracy of the direction arrow, on the blue dot that shows your location, hasn't been very reliable, but the hardware on your phone is responsible for it - specifically, the magnetometer. Now, the search giant has replaced the direction arrow on the blue dot with a beam to help you know the accuracy of the direction shown by the app.

The update is rolling out for Google Maps for Android. The blue dot that represents you will now be tagged with a beam that looks like a light beam from a flashlight.

The beam not only shows you the direction that you are facing, but also lets you know the accuracy of your phone's direction. If the beam is wide, it suggests that your phone's compass is compass is 'temporarily uncalibrated'. It essentially means that the sensors are not working properly at that particular moment. If the beam is narrow, it suggests that the direction shown by the phone is fairly accurate.

Apart from introducing the beam to Google Maps, the company has also provided a tip to get your phone's compass work properly. "Any time you want to get back on track - not just when you see a prompt or notification - simply move your phone in a figure 8 motion (as you can see in the image below) a few times. This should immediately result in a more accurate direction," Google said in its official blog.

Now, users will, hopefully, be able to make better use of Google Maps as well as trust the direction shown by the app more than before.

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