Google Maps update guides users toward right direction with beam
Anyone who’s ever played a number of adventure video game will know what a mini-map is and that a fading cone attached to a moving dot points to the direction that a 3D avatar is currently facing. With this in mind, the latest update from Google Maps may elicit a sense of déjà vu.
Gone is the little arrow that would have oriented users to the direction they are facing and replaced with a more prominent blue beam emanating from a blue dot. Apart from indicating direction, the beam can either get wider or narrower depending on how accurately the direction is being interpreted. A wide beam indicates lower accuracy while a narrower one means higher accuracy. The wider beam also means that a phone’s compass is temporarily uncalibrated.
Having an uncalibrated compass is not uncommon because charging or even as simple as walking past a metal pole can disorient a phone’s sensors. To remedy this, Google offers an easy and somewhat silly fix. In order to get back on track, users need only move their hands in a figure 8 pattern several times while holding the device. Alfred Bayle
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