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Google Improves Its Maps, Prepares to Better Media Player

Several new developments from the Google mobile and home fronts have been announced this week.

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Google Maps

Since its inception, Google Maps has proven a popular method for travelers to figure out how to get from one place to another (in fact, we here at have even implemented the service in the pages of many of our businesses and restaurants so you can find your way to them right from the site). With integration into the company’s Android platform the program blossomed from a convenient route mapper to a full-fledged GPS. Unfortunately, Google’s efforts still suffered from the same shortcoming that any map, digital or physical, would have difficulty compensating for- real time traffic and delays.

Any Long Islander planning an excursion to the City will be happy to know that the maps are now getting an overhaul to deal with one of the State’s more regular cause of headaches- its public transit system. More specifically, planned service changes for the New York City subway system will now be incorporated into Google Maps’ website and Android app. Now when a line is rerouted or skipping stops, Maps can alerts users of the situation and find alternative paths for them to take.

Nexus Q

While the improvements to Google Maps are already rolling out this week, changes to the Internet-giant’s intriguing media streamer will result in an indeterminate delay in its official launch. Announced early this summer, the Nexus Q was briefly listed as available for sale in Google’s own Play Store, from which it has since been pulled in order to, in Google’s words, “make it better.”

In a notice sent to those who have already placed an order for the device, the developer explained it is working to add more functionality to its somewhat limited list of capabilities. This is likely the result of complaints from those lucky enough to preview the Nexus Q that while it was an impressive piece of hardware which served its purpose well, a hefty $300 price tag made it less attractive than many alternative streaming devices. While competitors such as Roku, Apple TV, or even the company’s own Google TV can stream any number of services—including Netflix, Pandora, Hulu Plus, and many more—the Nexus Q was initially designed to be limited to proprietary services such as Google Music and Youtube. Presumably the Q will return with a similar lineup when it is again put up for sale, but those who were fortunate enough to preorder this unique spherical streamer will be happy to know Google intends to send them each a piece of their original vision at no charge.

Have trouble navigating the tunnels of New York’s transit system? Leave a comment below or let us know on the Long Island Lounge