Google Maps helps you find open EV charging stations in real time

William Deshazer / Reuters

From now on, you just have to fire up Google Maps if you need to hunt for an open EV charging station. The latest versions of Google Maps for Android, iOS and the web now show real-time availability for charging ports in the US and UK, giving you a better idea of when to go for a top-up — you’re no longer relegated to static info like before. The feature won’t help you find a Tesla Supercharger (you don’t really need that given Tesla’s app), but it will cover the networks of Chargemaster, EVgo and SemaConnect, with Chargepoint coming soon.

Station info also includes other helpful tidbits such as charging speeds and port types, so you won’t risk going to a port that wastes your time. The trickiest bit is simply performing the “ev charging stations” search you’ll need to turn up results. Unless you’re using Android Auto, you’ll want to come to a stop before you look for an available charger.

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You can play 'Snake' in the Google Maps app

Google Maps now comes with 'Snake'.
Google Maps now comes with ‘Snake’.
Image: Google

Amid all the lame April Fools’ jokes, Google has added a cool easter egg to Maps.

You can now play the classic game Snake in the Google Maps app, just by hitting the top left menu button in the app, and selecting the option to play. If the option doesn’t show up for you, try closing and reopening the Maps app.

Once you’re inside the easter egg, you can select between different cities you’d like to play on, including Cairo, London, San Francisco, São Paulo, Sydney, and Tokyo.

A neat touch is that each city features a snake which is coloured like the trains from that particular location (except San Francisco, which is a tram), and objectives which are shaped like famous tourist destinations.

Image: Google

The easter egg is available on the iOS and Android apps, but if you can’t access it, you can open it in your browser here.

Google said in a blog post that the game will be available for a week in the app, but the browser version will be available much longer after April Fools’ is done.

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Google Maps adds a city-themed 'Snake' game


Google has a habit of introducing goodies on April Fools that last long after the gags are over, and that isn’t changing for 2019. The company has added a Snake game to Google Maps that lets you play the classic title themed around major cities. You’ll play as an ever-growing double decker bus snapping up passengers in London, for example, while you’ll play as a cable car in San Francisco or a commuter train in Tokyo. You can also choose a “world” map if you’d rather gobble things up on a planetary scale.

Snake will only be available through the menu in Google Maps’ Android and iOS apps for “about a week.” You won’t have to go without it after that, thankfully. Google has also created a dedicated website that will offer the game on desktop and mobile well after the novelty wears off. Think of this more as a long-lasting treat that just happened to launch at the start of April.

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Google Maps lets some users create public events

Omar Marques/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

You might soon have an easy way to let Google Maps users know when you’re hosting a big get-together. Android Police has discovered that Google is quietly giving at least some Android users the option to create public events. If you have it, you can go to the Contribute tab and create a party, a meet-up or another public gathering, complete with optional descriptions, categories and web links.

It appears to be early days. AP had to wait roughly an hour for an event to show up, and there were issues adding photos outside the event header. We’d add that Google’s warning about regional limitations appears to hold true. Public events weren’t an option when checking in Canada, for instance. We’ve asked Google for comment, but there are signs this may be a very early rollout rather than a widescale release.

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Google Maps can find you Lime scooters in more than 80 cities


Starting this week, you’ll be able to use Google Maps to locate Lime scooters, bikes and e-bikes in more than 80 cities. In a trial-run that began last December, the app gave transit users a Lime option, but it was limited to 13 cities. By the looks of this expansion, the test-run went well.

To locate a Lime electric scooter, pedal bike or electric-assist bike in one of the participating cities, you’ll simply click the transit icon. Below the available bus or train routes, Google Maps will prompt you to “also consider” Lime. Maps will show how long it will take to walk to the Lime device, an estimated cost and an overall journey time and ETA. Click the Lime option, and Google Maps will redirect you to the Lime app or prompt you to download it.

The added Google Maps feature will roll out in 23 international cities and more-than 50 US cities. In the states, this includes several mid- to large-sized cities. You won’t find the function in Boston, for example, but you’ll see it in neighboring Chelsea, Everett, Malden, Medford and so on. You’ll see it in larger cities like Denver and Atlanta; in New York City, you can use the Lime app to locate wheels, but you’ll only see the Google Map integration in Queens and Rockaways.

As we reported in December, Google’s partnership with Lime isn’t surprising. Its parent company Alphabet invested in Lime last summer, and just after the deal closed, Uber began offering Lime rentals through its app. And of course, Alphabet has stakes in other transit companies, like Waymo’s self-driving cars and Sidewalk Labs’ public transit endeavors. We’re willing to bet this is just the beginning, and you’ll soon spot the Google-Lime partnership in more and more cities.

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