Google has now acknowledged an issue not only with the departure time notifications, but also with commute notifications in the Google Calendar. The departure time issue was highlighted last month after users started complaining that the notification was not showing up.
Explaining what took Google so long to acknowledge the issue, one employee named Andy B (also a community manager at Google Search and Assistant help forum) stated that they got confused between departure time notifications and commute notifications. The company has now apologized for the confusion, and said that the concerned team is looking into the departure time and commute notification issues.
“Apologies for the initial misunderstanding and lack of updates–I had conflated the commute notifications feature with the primary issue being discussed on this thread (i.e. recommended departure times from Google Calendar events). I want to first confirm the team has been, and is currently, investigating these issues separately,” the search giant said.
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Until Google comes up with a permanent fix, users can try a workaround, which many users claim worked for them. Some users say that they have managed to resolve the issue with the help of the Chrome Web browser. Users need to load the desktop Calendar UI on their device and enable “time to leave” notification options. Chrome would then pull out notifications for the user.
The departure time and commute notification issue are not just limited to the smartphones. A few Android Wear users have also reported facing similar issues. Google products are usually loaded with several features, and thus, it sometimes becomes difficult to take note of the broken feature.
However, the reminder feature in the Google Calendar is one of the most important functions that any smartphone could have. Upon making an appointment via Google Calendar, the feature sends the notification suggesting the right time to leave. Several reports claim that the problem is actually much older with the first complaint appearing in November of last year. Google support has nothing much to offer in terms of a solution for now.
In separate news, while the commute notification and departure time issues affect Android phones from all brands, an issue with Google Maps is affecting some Huawei and Honor phones. Many users are complaining that opening Google Maps or any apps based on Google Maps – like Uber – the following message is shown: “Google Play Services are updating.”
Although it looks like a small issue, it can be a big inconvenience for those booking a ride or looking for directions. The good thing is, a fix to the issue is also present. Just head to the main settings menu and select Apps > Google Notification Services > Storage> Clear Cache. Once the cache is cleared, a user needs to open Manage Space> Clear All Data, and it’s done.
Meanwhile, the search giant is adding new features to Google Maps. The latest one being the ability to add a Cartoon Car instead of the Location Arrow icon. For the feature, Google has collaborated with Nintendo to bring the new Mario Kart-like indicator along with more customization options. It might appear a small change, but is strong enough to keep the boredom away from the maps and hook the users, who otherwise might lament the mind-numbing direction arrow.
To avail the new feature, users need to update the Google Maps app. Thereafter, open the app and set a destination followed by driving directions and start navigating. Users will see the usual blue arrow ready to suggest the directions, but with three new options of selecting another indicator. Currently, there is an option for a red sedan, a green pickup truck and a yellow SUV.
Going forward, Google might come up with more options. This obviously heightens the curiosity of car fans, who would be hoping that Google would bring iconic cars such as the Ford Mustang or Nissan GT-R for the location travel icons.
Separately, more Google Calendar support has now been added to Amazon Alexa. The voice assistant can now reschedule meetings. Alexa’s new feature would work with Google, Apple and Microsoft Calendars. With the latest feature, the voice assistant takes the whole meeting scheduling thing to the next level as it arrives at a suitable time for both of the people in a one-on-one meeting. For this, the other user must have also shared their calendar with Amazon. Alexa would simply integrate both the calendars, and work out a suitable date.