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Google Maps latest Android widget shows local traffic conditions from your home screen

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Google is about to release a new Android widget for its popular Google Maps app. The widget shows traffic information for the area near you. This way, when you leave home, school, work and other local areas, you will know how busy the traffic is when you start your journey. If you are not familiar with a widget, it is the important information of an app that can be placed on your phone’s home screen for quick access.

Including Google Maps, 35 Google apps will have their own widgets on Android,

Different colored lines indicate the speed of traffic in that area, green lines represent normal traffic speeds and orange lines indicate to be careful and be wary of slowing traffic. Red lines, as you may have guessed, indicate where traffic comes to a complete stop. Last year, Google released a widget for the iOS version of Google Maps that also displays local traffic conditions

Once Google releases the new nearby traffic widget for the Android version of Google Maps, 35 widgets related to Google’s own apps will be available to Android users. Google published its own blog on Wednesday that called the five widgets made for Android apps that are Google’s favorites. These five widgets are designed to “help everyone better organize and personalize their home screens”.
One of Google’s favorite Android widgets is the one for Gmail that lets you tap a new email as soon as it lands in the inbox to archive the last one without opening the Gmail app. The Gmail widget is one of this writer’s favorites with an entire page made up of two Gmail widgets; one would be for personal Gmail and the other for my PhoneArena business email.
One thing I’ve learned recently is that the Google Keep app allows you to create great shopping lists with a box that you can check off when you’ve bought an item on the list. With the Keep widget, Google lets you browse your to-do list from your home screen. And even Google Translate has a widget that you can set up with translated phrases to always appear on your home screen. Put a “star” next to your most used translations and they will always be available in the Translate widget for quick translations at your fingertips.

Android apps can be resized by changing the widget’s shape and the amount of information available

Android widgets can be resized and by doing so you can change the shape of the widget while keeping the main parts of an app available on the widget. As a good example, the Google Drive widget can be made smaller by long tapping on it, leaving you with four dots from which you can stretch the widget to resize and reshape, turning it into a toolbar.

To find a particular widget, you must first install the app by searching the Google Play Store and installing it on your device. Then you need to find some empty real estate on your Android home screen and long press on it until you see a screen pop up with three options: Wallpaper & Style, Widgets and Home Settings. Tap Widgets and you’ll see your widget options. Long press on the one you want and while in that position you can navigate with your finger to the precise spot on the home screen where you want the widget.

Widgets were first supported on smartphones with the release of Android 1.0 and 1.1. By the time Android 1.5 rolled around, developers were able to create widgets that could be installed directly on the Android home screen.

While widgets have traditionally been tied to the Android operating system, Apple has come from behind and with this year’s iOS 16 release, Apple is expected to include customizable widgets that Apple could put on Android for the first time when it comes to widgets.

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