Ms. Pac-Man invades Google Maps for April Fools’

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google maps pacman
Get your PacMan fix in Google Maps.
Photo: Buster Hein/Cult of Mac

There’s just one day left in March which means a cornucopia of horrible tech “pranks” are about to be unleashed on the internet. Google is getting its gags out early and this year, the company’s April Fools’ Day prank is actually a lot of fun.

Google Maps added a new feature for users this morning on both iOS, Android and the web that allows users to turn city streets into a giant game of Ms. Pac-Man.

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iOS widgets: 6 of the best to replace Apple’s own

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These apps' iOS widgets will give your iPhone superpowers.
These apps' iOS widgets will give your iPhone superpowers.
Photo: Gilles Lambert/Unsplash CC

iOS widgets are a great way to check in on your day. Apple gave us its own take on widgets with the core apps built into iOS 10, but you can do better.

If you’ve never taken a look at some of the great third-party iOS widgets available, you’re missing out. Here are six of our favorite iOS widgets to replace the stock Apple widgets. (If you don’t know how to add widgets, go to the bottom of this post for instructions on adding and using them.)

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Quadro, Dungeon Defense, and awesome apps of the week

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Awesome
'Appy weekend, everyone!
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

It’s the final day of the weekend, which means it’s time for us to share our picks for the week’s most important apps and app updates.

From a nifty Touch Bar-style app for iOS and Mac to a terrific retro-styled dungeon actioner, we’re confident we’ve got something you’ll enjoy. Check out our choices below.

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Is Apple Maps still the laughing stock of maps apps? [Friday Night Fights]

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fnf
Is Apple Maps your first choice?
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

The release of Apple Maps with iOS 6 was so disastrous it led to the firing of Scott Forstall, former SVP of iOS, and to a rare public apology from CEO Tim Cook.

Friday Night Fights bug Almost four years on, Maps is in a very different place. Apple has worked hard to iron out the kinks and add new features that help the service compete with rivals like Google Maps. But is Apple Maps still the laughing stock of maps apps?

Join us in this week’s Friday Night Fights as we battle it out over the state of Apple Maps.

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Mystery vans likely making 3-D road maps for Apple’s self-driving car

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apple van
Mysterious unmarked vans roaming the Bay Area have been linked to Apple, and are likely generating detailed 3D maps for robot cars.
Photo: Business Insider/Stephen Smith

Some new data-gathering vehicles are roaming the streets of San Francisco. They’re unmarked, but are suspected to be Apple’s. They are laden with sensors, but what kind of data are they gathering, and what for?

Experts contacted by Cult of Mac say the mystery vans are next-generation mapping vehicles capable of capturing VR-style, 360-degree street photos. Plus, the vans use Lidar to create extraordinarily precise “point clouds,” a prerequisite for self-driving cars. Mesh those two databases together and you’ve laid the groundwork for an autonomous vehicle’s navigation system.

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Apple hires satnav expert to improve Maps app

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Apple's latest hire will make Maps better.
Photo: Apple

Apple’s often-ridiculed Maps app is getting some much-needed assistance, thanks to a recent new hire who helped invent the satellite navigation systems used by a bevy of automakers. 

Sinisa Durekovic, a software engineer who was the principle architect and engineer for Harman International Industries’ navigation systems, has reportedly joined Apple, and the company won’t say what he is working on.

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No data, no problem: How to use Google Maps offline

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Get your Google Maps to work everywhere.
Get your Google Maps to work everywhere.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac (original image: Jordan McQueen/Unsplash CC)

When you’re out in the sticks somewhere, you might get to a place where there’s no signal. How will you ever find your way home (or to the next party) without your trusty Google Maps app?

Well, with a little foresight, you can make sure Google Maps continues to be useful, even when you’re not within range of cellular data. Here’s how to use Google Maps offline to make sure you never get lost again when your smartphone goes offline.

Note: This tip will work with Android and iOS versions of Google Maps.

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