Support this page!
Buy my books!
151.androidapps.png cover
Even more books!

Departments

Home

Blog

Books

Training

Support

Dictionary

Fun


February 22, 2016

The Street View App

Filed under: Main — Tags: — admin @ 12:01 am

street_view_icon

Occasionally, I browse the Apps Drawer on my Android gizmos. It never ceases to surprise me when I find something new, something that wasn’t there last time that I checked. The most recent example of which is the Street View app.

The app appears on my Nexus 9 tablet, which I recently updated. It’s obviously related to the Maps app, which has a Street View feature. So I opened the app to see what was up.

New apps come and go all the time in the Android universe. The Maps app’s navigation feature was once a standalone app called Navigation, as was the Search Nearby feature, which was called the Places app. Both sub-apps are now gone.

The Street View app lets you explore the world via the Google Maps’ street view feature. It’s not a navigation or search-for-this-or-that app: It just shows street views. Figure 1 illustrates the app’s main screen

Figure 1. The Street view app showing Seattle. Street view collections appear at the bottom of the screen; red dots represent user-supplied street view images.

Figure 1. The Street view app showing Seattle. Street view collections appear at the bottom of the screen; red dots represent user-supplied street view images.

The catch? You can capture and upload your own street view images. You can use the Photosphere mode from your Android’s camera to capture a 360° panorama and upload it to the Street View app. In fact, that’s what I believe is the ulterior motive for the app: To get Google out of the street view business.

When you use street view, you’re looking at pictures captured by one of the Google vehicles, as shown in Figure 2. I’ve never seen the vehicle, but it’s driven down my street a few times based on existing street view images.

Figure 2. Google’s “street view car.” Image stolen from Google’s webpage.

The problem with street view is that the Google car doesn’t go everywhere. Sometimes the street view images stop just before your own house! Or maybe you live on a rural road that doesn’t see the Google street view car. Whatever. That problem is now solved, as long as enough Android users take advantage of the Street View app, opt for a modicum of Internet fame, and upload their own Street View images.

Is that really what Google is up to?

Yeah, it seems right. Remember, years ago Google offered a toll-free phone number where you can ask for information — ask about anything. They paid a ton of people to answer the phones and look up that information, all free. But what was being sold, of course, were the users. Their voices were recorded and transcribed for analysis. The end result is Google Now, which accepts voice input. So it seems plausible that users in the future will eventually build the Street View image you see in the Maps app.

Thank you for your unpaid input!

No Comments

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

Copyright © 2017 Quantum Particle Bottling Co.
Powered by WordPress