Google Maps Adds Biking and Ridesharing to Its Transit Options

nirat/iStock via Getty Images
nirat/iStock via Getty Images

The directions and time estimates given by Google Maps are very straightforward. That is, if you’re driving from door to door in your own car, or walking from door to door on your own two feet. If you’re using a combination of other transportation methods, however, your “Be there in 30!” message is sometimes really code for “I have only the vaguest idea of how long it’ll actually take me to get there.”

To help you out, Google Maps has announced that it’s adding biking and ridesharing to its transportation options, so you can now go from your bike to the train to an Uber to your friend’s apartment—and your friend will know that “Be there in 30!” means exactly that.

You’ll be able to access the new features by entering a destination, and tapping on "Directions" and then the tiny train icon on Google Maps, just like you normally would to see transit options. Before, if your starting point or destination was even just feet from the train station or bus stop, you’d see those routes paired with walking directions. The new feature includes options for swapping out those walks with biking or ridesharing. If you choose biking for a portion of your journey, Google Maps will automatically tailor those routes for cyclists. If you choose ridesharing, you’ll see options for rideshare apps like Lyft and Uber, and Google will give you the details about cost, wait time, traffic, and more.

Google Maps transit options updates
Google

According to The Verge, this is Google’s latest attempt to make travel easier for urbanites. In June, Google Maps added a feature that used past data to predict how crowded trains and buses would be for commuters. Uber is also vying for the position of one-app-fits-all when it comes to travel: They’ve recently added transit options to their app, and they’re testing a feature that allows Denver residents to buy train tickets directly in the app.

If your device uses iOS, you might start seeing the transit changes on Google Maps as early as today. If you’re an Android user, you might see ridesharing options today, with the bike feature to follow soon.

To remind yourself how much easier it is to take public transportation in the digital age, check out these historical transit maps.

[h/t The Verge]

Pod Search, a Search Engine for Podcasts, Can Help You Find Your Next Binge-Listen

Milkos/iStock via Getty Images
Milkos/iStock via Getty Images

Having too many options definitely seems like the best problem to have when it comes to picking your next top podcast obsession, but that doesn’t make it any less overwhelming. To streamline the hunt, try Pod Search—a website and mobile app that has all the information you need in order to choose a winner.

As Lifehacker reports, the user-friendly site is organized in several different ways, depending on how you’d like to operate your search. You can browse its list of about 30 categories, which range from “Storytelling” to “Crime & Law,” and each has a set of subcategories so you can get even more specific. If you trust the opinions of the general public, you can choose an already-popular podcast from the “Top Podcasts” tab. Or, if you like to be the first to recommend the next big thing to your friends, you can pick a program from the list of new podcasts.

Pod Search also has a handy tool called MyPodSearch which will pretty much do all the work of choosing the perfect podcast for you. All you have to do is check whichever categories interest you and add any additional keywords you’d like (which is optional), and MyPodSearch will deliver a list of podcasts personalized for your tastes. This is great for people who have wide-ranging interests, a proclivity for indecision, or both.

Each podcast has its own landing page with a description, audio samples, places you can listen, website and social media links for the podcast, and a list of other podcasts from the same producers. You can also create an account and bookmark podcasts for the future—so, hypothetically, you could have MyPodSearch create a personalized list for you, bookmark them all, and then have a binge-listening itinerary that’ll last you until next year.

[h/t Lifehacker]

Playing Jeopardy! While You Drive Is the Best Way to Deal With Your Boring Commute

Ben Hider, Getty Images
Ben Hider, Getty Images

More than 55 years after making its television debut, Jeopardy! continues to hold a prominent place in popular culture. Last spring, James Holzhauer went on a 32-game winning streak, coming just $58,484 short of beating all-time champion (and Mental Floss contributor) Ken Jennings' $2.52 million winnings.

If only Holzhauer had an app to practice with during the drive to the studio. Now, thanks to Drivetime, future contestants and general trivia enthusiasts have that opportunity. The service just launched a Jeopardy! add-on that allows players to answer questions from the first 35 seasons of the show using Drivetime’s voice-based, hands-free interface. A new show will be available to Drivetime users daily. If they subscribe for $9.99 monthly, they can choose any show from past seasons. Questions are read by host Alex Trebek in both archival and recently taped audio.

The game offers one tweak for civilians: As each clue is read, the app offers three possible responses, turning it into a multiple-choice quiz. Money is still accrued and you can still wager on Final Jeopardy to walk away with a victory.

[h/t Engadget]

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