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]

Veterans Can Now Access Their Health Records Through Apple’s Health App

SeventyFour/iStock via Getty Images
SeventyFour/iStock via Getty Images

Apple’s iOS Health app is great for more than just checking how many steps you took during a lengthy walk in the park—it also stores health records from Johns Hopkins, Quest Diagnostics, Allscripts, and more than 400 other healthcare organizations.

Now, Fortune reports that the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has joined that list, making it easier than ever for military veterans who receive healthcare through the Veterans Health Administration to access all of their health records, including medications, immunizations, lab results, and other information. In the press release, Apple explains that the app will automatically update the records, so all veterans need to do is log into their providers’s patient portals through the Health app for a “single, integrated snapshot of their health profile whenever they want, quickly, and privately.”

apple VA health app screenshot
Apple

Though the official announcement coincides nicely with Veterans Day on Monday, the change itself has been in the works for several months—the VA released the new feature to certain patients over the summer.

According to its website, the Veterans Health Administration is the largest integrated healthcare system in the country, servicing more than 9 million patients across 1255 healthcare facilities. With such an expansive network, any successful attempt to streamline processes and improve the flow of information—especially when it comes to sensitive, personal data—has the potential to be a major game-changer for veterans.

apple VA health app screenshot
Apple

“Helping veterans gain a better understanding of their health is our chance to show our gratitude for their service,” Apple COO Jeff Williams said in the press release. “By working with the VA to offer Health Records on iPhone, we hope to help those who served have greater peace of mind that their healthcare is in good hands.”

Wondering what you can do to help veterans? Here are 11 honorable ideas.

[h/t Fortune]

Warning: Your Roku or Samsung Device Could Lose Access to Netflix Next Month

tcerovski/iStock via Getty Images
tcerovski/iStock via Getty Images

Owners of older Samsung TVs and Roku sticks may need to find a new way to binge-watch their favorite shows on Netflix next month. Starting December 1, the streaming service will no longer be compatible with the Roku 2100x, Roku 2050x, some Samsung smart TVs from 2010 and 2011, and other devices that don't support autoplay, Lifehacker reports.

Netflix hasn't shared many details about the reasons behind the change—just that they will result from "technical limitations." The issue seems to only impact devices that have trouble autoplaying episodes, so if you haven't noticed any content playing on its own while watching Netflix on your television, you may be affected.

Autoplay is one of the Netflix's least popular features. While the service allows you to customize many aspects of your user experience, there's no way to disable autoplay on the homepage. This latest news suggests that Netflix is choosing to ignore the complaints and double-down on the autoplay feature—a decision that will likely frustrate many subscribers who can no longer watch Stranger Things on their otherwise perfectly-working devices.

Netflix has yet to release an official list of the devices that will no longer support the app—just a warning that some users may see an error message that reads "Due to technical limitations, Netflix will no longer be available on this device after December 1, 2019." Fortunately, Samsung and Roku have been more forthcoming with details. Here's a list of some of the devices that will no longer be able to stream Netflix starting next month:

Roku 2000C
Roku 2050X
Roku 2100X
Roku HD
Roku SD
Roku XD
Roku XR
2010 and 2011 Samsung TVs with a C or D in the model code

[h/t Lifehacker]

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