Google May Help Find Your Parked Car

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By Naveena Joy | May 5, 2014 6:46 PM EST

Google has released an app which will find your car if it was lost or you forgot where it was parked.

"Google Now" app is free for downloading. It only applies to people who tell Google that they regularly drive. If you don't want to use it, you can always opt for it. It is very useful for hiking to find your car again or tell your friends where to meet.

This app is useful to:                                                                   

  • Remember the GPS position of your car, hotel or any other location (with GPS)
  • Show your current position or your car position on the map (or open an external app with the GPS position)
  • Use Google Navigation (or an external app) to navigate to your car
  • Compass Navigation: offline navigation with a compass
  • Share your stored positions (or your current position) with your friends
  • Take a picture of your parking spot (e.g. underground parking)
  • Store as many positions as you want. Use import/export-feature for backup
  • Emergency button: send a preconfigured SMS with your current position to a family member to notify them about your whereabouts with only two clicks (must be activated in the settings first)
  • Widget: store your current parking position with one-click (and find it again with one click)

The company's Google Now assistant will now recognize when you've left a moving vehicle and automatically keep track of your car's previous location. There's no magic happening here. Google does all of these using your smartphone's bevy of sensors.

"You may see parking location cards even if you didn't park your car," the company said addressing the new feature. "For example, these cards could show up after you exit a bus or a friend's car."

Steps to Get Started

1.  Ensure you have the latest and the right version. Version 3.4 of the Google Search is required to start with the parking location feature. To see which version you have, tap 'Help and Feedback' on the Google's search app. You'll find updates in the Google Play store by searching for Google Search.

2.  You need to tell Google that you drive. To do this, go into the Google Search App (where you see Google Now cards) and tap the icon that looks like a magic wand. Click "Everything else," tap "How do you usually get around," and make sure that you select "Driving."

3.  Google uses GPS and the phone's sensors to distinguish driving in a vehicle from cycling or walking. After you park the car, a card should pop up in the Google Now card stack with a map showing your rough location. You should get more accurate results with Wi-Fi and Location settings turned on.

When the card appears, you can tap it to expand the map. If you've made more than one stop on the same trip, there is also an option to see previous locations.

Accidentally swiping the card away gives you a few moments to retrieve it by pressing the Undo button. But if you've dismissed it or turned it off in the Settings, it won't remember where you were before. It also won't hold onto your parking spot for you overnight, and there's no way to pin that right now.

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