While there are a great many Google-branded apps for the Android system, some are more important than others. Specifically, any application that’s intended for use on the go is a vital part of being a cornerstone of the mobile world. That means that, perhaps rivaled only by the Google Search features on Android, Google Maps is the most important single application. Maps receives regular updates, and the most recent (Maps 5.7) integrates improvements to the UI, public transit directions, and integration with Places pages.
Updates to the UI. Users will be able to more rapidly access directions of their preferred type (bike, bus, walk, or drive), since the number of clicks required to get to these directions has been reduced. Additionally, search suggestions now have icons that label why the item is being suggested. A Places page is labeled with a pin, an item from your Google Maps search history is labeled with a clock, items the user has starred are labeled with a star, and all other items receive a magnifying glass icon.
Public transit directions. Users who are in one of the more than 400 cities that have public transit data available will now be able to access a turn-by-turn version of the public transit directions. The turn-by-turn will prompt users when a transfer is required, when they should leave a bus/train, or when they otherwise need to take action.
Integration with Places pages. Users who look at a location on Google Maps that has a Google Places page will be able to look at the pictures posted to the Places page in a simple image viewer. Additionally, users who have received directions or called a location via the location’s Places page will now have that location automatically suggested in related searches in Google Maps.
The updates are compatible with Android OS 2.1 or higher.