There was once a time when Google Maps was only a small footnote being flicked aside by MapQuest. Now the picture has changed immensely, and largely thanks to mobile application support from Android and iOS devices, Google Maps is a dominant player. Of course, there’s more to it than Google’s cross-promotion. Maps has also been adding features like a training sumo wrestler adds pounds: quickly and visibly. The most recent set of additions, being rolled out now with Maps for Android version 5.5, include check-ins, ratings, and an improved public transit system.
Here’s a brief breakdown of the included features:
- Check-in. Whenever you load a location, you’ll now have the option to check in with Google Latitude, the geo-location tool. Registering with Latitude, changing your personal information (such as home and work address) for Latitude reports, and other Latitude features are also easier to access in Maps 5.5.
- Rate. You can now quickly give a star rating for the Google Place page of the location you’ve looked up. You can also visit the other rating or write a full Places review.
- Improved transit information. Get a report of nearby public transit locations, where they’re departing to, what times you can expert departures on different routes, and more. While Google transit information is enabled for over 440 cities, this feature is not yet implemented in all of them.
To check out Android Maps 5.5, simply load up the Android Market from your smartphone or tablet and update your version of the app. If you didn’t have the app installed (or uninstalled it) you can do a simple search for Google Maps to make a fresh download of the most recent version.
[via the Google LatLong Blog]