Google Maps has become an important part of how many people – especially in generation Y – interact with the world around them. From finding nearby businesses to rating locations on the go to getting turn-by-turn GPS navigation from their smartphone, Maps has established itself as a powerful tool at home and on the go. The Google Maps 5.7 update for the Android OS focuses on expanding the mobile features.
Several new features have been release, including:
- GPS navigation for public transit. In the more than 440 locations where public transit information is available through Google Maps, users can now access a “stop-by-stop” navigation that prompts them when they need to get off the bus, make a transfer, or switch from one public transit type to another (e.g., bus to train).
- One-click option to get directions. When searching for directions, users can now select the type of directions (i.e., walking, driving, biking, or public transit) from the first screen on the “Get directions” page. This allows users to get directions in a single click rather than loading a location and then specifying the type of directions required.
- Search suggest icons. The search suggestions provided by Google Maps will now be accompanied by specific icons that indicate what sort of suggestions they are. Items that have been starred by the user will have a star next to them, items that have been searched previously will have a clock icon, Google Places locations will have a pin icon, and anything else will have a magnifying glass.
- Search suggestion integration with Google Places. If you recently got directions from a Google Places page or called a location via its Places page, the item will be moved to the top of search suggestions for relevant searches.
- A photo viewer for Places pages. Users can browse the photos submitted for Places via a photo viewer integrated with Google Maps.
You can install or update the application through the Android Market on your Android OS 2.1+ device or visit the Google Maps page on the Android Market site.
[Sources include: The Official Google Blog]