It looks like having to ask for directions from strangers on the street is going to become a thing of the past…if you are an Android user, that is. Google has added a “walking navigation” feature to the latest version of Google Maps for Android. This feature seems to be a combination of turn-by-turn GPS navigation, satellite imagery, and walking directions.
After entering the address of their destination, users choose “walking” from the navigation icon and the application will begin to guide you along things like sidewalks, overpasses and pedestrian pathways. Your phone will even vibrate when you are reaching the next turn. The app will have your phone act as a compass of sorts; the map will even rotate as you turn your phone.
Users also have the option of using an improved version of Street View for Google Maps on Android if the Satellite View isn’t cutting it for them. With Street View’s “smart navigation” feature, all users have to do is move the penman around to change their vantage point on the map to get a better sense of where exactly they are. To get access to Street View, you will have to download the Street View on Google Maps update for the Android Market Place.
In addition to the new walking feature, there is a new Google Maps search bar that can be quickly accessed at the top of the screen. After entering your query you can open Places and find your current location. Users can view the ratings of establishments, good offered and their prices and cross streets to better locate the places they are searching for.
Google Maps for Mobile 4.5 is available on all Androids that run 1.6 or better.