We’ve spent a lot of time talking about Google Maps lately, partially because of updates to features in the core version, partially because of the new version released for the mobile platform. In the end, though, we keep talking because Google gives us more to talk about. Case in point: Google just made the mobile version of their page adopt the core features of their app, regardless of what mobile platform you’re using.
What this means is that any mobile phone with a full browser can go to the maps.google.com website and see a feature-rich version that reflects numerous recent additions to Maps. Those who have used the Android or iOS versions of Google Map will already be familiar with the new features and capabilities, which include the ability to:
- Click on icons for transit stations, popular businesses, and other major sites when they appear on your map. Clicking leads to a detailed description page for the location.
- Have your current location displayed on the map.
- Get biking, walking, driving, and public transit directions. Public transit directions are currently available in 440 cities and counting.
- Search for nearby services by category.
- Receive autocomplete suggestions.
- Turn on various “layers” for the map (such as biking trails, transit maps, etc.).
- View the Google Place page for locations. This also gives you quick access to a rating/review page where you can see the company reputation and add your own review.
- Get quick access to the data stored in your Google account, such as your starred locations and any personalized maps (“My Maps”) you’ve created.
When users visit the site from a mobile browser they will have to opt in to sharing their current location, and some features are only available when logged into your Google account. However, beyond those two caveats this version provides the core services of the Maps app without the need for an Android or Apple phone.
[via the Google LatLong Blog]