Google Maps for Android gets boost, adds biking directions

Google has just updated the Maps application for Android and bicyclists should be happy because it now includes navigation for these foot-powered vehicles.

Biking directions have already been in the desktop version but this is the first time it will hit Google Maps for mobile. According to Google’s Mobile blog:

Just in time for National Bike Month, select the bike icon when getting directions to get an optimal bicycling route in the U.S. If you’re in the mood for a more scenic ride, you’ll also see the Bicycling layer on the map which shows dedicated bike-only trails (dark green), roads with bike lanes (light green), or roads that are good for biking but lack a dedicated lane (dashed green). You can always turn on this layer from the Layers menu to pick your own route. Add in the Labs’ Terrain layer, and you can decide to either climb or avoid that big hill on the way home!

The latest update to Google Maps also includes some shortcuts for Google Maps Navigation. You can now add the Navigation icon to your home screen and get turn-by-turn audible directions in as few as two clicks. You can also share your location via Facebook, Twitter, Buzz, SMS or e-mail within the app.

Google Maps 4.2 is now available in applicable regions in the Android Market and it only works with Android 1.6 and above (sorry Droid Eris users).

[Via Google Mobile blog]

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