It seems like only yesterday that Google Maps got updated for Android handsets, and each update has been bringing handy new features, but it’s being updated again with newer goodies. Last time, on version 4.3, we saw the addition of public transportation schedules, which was a big help for those of us that live in bigger cities and rely on the buses and trains. This time, Google is bringing some new gestures and and content on your searches.
Some of the new features include:
- Places icon in the app launcher; find places nearby
- Business hours and more details
- Tap the Navigation icon to use the map view and see 3D maps and live traffic
If you rely on Google Maps on your Android handset as much as I do, the new update is definitely a welcome upgrade. It lets you swipe between search results, photos and info. Another new feature is the Places icon you can put right on your home screen to find restaurants, cafes, bars and other points of interest wherever you are. As Google says, “Press and drag it right onto your home screen to use it when you’re looking for a restaurant, shoe store, movie theater or any other type of local business. You’ll get a detailed list of all the nearest places and can choose one to learn more about it on its Place Page.”
It seems to be a lot like Yelp, and the fact that it adds business details and hours of operation make it seem more like Yelp, too. All that’s missing now are the hundreds of snarky user reviews.
As usual, to get the updated just open up your Android Market and go straight to downloads and you should see the update available for Google Maps. If you’re using a Sprint handset like the EVO 4G, you’ll have to hit Menu to find Downloads since the Sprint button replaces the spot where Downloads would normally be. Just make sure you’re running Android 1.6 or higher, otherwise you’ll just have to settle with your current version of Google Maps. Enjoy!
[Via: Google Blog]