The most frequently updated Google-made application for Android is, without a doubt, Google Maps. The Android app has recently received updates to boost it ahead of the competition for the foreseeable future, and this latest update helps keep it in front of the pack. Unfortunately, this update includes little more than a few tweaks to the not-so-popular Latitude location-based social network. But that’s not to say these new features won’t be helpful.
With Google Maps 5.3, users are now able to set a Home location, and can check into said location through Latitude thereafter. Google has been making the inroads to become more social, and implementing features like this through Maps is probably the best way to get people to used to using Google’s social services. They had to do something after Buzz flopped, and this is at least a step in the right direction.
You’ll also be able to view your location history in the Latitude dashboard if you’ve enabled it to do so. Some may find it a bit useless, but Google makes it interesting by showing you how many hours you’ve spent at home, work, or being out and about. Location history also shows you how many feet you’ve traveled, and will help you keep track of how many miles more you need to travel before you’ve walked the distance between earth and the moon, just for kicks. Location history is limited to yourself, and isn’t shared.
Up last in this minor update is the option to add your opinion to a specific aspect of a place you’ve visited when rating a location using Google Places with HotPot. Say you loved the food, but hated the ambiance of a particular location; you can add that specifically to your rating for others to see. It’s a simple feature, but it should help people get a better feel of a place while reading reviews.
Again, this is a pretty simple update, but nonetheless, an update. The new features are nice, but in some aspects, Google Maps seems to be getting “too smart”. What do you think about the new features? Will you use them?