Thursday, July 28, 2011

Google Maps 5.8 arrives on the Market with photo uploads, My Places and more

google maps
The Google Maps team is back with another update for their Android app. Once again, they managed to cram a bunch of new features into it. The undoubtedly best mobile mapping app in the world is now at version 5.8, and here’s what’s new:

  • Upload photos for a Place
  • My Places as a simple way to manage the Places you’ve starred and recently viewed
  • Descriptive terms for Places in search results
  • Add a new Place on-the-go when checking in
You can now upload photos of places right from your phone. These photos will then be saved to a folder called “Photos for Google Maps” on your Picasa account. There, you’ll be able to see and delete any photo that you’ve uploaded to Google Maps. This is a pretty cool feature, and one that I could see myself using a lot in the future. Even more, there’s a lot of potential here for Google to integrate the Google+ app. After all, we’re already uploading every picture we take on our phones automatically to Google+.
The second feature is My Places for the mobile app. If you’re an avid user of the Google Maps desktop app (like me), then you’re probably familiar with My Places. Put simply, My Places lets you keep track of every place you’ve ever rated or starred. And you can now do that from your Android phone.
Then there’s descriptive terms for Places and the ability to check into a Place even if it doesn’t exist. Descriptive terms on the mobile app work the same way they do on the desktop version. Every time you search for something, descriptive terms give you a quick description of the place.
You’ll also now be able to check into places that don’t exist. If the place you’re in doesn’t appear on Google Maps, simply add it and then check in. I’m guessing after a certain amount of check-ins, these previously missing places will automatically appear on Google Maps.
Not surprisingly, both the new check-in feature and the ability to upload photos are somewhat social features. But they also allow users to improve Google Maps. Forget about using Google+ to improve Google Search, imagine what will happen once Google has an army of Google+ users out there taking photos of everything and adding all the places on the face of the Earth.


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