Thursday, July 7, 2011

[VIDEO] Google Maps 5.7 for Android introduced; includes public transit navigation feature along with offline navigation with downloadable maps

Google Maps updates tend to be very minor, since the app is already very well designed. This is definitely not the case for its new update to version 5.7, which brings Transit Navigation, search categories and Photo Viewer for Place pages.

Transit Navigation and Updated Directions

Transit Navigation brings stop-by-stop directions for public transportation in over 400 cities. It basically works as you would expect; it determines your location through GPS and lets you know when/where to get off. Google Maps even alerts you via the notification bar if you happen to be doing anything else on your device.
Those who use turn-by-turn directions often know that the Navigation and Google Maps apps needed better team work. Google Maps has now better integrated Navigation to the Google Maps app by adding a Navigation button in certain areas. Aside from being located in the top-right corner of directions, it is also added as a search option. The Navigation button is now conveniently placed right next to the “Get Directions” button, and you can skip the Directions if you so chose.

Improved Search Suggest

Google has added labeled icons next to search suggestions. These icons reflect the type of place the suggestion refers to and allows for easier specified searching. Now search suggestions will display an icon of a pin, a star, a clock, a person or a magnifying glass. The pin represents a Google Places listing, the star represents your starred locations, the clock labels previously searched locations, a person icon represents your contacts and the magnifying glass covers all other categories.

Photo Viewer for Places pages

This new feature is pretty much self explanatory. Photo Viewer is available via the Google Maps application, and it allows you to see the images tagged to certain locations. If you’re traveling around and would like to see areas near your destination en route, this is definitely a convenient way to do it. Direct from Google Maps.

Full List of Changes

  • Get GPS stop-by-stop public transit directions in Navigation (Beta)
  • Receive search suggestions based on previous direction destinations and visited Place pages
  • Get directions in less clicks with updated Directions experience
  • Improved battery power management for Navigation (Beta)
  • Browse photos of Place pages in a gallery view
  • Use the ‘Download Map Area’ lab to save map areas for offline viewing

Download / Update

Google has definitely gone above and beyond with this new update to Google Maps, so get your update to check out these new features. The only requirement is that you have Android 2.1 or above, so most of us are covered! For further details, enjoy Google’s tutorial for Google Maps 5.7 below. Do you guys like this update? Which features are the best? Which will you use the most?


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