Google Maps 5.7 for Android Mobile OS 2.1+ device is released today and comes with following new features and updates--all of which can help you whether you're traveling to an unfamiliar part of town or visiting a city across the world, announced the Google Mobile team blog.
- Transit Navigation Beta
Google Maps Navigation Beta currently provides over 12 billion miles of GPS-guided driving and walking directions per year. "Now, GPS turn-by-turn (or in this case, stop-by-stop) navigation is available for public transit directions in 400+ cities around the globe with Transit Navigation. Transit Navigation uses GPS signals to determine your current location along your route and alerts you when it's time to get off or make a transfer. This is particularly helpful if you're in a city where you don't speak the language and can't read the route maps or understand the announcements," revealed Google.
Left: Transit directions without Navigation. Right: with Navigation
Navigation alerts appear even if you switch to another app
- Updated Directions
"If you select the driving or walking icon and your route is supported by Google Maps Navigation, the Navigation icon will automatically appear so you can get access to step-by-step directions in one click. Note: this change is currently only in place for driving and walking and does not appear for public transit," google said.
"Also streamlined how you access directions from within a Place page. Before, clicking directions in a Place page would bring up options for "Driving Navigation," "Walking Navigation" and "Directions." Now, you'll be taken straight to the map and see the new directions box shown above."
One-click access to Navigation from directions
- Improved Search Suggest
First, new category icons added, so instead of all search suggestions displaying the same icon, the icon next to the listing will reflect the type of result. You'll see a pin for a Google Places listing, a star for a starred Place or location, a clock for a previously used search term, a person for contacts and a magnifying glass for "anything else."," stated google.
Also, "any place you got directions to or called directly from its Places page will be included as a suggestion for a relevant search. For example, if you recently received directions to the U.S. Post Office on Wilshire Boulevard, afterward, when you begin a search with [p] or [bou], that U.S. Post Office would appear as a search suggestion," google explained.
Two examples of search suggest with new icons
- Photo viewer for Place pages
Business photos for Place pages was launched last October, since then millions of photos have been added to Place pages around the world. To enable you to view these photos on the run, a slick new photo viewer has been added so you can browse photos while deciding where to go," google stated.
Left: Business photos in Place pages. Right: New photo viewer
- Probably the most useful new feature is buried inside Google Maps Labs: on-demand maps caching. Tap the "menu" button, select "More" and then "Labs". Enable "download map area", long press on the map around the area you want save, tap on the bubble and select "Download map area". Google Maps will download the map area within 10 miles (16.09 kilometers) of the selected location and outline it. This feature only saves map tiles, so you won't be able to see satellite imagery, Street View images or get driving directions while offline.
The 10 miles limit can't be changed, but at least you can manage your downloaded maps. Use the "Cache settings" option from the menu and select "Downloaded map areas". You can rename map areas, delete them and quickly visualize them.
Watch Transit Navigation (Beta) in action below:
You can download Google Maps 5.7 for Android from Android Market.
You can learn more at help center.
[Source: Google Mobile blog]