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Google Maps for Android: Crosses 50 Billion km Mark, Gets New Navigation Home screen, Crisper Maps and More for Android 4.0 ICS

Google just informed that Navigation on Google Maps for Android has corssed “50 billion kilometers of turn-by-turn directions,” which is the equivalent of 130,000 trips to the moon, 334 trips to the sun, 10 trips to Neptune or 0.005 light years!

To celebrate this milestone, Google released a new look Navigation on Android 4.0+ phones — version 6.5, now Google Maps 6.5 for Android comes with a redesigned Navigation home screen making it easier to enter a new destination or select from recent and favorite locations by swiping left or right.

Android devices with high pixel density screen, such as Galaxy Nexus, Galaxy S II, Droid Razr and others, will now get you a higher resolution, crisper, less cluttered map tiles that take better advantage of the pixels-per-inch on your screen and is easier to read.

Left: New Navigation home screen Right: Navigation in Google Maps for Android:Google Maps 6.5 for Android redesigned Navigation home screen

In the picture below, the road network is now easier to see, less obstructed by labels, and has more color contrast. At more zoomed-in levels, you’ll notice a more controlled amount of maps labels to avoid cluttering the map and blocking out street names. The new style also helps maps react faster to panning, zooming, and twisting.”

You’ll start seeing the new style as you navigate around new areas on the map; however, you can see these changes immediately by clearing your cache from the Maps settings.

Left: Previous style – Right: New style in Google Maps 6.5 for Android:google maps 6.5 for android with crisper hight-pixled maps

Pick your preferred public transit mode and route option

The new version also lets you choose to prioritize a particular transit mode (such as the bus or subway) and route option (like taking the recommended route, one with fewer transfers or one with less walking).

google maps 6.5 for android pick preferred public transit mode and route option

“Whether you just need to get somewhere as fast as possible, or you want to avoid the risk of a missed connection or you prefer not to tire your legs, you can get the transit directions that best suit you. Transit directions and schedules are available for 475 cities around the world,” Google said.

To start using Google Maps 6.5 for Android, download the update from Google Play.

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