Google Maps for Android has got a major update (in terms of features) earlier today. The updated version 5.7 brings lot of cool new features to the already-awesome app. The new features include Transit Navigation (Beta), updated directions, improved search suggestions, and a new photo viewer for Place pages, all of which are pretty useful features for commuters in urban areas worldwide.
First up, Transit Navigation for public transport will be immensely helpful when you are traveling in a local train or bus in a city in a foreign region where the people don’t speak your language. Since your destination is a place you have never been, it’s likely that you will have tough time figuring out where to get off and how to reach your destination from there. With an Android 2.1+ running smartphone with Google Maps 5.7 installed, you can leave all these worries to the app and enjoy the sights out the window. The app will make use of the phone’s GPS to update your current location and checks it with the destination and will give you stop-by-stop navigation (currently available for more than 400 cities across the world). One good thing about this feature is that it will push notifications to your mobile phone even while you are playing a game, using another app or listening to music. When the last stop is approaching, the app will not only send the notification but will also will vibrate making sure you listen to the alert and get ready to get off from the bus/train.
The app will also come with updated directions, making it easier for you to access the step-by-step directions (provided the route supports Google Maps Navigation) with the help of a newly added Navigation icon (as in the below screenshot):
Google has also updated the search suggestion by incorporating category icons in the search results. Place pages have also been updated with a new photo viewer to view the photos attached to them on the go.
And lastly, there’s an unpublicized special feature addition in the form of ‘download map area’, a labs feature that will enable you to download up to 10 miles of area around a place for offline viewing. Watch the below video to get to know more about the updated app.
Can’t wait to see all the features in action, go get the updated app immediately. Head over to Android Market (hit the link) or use the following QR code.
[Source: Official Google Blog]