I have a love-hate relationship with the Android Google Maps application. Google Maps doesn't always work for me, but when it does I am very happy with the results. I feel like many people share the same feelings about Google Maps as I do, so it does not surprise me that Google has jumped at the opportunity to improve their Maps application. The new Google Maps application for Android has improvements that are big and small, which include geolocation and more real-world information.
Have you ever been in a new city looking for a restaurant to have dinner, and you have no idea where to go? I know I have, and now with the help of Google Maps the search for said restaurant has become much easier. A new feature of Google Maps, is the new Explore feature that shows you Zagat ratings and reviews for the restaurants in the area. You can even add your own ratings and reviews, straight from the Google Maps application. Another feature for the new app, is when you shake the phone you can then send feedback to Google. If the address or phone number they give you is incorrect, you can solve the problem immediately so others wont run into it as well. "We depend on users telling us that something has changed," said Daniel Graf, director of Google Maps. What Google has built is great, but to make it even better they must rely on users.
Google Maps has also updated their traffic information to now include real-time traffic details and notifications that allows you to reroute in just one simple tap. Street view has also been improved with images of store fronts and surrounding areas. Finally, Google Maps has also updated their offline mode. When you type or say "OK map" into the search bar, when viewing a map, Google will save the map you are viewing as well as the surrounding areas for offline use. This is a great capability, especially when you know that you will not always have access to the Internet or cellular service. Unfortunately for iOS users, there is still no news on the launch date for the update of Google Maps. Graf only stated that it is "Coming Soon" for Apple users.
To learn more about Google Maps, click here.