Tags: google | android | maps | app

Google Rolls Out Android Maps App; New Apple Version Due Soon

Thursday, 11 Jul 2013 12:18 PM

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Google rolled out its new Google Maps app for Android smartphone and tablet users, which is expected to make Google Maps easier to navigate with a few new bells and whistles, according to the company.

And  besides the Android smartphone and tablet versions, Google said the new maps app for iPhone and iPad will be out soon.

"It’s a new mapping experience that makes exploring the world and getting to the places that matter to you a lot faster and easier," Google said on its Lat Long blog. "The app is gradually rolling out globally in Google Play and will be available soon in the App Store."

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Greg Kumparak, of TechCrunch, reported that Google's Android app has numerous advantages that the iPhone does not have, including real time traffic rerouting in case of accidents, traffic incident reports, Zagat reviews of popular destinations and business reviews.

Dwight Silverman, who does the technology blog for the Houston Chronicle, said Google Maps will have special designs for Android tablets and iPads.

"Until now, you had to use the smartphone version on tablets, which doesn’t make the best use of the greater screen real estate," Silverman said on his blog.

Silverman said Google’s doing away with Latitude in the Android app, a feature that let users see where their friends were located. He said users should be able to find a similar feature on Google+.

"One important change you should know about is that Latitude and check-ins are no longer part of the new Google Maps app, and will be retired from older versions on August 9," Silverman quoted Google as posting. "We understand some of you still want to see your friends and family on a map, which is why we've added location sharing and check-ins to Google+ for Android."

Seth Rosenblatt, of CNET, wrote that Google Maps Zagat reviews and its new Explore feature could move in on territory occupied by the websites Yelp and Foursquare.

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"Restaurant reviews from Zagat target Yelp, and are available directly from within Maps when you look up a restaurant," Rosenblatt said his CNET.com post Wednesday. "You now can add your own score and comments from within Maps. The new Explore feature sounds similar to one available in Foursquare.

"It provides an entirely touch-based way to explore a location without typing or speaking. It focuses on five categories: eat, shop, drink, sleep, and play, allowing people to learn more about urban locations in relationship to their restaurants, retail, bars, hotels and activities," Rosenblatt added.

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