Google updates Maps on Android too

December 9th, 2009 Tags: , , , , , , , ,

GMaps Android What's nearby

Last week we covered the news of the new v3.3 for Symbian and Windows Mobile, and today Google has launched v3.3 for Android as well.  However, it’s not quite got the same feature set, with some additional features, and some missing features too.

Firstly, they now have the “What’s Nearby” feature, which lists nearby businesses, and can often provide useful information on cafes and restaurants nearby.  To access this, just long press on the map and tap on the bubble, and look for “What’s nearby?” in the menu.

Secondly, they have added a range of Labs features (in essence, Beta features that you may want to use to make the program a little better); these include:

  • A scale bar on the map
  • Showing a terrain layer which adds a level of height and the ability to see a shaded relief map
  • Search for popular categories
  • Turn the blue dot into a compass to show which way you are facing when stationary
  • Added Layers support to be able to see Traffic, Satellite mapping, Latitude users, and Transit lines (eg the London Underground)

There’s also a “Report errors in the map”, but that’s definitely US-only, so won’t be available in the UK.  It’s worth noting there is no mention of the star / favourites syncing that comes with the v3.3 on Symbian and Windows Mobile.  It’s not clear whether any other of the Labs features are US-only, but it’s nice to see Google still managing to innovate and provide new features into the products, even if it’s not consistent across their full platform range.


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