Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Android Sees Upgraded Google Maps

It seems that Android mobile phone users can now enjoy an upgraded version of Google Maps for their handsets. According to the Mountain View-based company, the new version comes with improvements for Latitude, as well as with a series of new features, among which we can mention the fact that users can now perform voice searches in Google Maps.

In addition, Google Maps now enables users to find locations without entering the exact address, as the new version allows them to enter only simple items, like “windsurfing,” for example. The voice recognition software seems to be the great thing here, as Google states that it supports English in a number of different accents, including American, British and Australian.

While this sounds rather great, it will be interesting to see how it will handle regional accents. According to the guys at Android Authority, some British regional accents might cause problems, as they are “more pronounced in their dissimilarities with other English accents when compared to cross national accents differences.”

Other new additions to the Google Maps include improvements to the transit walking directions, which is stated to be able to offer directions for walking or using public transport in up to 250 cities. According to the search giant, the walking directions in Google Maps include pedestrian-only pathways and similar shortcuts.

One of the greatest improvements that the new Google Maps brings forth consists of a series of enhancements for Latitude for Android. It seems that Latitude can now flawlessly update while running in the background. In addition, Latitude includes a new feature, called “Updates,” which enables users to chat with their contacts in a way similar to Twitter.

Another thing that should be added is that those who would like to enjoy the new Google Maps on their Android-powered mobile phone will have to download it manually directly from the Android Market, as it won't be automatically pushed to the handsets.

Source for this news : http://news.softpedia.com/news