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Google Maps App For Android/iOS Updated, Latitude & Check-ins Out!

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Google Maps is one of the most potent software pieces out of the Google Stables. They know it, we know it and even the competition knows it.

While there might be an argument over the best email client in the market. People will fight over which is better- Android or iOS. There might even be some who compare Google and Bing and side with Bing but Maps is one thing in which there is nothing to say. The Apple Maps fiasco alone says everything that is to say about how invaluable Google Maps is.

It is also good to see that Google takes this as a responsibility and is improving Google Maps with every iteration. In the latest Google I/O, a number of features were mentioned to be added in the Maps. The experience on the whole should see substantial change because of this. There is a definite social element in the new Maps as will be evident by the features.

The updated app is being released for Android in phased manner. While it might take some time to reach all the phones, the process should be complete soon. However, it is available only on Android 4.0 and above clearly indicating that it is high time for Android 2.3 to retire. The iOS app will roll out soon as well working on iOS 6.0+.

The various new features that the new Maps bring with them are:

Explore: It is a new way to explore places to eat, shop and stay without even typing. The idea is that it will automatically display it on tapping the search box.

Enhanced Navigation: In addition to traffic info, now it can show problems on the road with incident details. Also, alerts if better route is available.

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Improved Tablet design.

There is also improved review system (Zagat badge of Excellence) for places though I am not sure this would be available in India as yet.

Not everything is being added though. Few things that are going away from new Maps are:

Latitude and Check-ins: They have been removed from Google Maps and added to Google+ in the form of Location sharing and check-ins.

The Offline feature has also been removed from the Maps though the feature itself is staying. Now, a person can save a map for later by typing ‘OK Google’ in the search box while viewing the map.

It is good to see that Google is working on their Maps as it has become quite an indispensable tool if you travel a lot or you are new to a place. It is also an excellent way to tell someone a way to your location.

So, if you are on Android or iOS device, update your maps apps and let us know what you feel about the new changes that Google has introduced.

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