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ENHANCED: Google Maps for Android gets Biking Directions, Navigation Shortcut, Sharing and More
Posted by Arne Hess - on Friday, 14.05.10 - 14:48:44 CET under 04 - Android News - Viewed 12714x
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Earlier this week, Google has updated its Google Maps Mobile for Android and as expected and announced by Google, Google Maps 4.2 for Android now features biking directions, a new service layer Google launched back in March for the Google Maps web version. Furthermore, Google Maps Mobile now features a shortcut to start Google Maps Navigation straight from from the Home screen and programs menu and it finally allows to share places and locations with friends via messaging, E-Mail or social services like Twitter and Facebook.

Biking directions - Since launching biking directions on desktop Google Maps, Google wanted to get biking directions, lanes and trails to phones too. Just in time for National Bike Month (in the U.S.), users can now select the bike icon when getting directions to get an optimal bicycling route. in the U.S. Google Maps Mobile 4.2 also features a Bicycling layer on the map which shows dedicated bike-only trails (dark green), roads with bike lanes (light green) or roads that are good for biking but lack a dedicated lane (dashed green).

Google Maps Biking directions is yet available in North America only and not offered outside the U.S.

Google Navigation shortcut - The new Navigation shortcut allows to pick-up a destination straight from the home screen to start Google Maps Navigation with 2 taps only. Just select the Navigation icon in your phone's app launcher or home screen to get the new destination selection view.

Then, speak or type your destination, pick one from your contacts, choose a starred place or select a recent destination. Navigation will begin and you're good to go.

Sharing - From any search results page, it's now possible to "Share this place" to send that place's info, such as its address and phone number, to whomever you like. If you want to meet someone on a street corner or gather friends at an outdoor concert, you can also send an exact location from the map - even a snapshot of your current location. Just use the share option after selecting a point on the map, your "My Location" blue dot, or yourself in Latitude if it's enabled.

Whether you're sharing a place or a location, you'll be able to send it to small groups via an E-Mail or text message or send it widely with apps like Google Buzz, Facebook or Twitter.

Google Maps Mobile 4.2 for Android is now available from the Android Market and requires Android 1.6 or greater. It's available in all the countries and languages where Maps is currently available but might not support all features in the certain country.

Cheers ~ Arne

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