Google Maps for mobile 4.5 turns to Walking Navigation

September 10, 2010 in GPS TRACKING APPS,GTXCORP,LOCiMOBILE | Comments (0)

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LOCiMOBILE GPS TRACKING APPS USE GOOGLE MAPS

Google continues adding new features to its Google Maps for mobile service, unveiling Walking Navigation (Beta), a new tool promising users a more direct and pedestrian-friendly route to their destination. “Your phone will vibrate when you need to make a turn,” write software engineers Andrey Ulanov and Kevin Law on the Official Google Mobile Blog. “You can even turn off voice guidance and just use these notifications while soaking in the sights and sounds around you. To help you orient yourself with your surroundings, the map will rotate with you as you turn the phone, and walking mode uses satellite view by default. Use it like a virtual compass with satellite imagery to look ahead or help pick out landmarks along the way.”

Google Maps for mobile 4.5 (available for now for smartphones running Android 1.6 and up) also boasts Street View smart navigation, a feature already available to desktop users. “You no longer have to slowly move down a street by tapping arrows along roads repeatedly,” Ulanov and Law explain. “Now you can quickly navigate Street View by dragging Pegman from the corner and highlighting where you want to go with a lightly shaded ‘pancake’ on roads or a rectangle on buildings. Let go of the screen when highlighting the front of a building, and you’ll fly there and turn to face it.” Google Maps for mobile additionally includes a new search bar that filters results by distance and ratings, offers prices categorized with dollar signs and depicts cross streets for places.

In late August, Google announced that the Google Maps for mobile solution now tops 100 million users a month, roughly five years after its initial rollout. Writing on the Official Google Mobile Blog, vice president of engineering Vic Gundotra noted that in the wake of recent enhancements like the April 2010 addition of Place Pages (web pages organizing all relevant information about a particular destination), users are now searching for specific locations almost three times as often, doubling the number of Place Pages viewed each day.

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