Google has released an upgrade to the mapping software built into Android-powered phones. This includes some new features and fixes a few bugs.
The latest version of Google Maps for Android offers voice search, making it easier to look up places while on the go. When searching for a business, the listings now include content such as store hours, prices, ratings, and reviews.
The new version also adds transit and walking directions. This allows users to get directions using public transportation in over 250 cities, including New York City and San Francisco.
In addition, Street View has been integrated it more tightly into Google Maps for Android, Users can now check out Street View directly from any search result where imagery is available. They can also long-press any point on the map, in map view or satellite view, and see a Street View thumbnail wherever imagery is available.
Many of the improvements in the new version on in the Latitude service, which allows users to share their location with their friends. A bug that caused background location updates to periodically stop for some people has been fixed.
It also has an experimental feature called Updates that lets users easily send messages to friends when they’re at interesting locations.
Unlike past Android software updates, the new Google Maps release isn’t being automatically pushed to the T-Mobile G1 or HTC Magic. Instead, the upgrade is available for download in the Android Market.
To find it, search for “Google Maps” in the on-device software store, and install the update.