Google Maps for Android: Search ‘n Swipe, Latitude Widget, and More

Wednesday, March 17, 2010 at 4:35 PM

[Cross-posted from the Google Mobile Blog]

Making sense of a fast paced and changing world is difficult under the best of circumstances, but when you’re on the go, it’s even harder. With the new Google Maps for mobile 4.1, we’re introducing a few features that make sorting through search results or quickly seeing Maps info a bit easier.

Updated search results page
With the newly reimagined Google Maps for mobile search results page, we’ve done away with the tabs to give you all the info you want on one page. Tap the new buttons to see the place on the map, get directions, call it, or see it with Street View. The extra space let us bring details and reviews right up front.

Swipe for more results
Take a look at the new page, and you can quickly see that Milk Pail Market specializes in cheese, has mostly 4 and 5 star ratings, and also sells fresh vegetables. You can select any section to see more reviews, buzz, etc. If you want to get to more search results without going back to the list, simply grab the page with your finger and swipe it away to the left or right to see the next or last result.

Latitude widget and Maps live wallpaper
Once you’ve updated to Maps 4.1, you’ll also have a couple different ways to put Maps up close and personal on your phone. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could quickly find your nearest friends or glance at the traffic conditions around you without opening Maps? Add the Latitude widget to a home screen panel to see your nearest Latitude friends by pressing the “Menu” button from the home screen
and selecting Add > Widgets > Latitude. On Android 2.1+ phones, you can also turn your home screen into one big, updating map using the Maps live wallpaper. Press the “Menu” button from your home screen and select Wallpaper > Live wallpapers > Maps. Now you can see nearby friends or a map each time you open your home screen.


Switch Google Accounts
We’ve been adding more and more features that sync with your Google Account whether you’re on your phone or your computer. If you’re managing multiple identities, Maps now lets you switch the Google Account it uses between the accounts you’ve synced to your Android-powered phone. From the Maps menu, select More > Switch Account to sign out of your current account and sign in to a different one. Features like Google Buzz, Latitude, Starred items, My Maps, and more can then begin using whichever account you’ve chosen.

Get these new features at your fingertips by searching for “Google Maps” in Android Market from Android 1.6+ phones. Update Maps to version 4.1, available in all the countries and languages where Maps is currently available. Visit our Help Center to learn more, ask questions in our Help Forum, or give us suggestions and vote on other people’s on the Mobile Product Ideas page.