Google Maps 5.8 for Android adds photo uploads, My Places, and more

Wednesday, July 27, 2011 at 12:20 PM


Today, Google Maps 5.8 for Android improves Places and Latitude with:
  • Upload photos for a Place
  • My Places as a simple way to manage the Places you’ve starred and recently viewed
  • Descriptive terms for Places in search results
  • Add a new Place on-the-go when checking in
Photo upload for a Place

When deciding on a place to go, people often want to know what a place looks like in addition to seeing ratings and reviews. You can now contribute photos to help others get a sense of places. You can now attach your photos to Places, and yours may even become the profile picture for that page. If you want to view or delete any photos you’ve contributed to Places, you can manage uploaded photos in the “Photos for Google Maps” album on your Picasa account.

Left: Uploading pictures to a place. Right: Photos in Android Gallery

My Places and descriptive terms for mobile

In June we announced descriptive terms and ‘My Places’ for the desktop. Both these features are now in Google Maps for mobile. Descriptive terms appear in search results for Places to inform you what businesses are ‘known for,’ such as their ‘eggs benedict’ or being ‘worth the wait.’

Also, My Places for mobile provides quick access to starred and recent Place pages you’ve looked at. You can access My Places by pressing your phone’s menu button while in Google Maps.

Descriptive terms and My Places in Google Maps for mobile

Add a new Place ‘on-the-go’ for check-ins

If you’re out and about and want to check in, we want to make sure you can quickly add a new Place to check into if one isn’t available. This might happen for new businesses or those that haven’t set up a Place page yet. For example, let’s say you’re at Xoogle Xtreme Sports, a new sports shop in your neighborhood. You go to check in but don’t see Xoogle in the list of places to check into and when you do a search still nothing comes up.

Add a Place when checking in, if needed

To solve this, you’ll now see an “Add place” option at the bottom of suggested places. Select that option, and you’ll be prompted to confirm the name and location of the new place. Then a brand new place is added (and you’re checked in). This place will be available for you and others to check into from Latitude, but will not appear as a search result in Google Maps or Google Places.

We’ve also added ‘Bigger text’ to our experimental Labs features and ‘Download map area’ has been renamed ‘Pre-cache map area.’

To start using Google Maps 5.8 for Android, download the update here. This update requires an Android OS 2.1+ device and can be used anywhere Google Maps is currently available. Learn more in our help center.