Android Google Maps takes users offline

Summary:A new version of Google Maps for Android has rolled out today that adds useful features that will be popular with both those in urban areas and those in rural spots.

Google Maps has always been one of the top apps on the Android platform, with new features added regularly by Google. A new version has rolled out today that adds useful features that will be popular with both those in urban areas and those in rural spots.

Google has added notifications in Maps for those using public transportation on devices with GPS enabled. The new version lets users know when they reach the proper stop for their current route, or if they need to make a route transfer. Since it uses GPS it won't do much good on subways, but bus riders will appreciate the new feature.

Another new feature in Google Maps levels the playing field for those using an Android smartphone as a navigation device. One of the arguments in my recent debate with colleague Adrian Kingsley-Hughes for using dedicated GPS devices versus smartphones for in-car navigation was the inability of smartphones to get online to access map information in areas without cell service.

This new version of Google Maps adds the ability to download maps to the phone for navigation on short trips into areas without web connectivity. Before heading into the no service zone simply download the map for the area. Downloaded maps can also be used for offline searches in addition to navigation. Being in areas without connectivity gets a lot more bearable with these downloaded maps.

You can get the new Google Maps in the Android Market.

[via Mobiputing]

Topics: Android, Google

About

James Kendrick has been using mobile devices since they weighed 30 pounds, and has been sharing his insights on mobile technology for almost that long. Prior to joining ZDNet, James was the Founding Editor of jkOnTheRun, a CNET Top 100 Tech Blog that was acquired by GigaOM in 2008 and is now part of that prestigious tech network. James' w... Full Bio

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