Android Apps

Google Maps for Android gets better transit info, check-ins

May 25, 2011 | by Andrew Kameka



Google Maps for Android, which seems to be updated each month, has made its monthly refresh in the Android Market. Google has continued the trend of improving the “social” experience of using Maps and the services tied to it, but there’s also improved interaction with public transit information.

Transit directions received a clever boost that makes it easier to determine what bus, train, or railway will get travelers from Point A to Point B. Maps spots nearby transit station, shows all of the routes/lines that service that station, and then lists departure times for each. As someone who struggled with the BART mobile website earlier this month, I very much welcome these improvements that work in more than 440 cities.

Maps also has more controls for Places and Latitude. Users now have an easy-to-tap button that will check-in to a location on Google Places, and then rate and review the venue on their way out. Latitude also lets users manually change the locations marked as “Home” or “Work” in the Location History dashboard. I’ve never used Latitude enough to realize this was even an option, but I guess I should start paying attention now since the statistical information could probably reveal some interesting tidbits about my checkin habits.

Like most of the cool things that Google has done with Google Maps in recent month, Android 1.6 or higher is required to use these new features.

Install app