Android Apps

Google Maps serves up 30 billion miles of navigation, adds new shortcuts, transit choice, and maps for hi-res screens

March 28, 2012 | by Andrew Kameka



Google Maps 6.5 is available in the Android Market. The latest version of Google’s beloved turn-by-turn navigation app now looks better on high pixel density phones thanks to a “cleaner, faster map style.” Also of note is that users with Android 4.0 or higher will see a new Navigation home screen that follows Holo conventions and enables shortcuts to important locations.

When selecting Navigation from the drop-down Menu on Google Maps’ home screen, users can search/speak a destination or tap the “Go Home” button to navigate to their defined home address automatically. It also has a log of Recent Destinations, addresses of known contacts, and starred locations that can be visited with just a tap.

Transit riders also have more choice when getting directions. Google Maps now offers the option of getting transit directions by bus, subway, train, or light rail. The new Navigation home screen is available only on Android 4.0 or higher devices, but other features mentioned are available to other versions. Head to Google Play to download the update.

Special note from Google+ about Google Map’s history:

Speaking of Navigation, we’re excited to share that Navigation on Google Maps for Android has provided 50 billion kilometers [ed note: 31 billion miles] of turn-by-turn direction–the equivalent of 130,000 trips to the moon, 334 trips to the sun, 10 trips to Neptune or 0.005 light years!

Congrats Google. Love the new update and I use it all the time. Now please would you send the Maps team back to Florida and update its database so I can stop making unnecessary U-turns or going to the wrong building?