Google Maps received another large update today and while the new features are mostly still in beta they are available now for all to try. The update should be hitting devices in the market throughout the day and along with a few changes for navigation options we now have a completely new frontier for Google Maps -- indoors. Soon you'll be able to find the quickest route to the closest Starbucks at that huge airport so you can stay awake while headed to CES (which we'll be at live of course). More details below.
Below is a before and after picture of the Mall of America near Minneapolis showing just how huge the changes really are. We have floor selectors and all the usual popups for select stores with phone numbers, reviews and more all neatly integrated with Google Maps. Now we'll just have to wait for all these locations to start being used a bit more. Over at the Google Mobile Blog they have the same before/after images of an international airport. I can really see this being a huge deal that makes traveling and planning that much easier and less stressful. With full 3D tilt and more just like we are all used to.
This is still beta so obviously not all mall and airport locations will be fully supported out of the gate but don't worry, Google will be updating and adding many more soon that is for sure. This looks quite neat if you ask me. Malls and airports aren't the only ones either. They've partnered with Home Depot, IKEA, and a few other large retailer stores nationwide. Now maybe I'll find my way to plumbing quicker at the Home Depot.
The new Maps also has a new menu at the top toolbar for easily changing features and options. They've also updated Navigation with a new setting allowing users to disable the automatic screen dimming "feature" during navigation -- something I've been waiting for. All this and more is available right now for download in the Android Market. For a complete list of malls and airports included with these new features head down to the source link below.
[via Google Blog]