Google Maps

Google Maps update adds mobile Places photo uploads

Google Maps for Android has been updated, tweaking the mapping appearance and adding the ability to add photos to places listings while mobile. Google Maps v5.1 introduces an "Add a photo" button next to the "Check in here" option in individual business listings, allowing you to choose from an existing picture or snap a new one with your phone's camera. Those uploaded images are then included in the gallery of shots stored for each listing. The change follows news of Google's acquisition of Zagat, the restaurant rating company, yesterday, which is expected to be integrated into the range of location-based services offered on Android handsets. For now, though, it's user-generated reviews that take center stage, with this new feature allowing you to show exactly what you ate and where you ate it, rather than describe it. You can update your Android phone to Google Maps v5.1 through the Android Market. [gallery]

Top 10 Android Apps Account for 43 Percent of All Activity

The fine folks at Nielsen over at Nielsen Wire have done some calculating and have found a couple of interesting statistics. First, and perhaps most obviously, from what Nielsen Smartphone Analytics have come up with after metering thousands of Android smartphones, the average Android smartphone user spends 67% of their on-device time, or 56 minutes per day, on apps, while 33% of their smartphone time is spent on the mobile web. This is of course an average person who only spends about an hour and a half on their device a day, a figure I'm sure all of you trump before breakfast is over.

Google Maps Updated, Download Map Data Before You Travel

Google Maps has just received another update in the Android Market and some exciting and useful new features have been added. GPS stop-by-stop public transit directions is a big feature and currently in beta, a great help for you city goers that use public transit daily. The feature I like but doesn't seem widely mentioned is the new download map area option under Google Labs.

Google Maps Now Rates Restaurants

Google is pushing a relatively small update to Google Maps today to enhance its "Places" feature. 'Best Ever' ratings, as the update dubs them, will help you decide what restaurant in the area to go to. This may be small, but is a useful update in Google's quest to "organize and make available the world's information."

Google Maps Now Knows When Your Bus is Late

At least it does if you live in one of the six cities Google has so far partnered with. Boston, Portland, San Diego, and San Francisco, as well as Madrid and Turin across the pond, have all worked with Google to include a real-time schedule of their public transit systems in the latest version of Google Maps. This update brings peace of mind to commuters previously left waiting at stops, with just the knowledge of when their bus should have arrived.

Google Maps Now on all Mobile Browsers

So you've tried to access Google Maps from your web browser on your handheld device before and you've been miffed. They've told you that you'd have to access such a thing via an app that you've have to download, yes? Well no more, ladies and gentlemen, no more indeed. Google's looked at their statistics (as they certainly do every single hour of every single day) and they've found that 40% of Google Maps usage is done from mobile devices. Because they want everyone to have a consistent Google Maps experience wherever they go and having an app compared to the browser version just wasn't good enough, they've made the mobile version work with flying colors.

Android tracks users too [Report]

Fresh on the heals of controversy that Apple's iPhone 4 OS collects location data on users, a recent report shows that Google's Android system performs the same spying functions. Security experts have found that the Android OS collects location based data every few seconds and transmits it to Google several times an hour. In addition to a user's location, the Android OS also catalogs a user's name, signal strength of nearby hotspots, and the phone's unique identifier. The idea is to triangulate a user's location in proximity to local WiFi networks in order to push location based advertising.

Google Maps 5.3 adds Latitude Location History, custom Places reviews

Google has updated Google Maps for Android to v5.3, introducing the new Google Location History dashboard. Working with Latitude's Location History, the new info pane shows your recent locations as well as how long you've spent at work, at home or simply out and about. As always, you can delete your location history either partially or completely, and it's only visible by users themselves or the people they share their location with. There's a new "check in at home" feature, too. Finally, Google Places with Hotpot now allows you to add your own rating category, so you can leave custom feedback. The Google Maps update is available via the Android Market for devices running 1.6 or higher.

Google Maps enjoys 150 million mobile users a year

Speaking at the annual geek confab known as South by Southwest, Google VP Marissa Mayer announced that Google Maps is being used by over 150 million mobile map users, about 40% of the apps' usage.  In addition, mobile users looking to get around used Google Maps as their Google Maps app to navigate over 12 billion miles in the last year.  Mayer went on to say that thanks to Google's new traffic routing feature, users are saving about 2 years worth of time every day rerouting their driving to get by bad traffic.  Many of the features of Google Maps for Android aren't yet available for the iPhone, but Mayer says that while that will eventually change, Google goes to the Android platform first because Android obviously has a larger audience (course, the fact that Google powers the Android OS has nothing to do with it, right?).
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