Google Maps for Android is now even better than before, thanks to new features and a few fixed issues with Google Latitude. You can now search Google Maps for Android simply by speaking your query and Google Maps will search it for you. Google’s voice recognition engine currently understands English in American, Australian and British accents. Other notable features, once you find what you’re looking for, include store hours, prices, ratings, and reviews.
When traveling to San Francisco or New York City, I do a lot of walking and/or take public transportation. Up until now, mapping out walking directions or transit for Google Maps for Android was sorely missing. Thanks to the updates, these two features are available in over 250 cities, including NYC and San Francisco.
Google also improved Google Latitude by fixing an issue that caused background location updates to periodically stop for some users. So now, once you select “Detect your location” from the Latitude privacy menu, your location will continue to update as long as your Android phone is on. There’s also a new experimental feature called Updates that lets you connect with your friends and post messages. To test out this new feature, start Latitude and click the “Updates” tab to broadcast your updates.
The upgrade isn’t pushed to your Android phones so make sure to download it in the Android Market by searching for “Google Maps” and then following the instructions.