October 24, 2014

Google Maps 4.1 for Android - What's New?

Latitude Widget

Google just keeps plugging away with updates to their Maps for Android handsets.  It has only been a few short weeks since the last version was released so we were pleasantly surprised to learn of 4.1 which hit the market last night.  Would this be a minor update with subtle, if any, noticeable differences?  Hardly!

There are 4 notable changes in Google Maps 4.1 and they are:

Updated Search Results – All the tabs are gone, giving  users all of the results on one page.  New buttons allow you to view the destination/result, get directions, call location, or view with Street View.

Swipe for More – The results page seen in the image to the left show ratings, buzz, and reviews.  Users can tap on any one of those to see more results.  Want more results?  Grab the page with your finger and swipe it away.  Going left or right will bring previous and next results.

Switching  Accounts – For those of you with multiple Google accounts, you’ll be able to toggle between your identities.    While logged in, you’ll be to access features like Google Buzz, Latitude, Starred items, My Maps, and more.

Live Wallpaper and Widget – Find your friends and family or view current traffic conditions with the Latitude widget on your home screen.  For those of you with a Nexus One or Droid with Android 2.1, you can set your location and map as a Live Wallpaper.  If your friends happen to come into range of your map, you’ll see them right on the home screen of your phone – all without the need to open an app.

Google Maps 4.1 can be found for free in the Android Market.  While it’s designed for Android 1.6 and above, remember you will need 2.1 if you want to take advantage of the Live Wallpaper feature.