Dec 07 AT 3:49 PM Taylor Wimberly 22 Comments

New Google Maps for Android adds Lab features

Is Google Navigation the best GPS ever? Verizon thinks so. I’ve been using the new Google Maps for Android over the last few weeks and I’m loving it so far. Google continues to improve their Maps application and has just released an updated version that is packed with new features.

New Labs features of Google Maps 3.3.0 include:

  • Scale bar: Shows a scale bar on the map with distances in metric and imperial units.
  • Terrain layer: Adds the terrain layer to the layers menu. The terrain layer lets you view physical features, such as mountains and vegetation, with elevation shading.
  • Popular categories: Shows a browsable list of category searches when you use the search menu item. The hard search button still gives direct access to the normal search screen.
  • Layer button: Adds an on-screen button for easy access to layers.
  • Compass arrow: Uses the digital compass to indicate the direction you’re facing while stationary.

The Labs features can be accessed by pressing Menu > More > Labs.

Google has also added the ability to report a problem with the map or a business listing and see businesses at an address or near a point on the map.

Note: The latest Google Maps is only available for devices with Android 1.6 and above. Keep contacting your carrier and requesting they update the software on your phone.

[via Google Lat Long Blog]

Taylor is the founder of Android and Me. He resides in Dallas and carries the Samsung Galaxy S 4 and HTC One as his daily devices. Ask him a question on Twitter or Google+ and he is likely to respond. | Ethics statement

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  • http://Website Jeff Uberstine

    WOW, the new search options you can enable within google maps are amazing, its like a full featured GPS now

  • nEx.Software

    Nothing too fantastic in this update, but just another slap to the faces of those stuck on Android 1.5. I suppose scale bar could be useful.

    • Clark Wimberly

      I’ve always missed the scale bar using Google Maps on Android. Now that I’ve got a Cliq though I’d settle for working GPS…

      • Justin Shapcott

        Hmm… My the GPS on my CLIQ has been flawless.

        • Clark Wimberly

          My beacon likes to jump between being locked on and accurate and ballooning up to cover the bulk of my city.

  • Fidget253

    What do you mean nothing useful, some of the features like the new way to search are very very useful, now you can search for food by preset catogories, like all the garmins and tom toms do, it works great. I think this is a big step for google maps

    • Justin Shapcott

      I’ve always had great results typing in what I want to search for, so being able to browse through multiple levels of lists does nothing for me. I am sure for some people it’s a great feature, just not me.

  • http://Website David B.

    I still can’t update my Google Maps on Cyanogen, has there been a fix for this yet?

    • http://Website Brian P

      im on the latest CM, no issues with market , apps, or maps. got this downloaded early this am with no issues.

      sounds like a possible ID-10-T error….

    • http://Website Name (required)

      I was able to updated on CM 4.2.6

  • adam

    I love the new google update. The nav is very accurate.

  • http://Website Don Bear

    I can’t tell you how happy I am to have chosen the Android 2.0 powered Droid. Google is doing a great job of loading up these devices with their best tech. The integration with Google Maps features like Street View, My Maps, Layers for Local Business, Traffic, etc. coupled with the immediate access to the directions and Navigation tools is HUGE.

    I have a My Maps listing for a bunch of local businesses I like to occasionally visit but might forget how to get to… On my Droid, I bring it Maps, open the My Maps layer (if it’s not already on), click on the map ‘teardrop’ for the place I want to head to, click either Directions or Navigate and I’m good. It’s a useful alternative to even the very awesome voice search interface – especially for destination that might not happen to come up near the top of a search query.

    Seriously, if you do not yet use My Maps – you gotta give it a go. Oh, and lest you think that you’d have to do all your My Maps updates on a PC, there is a Market app for that. :)

  • kris

    Remember the episode of robot chicken when the the gps was getting revenge on the guy for cheating on her and drove him off a cliff???? Yea I used it once and it was kinda like that….my exit was on the right she told me to take an imaginary exit that wasn’t there..

  • http://Website ben

    I’m getting “force close” with the new 3.3.0 using CyanogenMod-4.2.7 on my MyTouch phone :/

  • http://Website artar

    I love the fact that Maps continues to get updated, however when is the app going to get the ability to drop pins like every other non-Android iteration of it has? It seems like such a simple thing to add, especially considering that the iPhone has had it forever.

  • http://Website joe

    all these new features and apps makes me regret buying a sprint htc hero, should have went with a droid.

  • http://Website Dylan Andersen

    Taylor give us an e-mail where we can yell at Sprint for fucking us on the HTC Hero.

  • max fadia

    by far the best app that is free that you would wave to by for over 100$ on the iphone app store

  • codethief

    Does anyone know whether there’s also an update for the hacked, extra-american version available? Couldn’t find it on xda-developers, maybe because the thread’s got too many pages.

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