Jul 26 AT 10:03 PM Anthony Domanico 19 Comments

Google Maps brings Places to Android with 4.4 update

Back in late 2009, Google announced Place Pages for Google Maps, a service that allows maps users to gather details such as pictures, videos, menus, prices, parking info reviews of local businesses and points of interest and the ability to reserve tables at local restaurants that use the OpenTable service. Today, Google announced a 4.4 update to its Google Maps application, which brings the Places service as a standalone application for Android 1.6+ devices.

Places also integrates itself into Google Maps by adding a restaurant layer, which once you select a location takes to you to the places page for nearby restaurants. From there, you will be able to map the location, get directions, call the location, or even view the location in Street View.

The main screen has built-in searches for restaurants, coffee, bars, hotels, attractions, ATMs, Gas Stations, and the ability to add your own custom searches for future one-click access, as well as a search bar at the top of the application.

Places contains most of the information you could ever hope to learn about local businesses and places of interest, with convenient integration with Google Maps. With this launch, Google hopes to become your one-stop shop for your entire mobile experience on the Android platform. I see Places becoming Google’s next killer feature for Android, and will be using this to find new places I might not have heard of otherwise.

No word on what the launch of Places within Google Maps means for the Places Directory standalone application, which was also updated today. Hopefully there will be more to come from Google on this in coming weeks.

The maps 4.4 update with Places integration is now available for on the Android market for all phones running Android 1.6 and above. Head over to the market and update/download it today!

Source: Google Mobile Blog

Anthony loves all things technology, from hardware to apps and games. You can connect with him via Google+ or Twitter by clicking one of the fancy doo-dads above.

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  • http://Website Aakash Patel

    Hasn’t the Places standalone app been available for a while?

    • http://adomanico01.blogspot.com/ Anthony Domanico

      Yes, it’s unclear whether this is going to replace Google’s standalone app, or be an enhancement, but the one released yesterday has tighter integration with google maps.

    • http://Website Aakash Patel

      It seems that the new application is called “Places” and the old one I was referring to is called “Places Directory”. The directory app is just as its name implies, whereas the “Places” app is a lot more polished. When I opened Places Directory it prompted me to install some stuff and to integrate it with my Google Maps…I wasn’t really paying attention and just hit accept, it installed Places on its own

  • un_stra1n

    i have android 1.6 on my xperia x10 and it doesn’t found in market.

  • http://www.heronramos.com HERON

    We need BRUT! We need BRUT! We need BRUT!

  • http://Website Sinanovski

    Looks very clean and simple to use. love the icons. uninstalled yelp as a result.

  • http://Website Clark

    So what do I need to do to actually find the places screen in Google Maps? I’ve got 4.4 but don’t actually see the places anywhere?

    • http://Website Clark

      Aaaaand mark me confused. It adds Places as a new icon in the launcher, with absolutely NO MENTION of it AT ALL in the Maps application itself. Whose idea was that?

      I didn’t even know apps could have multiple icons and entry points.

      • http://whosthisguy.com Brendan

        Well, the update to Maps not only added a Places app, but also a Latitude app. Plus, the Navigation app has had its own icon since 2.0 but has been integrated with Google Maps.

        Seems like installing just Google Maps means you’re actually installing 4 apps.

        • http://clarklab.net Clark Wimberly

          Ah yes, good catch on the navigation icon. I’m curious how I’ve not thought about this before (given that some app completely hide their icons). I’m curious what the limit is.

          Do you think you could launch an app that loaded itself dozens of icons in the launcher? Do you think Google should add something like this to the list of permissions to you have to approve before installing?

  • http://Website Kid Twist

    This will replace a bunch of other things on my phone.

    I had already dumped Yelp after they issued their latest update. I had no interest in the new check-in and augmented reality features. To me, they were just bloat that was wasting my phone’s internal memory. With Places, I won’t miss Yelp at all.

    Places is also a nice complement to the location-aware Local search in Google’s main mobile site. So I now I’m going to uninstall Yellowbook too, even though I think it’s a pretty good app. It’s now redundant.

    I will keep a few specialized restaurant apps, though — Urbanspoon, Zagat and Open Table — because I like the way they work.

    That said, I have noticed that Places lists a few businesses near me that closed recently. Google will need to keep on top of things.

  • Vineares

    I’m not entirely sure why Google Maps needs 4 separate icons. It’s entirely too easy to just open up Google Maps, hit search, type mexican food, and TADAAAA!

  • http://Website Cedric

    I can find the Places app from the launcher but how do I place it as an icon on the screen? It doesn’t show up under programs or widgets or anywhere for that matter.

  • http://www.bernardcrix.co.uk Bernard

    1) An excellent coffee shop in my area is not listed in Places and I am wondering how that can be rectified.
    2) Also, I’d like to add a review to a restaurant that I think is exceptionally good. Anyone know how one does that?

    • http://Website Joanne

      Hi Bernard, I am wondering the same thing. There are more restaurants near me that do not show up on my location and I was wondering how to add them and also how to add a review. I have been surfing the web in search of these answers, but haven’t found it yet. I was wondering if you figured it out or were able to find out how to do this. Thanks for any help.

  • http://Website David Brauss

    DO NOT INSTALL the separate app on Evo 4G with 2.2 as I am about to hard reset my phone since there is no listing in the downloads to uninstall the app. Also, all the dozens of colored pins end up on your SD card and show up as pictures in Image Capture. Are you kidding me?

  • http://Website george

    I downloaded ‘Places’ on my LG Ally Android Smartphone. I was looking 4 a nearby Radio Shack. By mistake I used th ‘add’ icon on the home page rather than using the search box. I have tried various options to delete the ‘Radio Shack icon’ from the home page without success. Does anybody know how to delete it?

    As a last resort I was going to delete the entire app and then download it again. My problem is that I do not recall where the app is located and I have searched various categories with out success. Any ideas?

    Thank you

  • http://Website Glenn Kinkade

    Using the Place APP I have entered several locations as “restaurants near”. I get a list of the near locations and I can add to list but I have several “near places” that I would like to delete. Does anyone know how to delete these “near places”. Thanks.

  • http://www.isportal.net ahmet

    Is there a way to add a new icon to places WITH my own image. I would like to add the “H” image for hospitals for example. or an airplane for airports.