May, 11 2010

Google has pushed out a nice little update to Google Maps, adding a few very useful features to the already excellent map and navigation app. Biking directions, which were introduced to the browser-based version of Maps not so long ago, are now available right on your Android phone, giving you the best possible route for your two-wheeled ride. A new Bicycling layer will show dedicated bike trails and roads with bike lanes if you’d rather play your route by ear, a great feature for cycling enthusiasts. How you go about using your phone while riding your bike is a different story (though I’ve known cyclists to be particularly crafty people).

bikedirections_getdirwharf

The update also adds in a new location sharing feature, allowing you to quickly tell anyone on your contact list where you are via e-mail or text (or Facebook or Twitter), and a navigation shortcut makes it easy to get going straight from your home screen.

freedrive_homescreen

Overall a pretty nice update to the app for version 4.2. You should be prompted to update, but you can find it in the market now. As always, you’ll need Android 1.6+ to use Navigation features.

[via Google Mobile Blog]