Google just updated Maps for Android to version 4.5, and this one is a doozy. Three fairly substantial features have been added into the app to increase usability and provide a seamless experience no matter what method of travel you choose.
The most major update is the inclusion of Walking Navigation (beta, of course), what Google deems the “marriage” of Navigation and walking directions. You will get the same trusty navigation you have come to love from Google Maps with some tweaks here and there. Obviously, walking navigation uses walking directions to provide the most efficient route for a pedestrian, and does so with satellite view as the default for easy identification of landmarks. The screen and map orient to the way you hold your phone and the direction you face, and upcoming turns have vibration notifications so you don’t get lost with your phone in your pocket.
The next update comes in the form of Street View smart navigation. With this update using street view now feels a lot more like its desktop counterpart. Simply drag and drop Pegman where you want to view and the app will zip you off like you’re in the real world.
The final addition is a new Google Maps search bar. The new bar is always available at the top of Maps to be accessed quickly to search, open Places, toggle Layers, or pinpoint your current location. Results can be filtered by distance or rating, pricing of local businesses are categorized, and cross streets are listed.
[via Google Mobile Blog]