Google announced that its Google Maps for Android now has a new version, with public transit information for almost 500 cities around the world. As Software Engineer Christopher Van Der Westhuizen posted on the official blog:
Google Maps has public transportation information schedules for more than one million transit stops worldwide, in nearly 500 cities including New York, London, Tokyo and Sydney.
More About the Expanded Google Maps
Aside from the inclusion of public transportation schedules, the search engine giant also provided a number of new features that will make Maps a useful public transit guide. This includes updated transit lines layer, which allows users to differentiate several types of transportation.
Simply put, users can now choose the specific mode of public transportation that they can display on the mobile map. They can choose from train, bus, tram, or subway. This can be useful in areas with tight concentration of various types of public transportation. There is also the upgraded station display that provides additional information about nearby stations and other transit routes. On the updated layout of station pages on Google Maps for Android, users can open it by simply tapping the name of the station on their mobile device. Google also added more in-depth location history information and regional border highlighting.
Now, when users search for a city or postal code, the region’s borders will be highlighted. My Places also features new tabs which will help users access their information from a single place, as well as from their saved maps, starred places, and Custom Maps that were created on desktop.
Competition and Availability
After becoming the lone provider of online maps since 2005, the search engine giant has experienced more competition as of late. There is the OpenStreetMap project, which provides an option to independent developers of location-based applications who don’t want to pay for Google Maps API access. Furthermore, Apple ditched the system and will replace it with its in-house mapping software once iOS 6 becomes available this fall.
The previous version of Google Maps for Android offers offline capabilities, enabling Android phone users to save frequently-used area maps on their handheld devices. This makes public transportation information very useful. Whether looking for schedule or fare information, the updated Google Maps brings accurate and useful transit information at the user’s fingertips.
The latest Google Maps for Android is now available for download at the Google Play Store.