Thursday, October 29, 2009

Google Maps App for Android 2.0

For years, millions of people have used Google Maps to get directions online. The difficulty with online maps is you still get distracted trying to read a map and look for street names. An accident ready to happen, some say. Google has apparently taken note of this and yesterday announced that it's releasing the Google Maps app for Android 2.0.

For starters, the app is free. While many people pay for GPS service from various companies, some running as high as $100 per year and upwards of $200 per stand-alone device, the free app available for phones that have OS Android 2.0. The app provides 3-D views, turn by turn voice guided directions, and automatic rerouting.

Some more features of the Google Maps App include:

*The most recent map and business data - your phone automatically gets the most up-to-date information on maps and business information. No need to upgrade.

*Search in plain English - Even if you don't know where you're going, you can type virtually anything (ie: business name, landmark, etc) into the search and you'll get a map.

*Search by voice - Typing on your phone while driving is dangerous, and in most states, even illegal, so the Google Maps App allows you to simply say where you want to go.

*Traffic view - colored indicator lights, red, yellow, green, let you know about current traffic conditions.

*Search along route - If you need to find a business, gas station, etc, you can enter that information and the App will search along your route so you won't be taken too far off your path.

*Satellite view - The navigation app uses the same satellite imagery that Google Maps uses on your computer, turn on the satellite layer for a high-resolution, 3D view of your route.

*Street View - When you turn on street view you can easily spot your next turn or see where you are in relation to your destination.

The Google Maps App is a great alternative to a bulky stand-alone GPS device. The first phone to have Android 2.0 will be the Droid, from Verizon. And as of right now, the app is only available in the U.S.

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