Android an' Droid App Update: Google Maps Walking Navigation with Vibrating Turns + Map Search Bar


At the Qualcomm Uplinq conference in San Diego,  our editor had problems Google Maps sending her to Wells Fargo banks far way from the hotel (see 2.Google Map Trick 1).  A woman walking her dog gave the best directions, pointing her finger to the nearest Wells Fargo bank, two blocks away.

We were told by developers that sometimes Google Navigation is off when there are one-way streets, because the default navigation is for automobiles.  Downtown San Diego has many one way streets. The latest improvement to Google Maps for Android should solve that problem, it's called Walking Navigation. They have also added a Google Maps Search Bar.

Google has released Walking Navigation (Beta) for Google Maps for Mobile Android. It allows you to use Street View smart navigation or the new
Google Maps search bar to guide your directions while walking..

Walking Navigation lets you use GPS navigation with walking directions that are more direct on the ground when Google knows about it.

You choose the "Walking" option
from the Navigation icon. Walking Navigation has a few changes that help
when you're on your feet. For example, your phone will vibrate when you
need to make a turn. You can even turn off voice guidance and just use
these notifications while soaking in the sights and sounds around you.
To help you orient yourself with your surroundings, the map will rotate
with you as you turn the phone, and walking mode uses satellite view by
default. Use it like a virtual compass with satellite imagery to look
ahead or help pick out landmarks along the way.

Walking Navigation is still in beta, so Google Maps may not have the best walking shortcuts yet.

They suggest that if you want a sneak preview of where you're going, use the new Street
View on Google Maps with smart navigation and updated imagery.

You no longer have to slowly move down a street by tapping arrows along
roads repeatedly. Now you can quickly navigate Street View by dragging Pegman
from the corner and highlighting where you want to go with a lightly
shaded "pancake" on roads or a rectangle on buildings. Let go of the
screen when highlighting the front of a building, and you'll fly there
and turn to face it. With a swipe of your finger, you can hop rivers and
scale buildings.

You'll need to download an update for the "Street View on Google Maps"
app in Android Market separately from Google Maps. Once you update,
access Street View just like before: open Maps, search for a place or
long-press the map, and choose the Street View option if available.

New Google Maps search bar
the top of the map, you'll find the new Google Maps search bar always
available for easy access. Tap it to quickly start searching, open Places. Use the Layers menu, or find yourself on the map with My Location. Features include: the ability to filter search results by distance or ratings, view prices categorized with dollar signs, and see cross streets for places.

Maps for mobile 4.5 and Street View smart navigation are available now
for Android 1.6+ in Android Market.