Google Maps for Android just got updated to version 4.5.0 and brought with it a couple cool new features.
What’s new in Maps?
First up is Navigation for walking directions. This is especially handy when you want to get from one point to another, but you don’t want to hop in a car to do it. Cars have to follow roads and obey one-way signs, whereas, someone walking can cut through an alley, walk “the wrong way” down a one-way street, and go places that a car can’t.
And second, with this version you can now filter your search results by distance or ratings. Note that this isn’t sorting by either of these two parameters, but literally filtering your results. Also, these can’t be combined: you can’t filter by pizza places within 5 miles AND with a rating of three stars and up, you have to pick one or the other, which is unfortunate.
Also, for the first time in Google Maps I noticed both ads and Sponsored Links. I don’t know if they were introduced in the version or not, but this is the first time I’m seeing them.
When I searched for “pizza” I saw an ad on the top of the map for Domino’s Pizza. When I tapped the “list” icon “Sponsored Links” were peppered in amongst the search results. Neither were obtrusive or got in the way of what I was looking for, but it did take a moment to realize that some of the results in the list were advertisements.
For you Froyo users out there, Google Maps 4.5.0 is a manual update, it won’t be pushed down to you automatically if you’d previously selected the “Allow automatic updating” option. All in all, it’s a welcome upgrade.
Google Maps 4.5.0 is free and is currently available in the Android Market.