Google Maps for Android Gets Biking Directions, Navigation Shortcut, Sharing, and More

Tuesday, May 11, 2010 | 10:50 AM

Starting today, Google Maps for mobile has a few new ways to help you and your friends quickly get to where you’re going whether you’re on 4 wheels or 2 (or maybe even 3). With Google Maps 4.2 for Android you can now get biking directions on the go, start Navigation from your Home screen, share places with friends, and more.

Biking directions
Since launching biking directions on desktop Google Maps, we’ve wanted to get you biking directions, lanes, and trails on your phone too. Just in time for National Bike Month, select the bike icon when getting directions to get an optimal bicycling route in the U.S. If you’re in the mood for a more scenic ride, you’ll also see the Bicycling layer on the map which shows dedicated bike-only trails (dark green), roads with bike lanes (light green), or roads that are good for biking but lack a dedicated lane (dashed green). You can always turn on this layer from the Layers menu to pick your own route. Add in the Labs’ Terrain layer, and you can decide to either climb or avoid that big hill on the way home!


Google Navigation shortcut
If you’re driving instead of riding, we wanted to make it easier and faster for you to get on the road with Google Maps Navigation as soon as you’re ready. With the new Navigation shortcut, you can pick a destination and be on your way with as little as 2 taps of your finger. Select the “Navigation” icon in your phone’s app launcher to get the new destination selection view. Then, speak or type your destination, pick one from your contacts, choose a starred place, or select a recent destination. Navigation will begin and you’re good to go. Make it even easier on yourself by adding the Navigation icon right on your Home screen.


Sharing
Once you figure out where you’re going, why not get some friends to meet you there? From any search results page, choose to “Share this place” to send that place’s info, such as its address and phone number, to whomever you like. If you want to meet someone on a street corner or gather friends at an outdoor concert, you can also send an exact location from the map -- even a snapshot of your current location. Just use the share option after selecting a point on the map, your “My Location” blue dot, or yourself in Latitude if it’s enabled. Whether you’re sharing a place or a location, you’ll be able to send it to small groups via an email or text message or send it widely with apps like Google Buzz, Facebook, or Twitter.

Get these new features by searching for Google Maps in Android Market from Android 1.6+ phones (On your phone now? Tap here). Update Maps to version 4.2, available in all the countries and languages where Maps is currently available. Visit our Help Center to learn more, ask questions in our Help Forum, or give us suggestions and vote on other people’s on the Mobile Product Ideas page.

46 comments:

Adam said...

Release for 1.5 PLEASE! All of us Droid Eris users shouldn't be shut out of this!

Rene said...

Nokia has it: free turn navigation, the new Bing WM got free navigation, but Google Maps in Europe / The Netherlands don't get it!! Please hurry, Android fans all over Europe are waiting for this great feature!

dunn said...

Please give some love to Hong Kong.. and make the navigation be available in HK. Thanks

Eric said...

Sweet! The update is installing on my Nexus One as I type this. :)

Kristo said...

North Europe waiting Navigation toooo!!

Have some date when can download google navi other world than usa ?

zizouth said...

Update can only downloaded from a non-flitered market ... In my country I can see only the free application in the market, so I can not get this update ...Snif

ruffneckc said...

^Adam, have no fear, you will be getting Eclair (v2.1) on your Droid Eris momentarily. See the link below:

http://www.everythingandroid.org/droid-eris-getting-android-2-1-ota-update-today/2010/05/11/

Brad said...

Personally I'd be happy if they would just make Latitude actually work. Too often it shows where I was a week ago, or actually puts me in the wrong country. Makes it totally useless for actually knowing where somebody is, or telling them where you are.

timbro said...

please explain why navigation does not work in Canada

timsuh said...

Updating from v4.1.1 to v4.2 on my Android G1 now...

Christian said...

navigation in europa! please

iwamoto said...

I'm still not sure why there is no navigation in europe, i've tried it out with a hacked version of maps and it works great, no problems, so why not ?

Kevin McIsaac said...

Nice! But turn-by-turn navigation in Australia would be much more interesting.

What is DanielDeals.com? said...

so upset that my hero is still stuck on 1.5.

ryscar said...

When sending via SMS, it doesn't seem to pull contacts when you start typing a recipient. Or, when it does, it doesn't pull them all.

Pedro said...

Google Maps is becoming better and better at each update. Only thing missing : some dates or at least feedback on the absence of Navigation in Europe. Any chance to have some official news on that ? Thanks and keep up this excellent work !

Fran said...

I hope the navigation would be available in Spain soon.

Dov Bigio said...

What about navigation in Brazil?

kEiThZ said...

We're next door. How about enabling Navigation in Canada?

Chris Mattix said...

Now that you've added Road Bike trails it would be nice to see an Off Road Bike Trail layer. I use Tracks on my Android phone to track my Mountain Bike ride but would love to see the trails on my Google Maps so I don't get lost and don't have to carry a hardcopy map with me at all times.

Maff Mace said...

There's no "Navigation" icon anywhere on my phone after the update (in UK where I do have Google Navigation)

StevenJPrice said...

Posting here to back up Maff Mace as a UK user of Maps - no navigation shortcut available [HTC Legend]

jaduncan said...

@StevenJPrice

I'm using a Nexus One in the UK and do have the icon - do you guys have a googlemail as opposed to gmail account?

Maff Mace said...

yes, mine's @googlemail.com because I was told international users weren't allowed gmail ones at the time (when it first launched as invitation only)

Nik said...

Update is not working from Android Market. Shows as downloaded ok, but no data was downloaded (usually a couple of meg) and the Google Maps version doesn;t change.

Seems like Android Market may have a problem.

Robert said...

Droid Incredible shows the update in the Market but when installing it states Download Unsuccessful. Thoughts?

Miki said...

Getting "download unsuccessful" as well.

Mattman723 said...

Download unsuccessful :\

Joey Weaver said...

Download Unsuccessful error for me on Nexus One.

JohnCumings said...

I’m in Maryland, but it keeps saying “download unsuccessful”. Same with Wifi or 3G. Tried rebooting. Gmail and calendar still syncing fine. GTalk works. Other apps download & Run fine. Just the new GMaps update: won’t download from the market. Very frustrating.

Joey Weaver said...

Just worked for me.

diego said...

for the htc sense users : you have to disable and re-enable sense and then you'll get the icon.
Otherwise reboot the phone.
Miss navigation here in france :-(...

Mattman723 said...

Incredible users can't disable sense :\

Vin said...

Download unsuccessful on Droid

diego said...

are you sure ? (i can on htc desire),Reboot then.

Chuck Hawks said...

This would be great if it would actually download. The update appears to have removed the earlier version of Google Maps leaving me with NOTHING...

Not too happy 'bout that.

diego said...

mmm
look for a mod version on the web

anon said...

You guys rock. I love this app so much I gave my GPS away to one of my friends. Keep it up!

JP said...

Download unsuccessful for me too on a droid with 2.1 firmware.

StevenJPrice said...

@Diego - thanks dude, simple reboot solved the problem!!

sandy said...

I <3 Google maps! It's my favorite app I have on my Droid!

Tiago Fortuna said...

Navigation in Portugal would be more than welcome. Is it scheduled?

Kin-Char Bamin said...

Maybe I am the only one with this problem, or the only one that noticed. But since the update, I can only get the American English voice for navigation. No matter what voice I choose and what options I select, it's just the american english.
It's not critical, but it used to work and now it doesn't. At least not for me.

曉豪 said...

你的部落格很棒,我期待更新喔

Travis Rosenbaum said...

I am also having the same issue with American English being the forced voice setting on my phone.

Michael L. said...

Since the update, Google maps/Navigation is 95% inaccurate on the MOTOROLLA DROID. What happened? Often it says I'm a good 5-10 miles away from my actual location. I am alarmed that this problem is a common one, judging from other posts in the Android Market as well as other message boards (as of 05-17-2010).

I do appreciate that Navigation has its own separate app launcher, but it's pretty useless when most of the time, it keeps returning a constant error saying "SEARCHING FOR GPS." I've tried everything short of returning my DROID back, and I'm told it's a GOOGLE software problem. PLEASE FIX THIS. It was working SO MUCH BETTER before this last update.