Google Maps launches version 4.4 for Android targets Yelp with ‘places’ feature

 Google Maps

Google Maps

Google had launched a new version of its Maps app for Google’s Android platform. Google has given half-a-dozen upgrades to Google Maps on Android in as many months. The update gets Google Maps a new logo, and   the Navigation features got more stronger and powerful with  a dedicated ‘Places’ icon which  allows users to quickly look up nearby places and is clearly aimed at Yelp and one of the features that differentiated many standalone GPS devices.

Features and options of  ‘places’ functionality search are very interesting, with an interface with icons for seven categories you might try to locate nearby restaurants, coffee, bars, hotels, attractions, ATMs, and gas stations. If you tend to search for similar things regardless of where you are, you can load up your own personalized categories to make finding frequent searches that much easier. Of course Google will not let go of a advertising opportunity –  searching with the new Places interface delivers a sponsored link and information about businesses in the neighborhood, including an address, rating (if available), user reviews, and whether the business is currently open or closed for the day.

The new feature may be in competition with Yelp, but, that does not stop Google from using Yelp’s data. Google Maps searches  Yelp, CitySearch, GrubHub, Yahoo, and other sources, for information. This latest edition of Google Maps is compatible  Android version 1.6 and above. BlackBerry users are next in line and will be getting a  similar update that’s “coming soon,” according to a post on Google’s blog.

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