It's standard fare for Google to incubate a mobile app feature on one platform before rolling it out to the others. That's why an update on Tuesday to Android's Google Maps app will please Android users, who will see an uptick in productivity on the Maps, but will excite few other Google mobile-watchers on the whole.
We've seem both new features that Google is rolling out to Android phones in other guises. There's star syncing (we first heard about it in December), which stores the places you mark as favorites on your Google account, so you can access them later; for instance a shop you flag on your desktop and pick up again from your mobile when roaming the streets.
Google is also outfitting Maps on Android with search suggestions based on your history, which Google calls "personalized suggestions," an overstatement in our opinion. Tapping into your search history is an old, albeit useful, trick that Google has long employed in its mobile search app on various platforms, not to mention on Google.com.
Google slipped a juicy tidbit into its blog post, saying that users of the navigation app will see a new "night mode" that automatically activates after sundown to dim the colors on the map for viewing that's purportedly kinder on the eyes.
To use both features in the updated Google Maps 3.4, you'll need to make sure that your Web history is switched on and that you're signed into your Google account. Nexus One users will see over-the-air updates starting Tuesday. Everyone else will need to check the Android Market for updates rolling out by the end of the week.