Google Maps mobile gets updated in celebration of $5 gas

Google Maps mobile gets hand-y update.

Google Maps updated with public transit information and routing back in mid-2007 (see story here), but missing was a way to access that same layer of information on your mobile phone. Today that's changed with the latest version of Google's mobile maps app.

The updated service now includes searchable transit maps and schedules from more than 40 cities in the U.S. and close to 20 others around the globe. It also takes advantage of the built-in location finder to help you find transportation hubs that are nearby, saving you time from having to ask directions while out and about.

In the demo video embedded below, Google employee Ryan shows us a test trip from the city of San Francisco across the bay to Berkeley, while managing to showcase one of the app's cooler features, which I'm officially coining as the "drunk button." When toggled it lets you figure out how late you can stay out with just two button presses. Twenty-somethings are going to love this.

One thing that's missing, however, is the new Street View feature that was quickly demoed as part of Steve Horowitz's (Google's engineering director) presentation of the latest build of the Android OS at Google IO last month.

Google Maps mobile is free to use as long as you've got a data plan and a phone that's capable of running it. Some of the features should be expected to carry over to the version of Google Maps that resides on the iPhone, which has historically received bits and pieces of Google's updates shortly after new Google releases.

About the author

Josh Lowensohn joined CNET in 2006 and now covers Apple. Before that, Josh wrote about everything from new Web start-ups, to remote-controlled robots that watch your house. Prior to joining CNET, Josh covered breaking video game news, as well as reviewing game software. His current console favorite is the Xbox 360.

 

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