Google Maps getting new timeline feature and Google Plus?

A Google Maps update has hinted at some new features for the service, including a new social aspect.

Google Maps could be about to get some pretty nifty new features, if leaked source code is anything to go by. Android Police has been rooting around in the APK to version 8.6, the latest build of Google Maps for Android, and has found mention of a timeline feature, as well as a whole new social aspect.

The picture above hints at how timeline could work. Though not entirely clear, the graphics seem to show progress on a map, with a home icon, checkbox, briefcase for work, and so on, showing your progress through this series of graphics. Intriguing.

It has the same name as the timeline feature in Facebook, and seems to fulfil a similar function. I suppose you could use it to see how long a journey took, as opposed to how long it was meant to take, and help plan for next time.

Google sent out invites for an event showing "the next dimension of Google Maps". That would imply 3D, but seeing as Google already does 3D maps, the next dimension is presumably time.

Google Latitude also looks like it'll be getting Google Plus integration, which makes abundant sense. Rather than sharing your location with contacts one by one, you'll be able to share it with your circles and let everyone know you're enjoying a Whopper in the Burger King at Oxford services.

Also new? A coin feature, letting you rate how expensive a restaurant is when writing a review, and a bicycle layer for finding bike-friendly routes.

Google is holding a Maps event on Thursday, when all will become clear. Apple is rumoured to be dropping Google Maps in favour of a military-grade maps service it bought last year. Missile-like accuracy, here we come.

Would you like to see these new features? And should Apple drop Google Maps? It does seem a bit erratic to me, often getting my location spectacularly wrong. Let me know your thoughts in the comments, or on Facebook.

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