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Triple update for Google Maps for Android

Google adds three enhancements to its Maps app on Android smartphones, including help with public transportation, friends, and business reviews.

A pair of tennis shoes

There's a reason I commute in tennis shoes--the days I literally make a mad dash for the soon-to-be departing train or bus.

Sure, there are localized apps for getting schedules, but it's also convenient that public transportation scheduling is one of a handful of enhanced features in Google Maps for Android version 4.3, new on Tuesday.

Schedules toe their way into the public transit page that's invoked by tapping the icon of a station that's plotted on a map--as long as those details are available to Google, that is.

On the social front, Latitude, Google's social beacon for locating friends nearby, now suggests friends you could add to your network.

A train station on Google Maps for Android 4.3
Tap the station pop-up to get to schedules. Google

Open the Latitude module from the menu and you could see a list of names appear at the bottom of your list of Latitude friends list, followed by "+" or "x" icons. Tap to add or dismiss the request.

The most practical new feature adds snippets of a review for locations you search out on the map. After searching for a nearby restaurant, for instance, tap on the map pop-up and you'll see the first two lines of a review at the top of the results.

Get the Google Maps for Android 4.3 update from the Android Market for all countries and languages where Maps is currently available. Note that the update is not compatible on Android smartphones running an operating system earlier than 1.6.