Google Maps for Android devices just got a little bit better today, with the release of Walking Navigation (Beta) , which combines walking directions with Navigation to get you where you want to be on two feet. The service utilizes walk paths (when known) to get you to your destination faster, and automatically defaults to Satellite view, and the map view rotates with your phone.
Google Mobile Blog writes that there are some other additions that come along with the update:
Now you can quickly navigate Street View by dragging Pegman from the corner and highlighting where you want to go with a lightly shaded “pancake” on roads or a rectangle on buildings. Let go of the screen when highlighting the front of a building, and you’ll fly there and turn to face it. With a swipe of your finger, you can hop rivers and scale buildings
At the top of the map, you’ll find the new Google Maps search bar always available for easy access. Tap it to quickly start searching, open Places, use the Layers menu, or find yourself on the map with My Location. Here are more new features that may be helpful when you’re looking for nearby places:
* Filter search results by distance or ratings
* View prices categorized with dollar signs
* See cross streets for places.
It seems that Google has added the features that they showed off at the IFA Berlin keynote speech on Tuesday.
Check out this video showing a brief walkthrough of the app:
The Walking Navigation feature is available for Android 1.6+ devices in regions where the feature is supported, and Street View availability depends upon your region. Now we just need these features to have more availability and knowledge. Let us know if you try it out yourself and how it went in the AndroidPIT forums.
As it goes with these things, Google also caution users to use some common sense:
Keep in mind that Walking Navigation is still in beta, and Google Maps may not always have up-to-date information or optimal walking routes. Whether you’re walking or driving with Google Maps Navigation, you should always be safe and pay attention to road signs, follow signals, and use good judgment about routes that can’t be walked.
Images from Google Mobile Blog