Google on Wednesday released an upgraded version of its popular maps app
-powered smartphones and tablets that ditches a Latitude
feature that let people share locations with family or friends.
new software began rolling out at the online Google Play shop, and a
version tailored for iPhones and iPads will soon be available at the
Apple App Store, according to Google Maps director Daniel Graf.
new Google Maps for mobile builds on the design we released for iPhone
last December and improves on it with a few useful search and navigation
features," Graf said in a blog post.
"It's a new mapping
experience that makes exploring the world and getting to the places that
matter to you a lot faster and easier."
A Latitude feature that
let people automatically share their locations with friends using GPS
capabilities in smartphones will be "retired" by August 9 along with the
ability to "check-in" at spots being visited, according to Graf.
understand some of you still want to see your friends and family on a
map, which is why we've added location sharing and check-ins to Google+
for Android," Graf said, noting that it would soon be added to gadgets
powered by Apple's mobile operating system.
Google+ is the
California-based Internet titan's online social network, which it has
been gradually weaving into its array of online services.
to the new version of Google Maps include being able to see reports of
trouble on selected routes and being automatically offered better ways
to get to selected destinations.
Google also customized a version of Maps specifically for tablets.
more of us use mobile phones and tablets in our daily lives,
information that's useful to you isn't just about what you need, but
also where you might find it," Graf said.
Google is tops in online
maps and navigation, but Apple has been refining its own mapping
software for iPhones and iPads, and Facebook is keen to follow members
increasingly accessing the social network from mobile devices.