Google Maps updates to v5.5.0

A new Google Maps update is now available. This version -- v5.5.0 has only three changes listed in the changelog but it brings some stuff that users have been asking for all while addressing some privacy concerns within Latitude. The full changelog is as follows:

  • Check in and out directly from Place Pages
  • Change Latitude work and home addresses
  • Redesigned transit station pages

If any of those items pique your interest, you can jump on past the break for the Android Market download link or just simply fire up the Android Market on your device and install from there.

Source: Google Lat-Long Blog; Thanks, isaiah32!

 
There are 26 comments

Kodros says:

I wonder if they got rid of the "Location Services" process that is unable to be killed and sucks up your RAM. Many complaints of bad battery life because of it also.

icebike says:

More useless check-in crap. Why are they pursuing all this social stalking crap that is useful only to desperate 20 somethings?

Why not some better routing options for when there is a traffic tie-up, or cheapest gas prices near me, or or something the majority of smartphone users actually use every day.

El Jefe says:

+1

I could care less about Latitude & don't want to "check-in" anywhere. I know where I am & would rather not everyone else know where I am.

True story: I have a friend who actually had their house broken into by someone they knew because they knew they weren't home since they were "checking-in" to places while on vacation.

icebike says:

Well supposedly only those you allow can see your checkins, at least on Google. With other checkin services its anybody's guess.

Still, who needs this. If your kids or GF is going to run around the last thing they are going to do is check in, and asking them to do so is like saying "I don't trust you".

briankurtz79 says:

Yeah that's not your shitty friends fault at all. Its Google's fault. You should Sue .....(sarcasm)

Masheen says:

The vanilla version of Google Maps provided instant GPS lock on your location and stellar turn by turn directions to your destination. A year and 5 updates later, this app is cluttered with unnecessary additions and it takes a ridiculously long time to get a lock on my vehicle. It also runs in the background when not in use and sucks CPU, thus draining the battery life on my phone. I am very displeased with Google's changes to this once amazing app.

icebike says:

Its in the background, which is not the same as RUNNING.
Just because you see it in the task list does not mean it is burning CPU cycles or battery. Nor does having your GPS enabled use much battery. It only uses it when you see it blinking in the status bar.

As for getting a lock on your vehicle, that's your phone or your vehicle, not this app.

Masheen says:

Its neither the phone nor the vehicle hotshot. I've tested different versions of maps on this phone and the older ones take less time to begin turn by turn navigation.

briankurtz79 says:

Ummm..... but when services are running and you pull a battery status update and "maps" is at the top with 70% of your battery drain I think that's a problem. Check it.

Kodros says:

You are correct, just because it is in memory, it doesn't mean it's running. However, in the case of this service, when you kill it, it pops right back up. Which means two things, something is constantly checking to see if this service is running and that whenever Android boots it out of memory for a higher priority app, eventually it will get loaded back into memory. Those do take up CPU cycles.

icebike says:

whoa, double post, sorry.

wraith404 says:

Install MapQuest. It locks fast, has more accurate traffic, and allows you to 'full screen' the map as in no search bar, no icons etc. Maybe if more people start using it Google will take note at the lost data. I only use Google Maps for navigation now, day to day traffic and location services, such as finding a nearby store, I use MapQuest. I'm sick of all the bloat they keep crapping into it. Not only do I not care about latitude, I don't want it bundled. I also dislike having 25% of my map surface taken up by a dumb ass search bar that I use 5% of the time. Correction, used to use.

Lodingi says:

Hey Google! I would like you to route me around traffic jams. Screw all this social stalking nonsense. Enough already.

balthuszar says:

how about taking the nearest exit, and letting google maps reroute you, or hitting the "ALTERNATE ROUTE" button?

Kodros says:

Because it puts you right back on the highway. Or it gives you a route to a different highway. Google Maps seems to want to avoid side streets as much as possible even though it may be a quicker route.

Analog says:

Just waiting for someone--anyone--to release an app that taps into publicly available transit info in Southern California as well as the Goog does, and then I'll be done with Maps forever...and with its bloat and background processes and unwanted social-stalking "features" along with it.

For now my inconvenient workaround is to freeze Maps in Titanium Backup and only unfreeze it when I need a transit route.

marcg611 says:

They need to add options for "freeway only" to stop it from automatically routing you the shortest distance, because currently it will take you on slow country roads w/traffic lights when you could have stayed on the freeway. I swear it was on there last year, but gone now!

ro1224 says:

Agreed! Get me where I need to go; I could care less where all my friends are. B-O-R-I-N-G. I guess it's much much harder for them to do what WE WANT THEM TO DO and so much easier to just give us more tools TO STALK EACH OTHER. Crazy!

MCF3778 says:

I want less google related things on my phone.. I have never liked google but android is alright when being compared to the nonexistent yahoo OS and the over priced services of the iphone

dwhitman says:

*sigh* Yet another map update focused on the social locations fad.

How about something useful like a more elegant way to handle saved locations. The "Starred" locations interface is awkward and buggy, and feels like it was bolted onto web bookmarks as an afterthought.

Nirvana328 says:

I agree with lots of posters on here at the frustration of the bloat in the maps app. I don't care about Latitude, or Places or whatever other junk they have crammed in the app. That's why I didn't actively go seeking out these apps. But just because I don't like it doesn't mean someone else might not appreciate it. I get that.

What Google seems to be forgetting is that just as people have the right to use these apps when other's don't like it, we also have the right to opt out of this junk even though others do like it. So does anyone have any ideas how we can get google's attention? I for one have not updated my app in 3-4 update cycles. And I've ranked google poorly and commented about this. Maybe if more users did the same we could get some attention. Or perhaps even get all of us to flag the app as inappropriate. Any ideas would be appreciated.

wraith404 says:

Give the MapQuest app a try. It's free, and small, and installs to SD.

vorcigernix says:

I like this check-in functionality, but google just can't make it right way. Take a look at foursquare simple interface, for example.
And, it will be better to support existing networks like 4sq, gowalla and facebook then inventing fourth.

If I wanted to check in, I'd just use Foursquare.

I want an update that kills that "LocationService" which I don't use and still uses 65% of my battery.

teknomedic says:

We (husband and I) use the Latitude feature and like it. We only share location with each other. As far as the Location Service thing, I don't know how some here are having it use that much battery?! I never try to kill the process, and unless I actually have Maps running, Maps will never use more than 4% of my battery (usually more like 1-2%).