Google Maps makes finding 'places' even easier

Google Maps

Google Maps just served notice to every other location-based business app out there with the introduction of "Places." A tie-in with Google Maps, it makes it super easy to find any kind of, well, place. It's location-based, so it knows where you are, it's fast, and pretty soon it's going to know what you want before you do. Here's Places in Google's own words:

Search for several convenient types of places with the default categories or add your own for your most frequent searches. You can also use the search bar at the top to type or speak any query. I tend to use the “coffee” search a lot, but I’ve also looked for “gas stations” on the road, “ice cream shops” in my neighborhood, and even specific places like “Chelsea Market” on a recent trip to New York.

Also added are more details of the individual businesses, such as parking, prices and menu items. And it's only a matter of time before Google adds some sort of check-in service, right? [Google Mobile Blog]

Phil Nickinson
  • Wow. I was JUST checking out the Google Labs on the app and the Popular Categories Lab which is similar for when you do a search on the map. It shows locations of whatever you direct on the map of where you are.
    I was wondering why Google didn't have something like the app info you've posted already in place.
  • Cool stuff, works nicely. Maps keeps getting better and better.
  • 3d maps in nav is a bigger deal to me in this update than Places :)
  • How do you get the 3D maps to display?
  • Wait so does this make the "Places Directory" app obsolete? Or delete it all together? I'm hoping it works like Latitude and its an "App within an App" sort of thing. Otherwise, "Where" kicks azz
  • From my short usage of this places, I'm starting to like it better than the Places Directory. At least with this it will continue to load more places, whereas PD just stopped after a certain amount, which isn't helpful if I don't like those choices.
  • I just noticed the little directional arrows in Places update when you turn around. Neat :p
  • Those. Are. Awesome.
  • I like this update don't get me wrong.. but do we REALLY need a separate launcher icon for Maps, Latitude, Navigation, and places? How about an option to only have the ones in the launcher you want?
  • I use LauncherPro, and it gives you the ability to delete any icons that you don't want to appear in your app drawer :)
  • Ok. I downloaded the update, but don't see the 'places' anywhere? What I'm I missing?
  • Different app in your drawer. (Note: not in your drawers.)
  • After you update Google maps, you have to restart your phone in order to see the "Places" icon in your directory.
  • Thanks!
  • I didn't need a reatart. I just had to add the places icon to the desktop (or where ever I wanted it)
  • Maybe its just with the EVO?
  • Nope mine showed up right after updating. I am on the Droid X.
  • Yeah with the EVO - you usually have to restart to get the icons to show up after updates. Annoying but whatever no big deal
  • i don't get it how do you do the 3d map . i thought navigation was already in 3d ???
  • If you press Navigation icon in the app drawer, then press the map icon in the upper right corner, you'll get a 3D map view that will follow you when you're moving. It's basically the same thing you got previously with navigation, but now you can get the 3D map with traffic without having to enter a destination.
  • And it's right about time. I've been hoping for little features like this.
  • OK....Maps, Nav, Latitude, now Places. All these seem like navigational type apps. How come I cannot access them within the Nav app. Maybe I am confused or don't know how to use this Google set of products... Can someone help??? Let's say I am using Nav and I want to find gas (or coffee or bars, etc.), while still maintaining my route to final destination. How do I do that? I am using a Droid X BTW... OK, I started a thread on this since it seems more involved and less related to this article. Please disregard.
  • you cant call anyone now from google maps why
  • Select your search result, scroll to the bottom, select "More info", it takes you to a Google Web page, one can select the number to call from there. But I hope they fix the app so we can call from there...
  • It's not metric. The hell?
  • I have an Evo. I updated my Maps, and did not work the first time. So uninstalled the updates. Restarted. Installed the updates again. Did not see the Places icon. Restarted. Finally, saw the places icon. And, then was wondering where was the 3D map in Nav..all it showed was a 2D map. But it pointed to my correct location. Then I went to Nav and clicked on the Map icon at the top right, and on the bottom of my screen, it said "Searching for GPS"..I had never seen that before. So I went to Sprint Nav and tried to get directions to the place that I traveled yesterday using the Sprint Nav. I have noticed that lately the initial logging into Sprint Nav takes some time, and then further time "getting the address", and further time "getting the route". Usually, getting the address takes shorter than getting the route...(although compared to a few weeks ago, yesterday it looked longer than usual to get the route). But, this time it was searching for GPS for 2-4 mins, and researching it...with the search % advancing at a snail's pace..So, I dont know what to do
  • still sucks. So how do u use Google maps with no cell service? Why don't maps cache on sd card?
  • So It's funny, now it is saying "cannot get GPS signal in this area".
  • I don't even have maps in the market, I have to install the app from an .apk every time there's an update. I'm running an HTC Desire with stock firmware, OTA updated (1.21.405.2) and am from Slovenia. Would this matter?
  • Pretty useful addition to Maps. One thing, does anyone know of a way to change the default searches? Gas Stations gives poor results in UK (Petrol Station works well), ATMs is an endless search that yields no results (strangely ATM gives pretty much perfect results). Naturally I would like to change the underlying search for the main icons. I can add all these searches but then the main ones sit there useless and in prime position. Also noted that there are some strange results around star ratings with restaurants getting 10 stars out of 10 on the underlying review site coming up as 1 star in this app (ie if I click on the 1 star review it takes me to a set of 10 star ones). So can't really rely on the star ratings when you are flicking through the app. Obviously this is more of a problem when not in familiar surroundings which is when you would be more likely to use the app. Hopefully it will improve over time.