updated 06:45 pm EDT, Thu September 9, 2010
Google Walking Navigation beta arrives for Android
Google posted its second Android app update for today with word of updates to Google Maps. Walking Navigation has entered the app as a beta and, like the web version, will plot paths through parks and other areas unique to foot traffic. Adjustments have been made to reflect pedestrian travel: the phone vibrates for direction changes, voice guidance can be turned off and the bird's eye satellite view is turned on by default.
The company hoped to ward off lawsuits like one it encountered recently by warning users to use common sense and avoid walking routes that aren't meant for pedestrians.
A second update distinct to Street View also simplifies jumping between points. Rather than tap arrows, users can drag the peg figure in the street-level photo itself to reach the intended point. The Google Maps search bar has been updated regardless of mode and allows filtering by distance and ratings, view prices, and see cross streets.
Google Maps can be updated directly today through Android Market for any Android 1.6 or later phone. The Street View option requires looking for an update to a Street View for Google Maps app.