updated 01:45 pm EST, Tue November 29, 2011
Google Maps 6 brings GPS to airports, malls
Google added a major upgrade to the Android version of Google Maps (Android Market) Tuesday to bring an industry first for both indoor and outdoor maps. When inside key airports and malls, the app will automatically switch from regular view to a floor plan with places like departure gates and stores marked out. It intelligently checks elevation in multi-floor buildings and even has floor plans just for big stores.
The first round of locations are focused on the US and Japan. In the US, it includes airports like Atlanta International, Chicago O'Hare, and San Francisco International as well as the Mall of America and certain Bloomingdale's, Home Depot, IKEA, and Macy's. In Japan, it includes Narita International Airport, stores like Daimaru, Mitsukoshi, and Taskashimaya, and the offices of JR and Tokyu. Google is adding indoor locations elsewhere in the world over time and is taking submissions from companies that want to accelerate the process.
The app needs at least Android 2.1 to work and has an interface optimized for both Android 3 tablets and every Android 4 device.