If you’re already using Google Maps on your Android phone, head over to the Android Market and upgrade to the latest Google Maps for Mobile 4.4. This version comes with a new and improved Places. You’ll find a new Places shortcut in the app launcher. Once you start up places, you’ll see a menu with category shortcuts like the screen on the right.
You can either search with the default shortcuts provided in the screen or you can add more categories, which are basically searches, to give you easy access to stuff you regularly look for.
The search results from Places has improved drastically from the previous version. Now you get the Name of the place closest to you first , and a snippet of information about the place, a photo and rating if they’re available. Some times you do get a sponsored link within your search results (check the third search result below to see that).
If you click on one of the locations which is show, you’ll get to the details page of that location which is even better, with timings of the place, phone numbers and details of the reviews and ratings.
You also get icons on this screen to show you the location of this place on the map, get directions to the place and to call the place up if they have a number listed. If you scroll to the bottom of this page, you’ll see options to see the Buzz about the place, share this place, which brings up the Android Share option and to add the place to your phone contacts for easy access next time.
Google Maps for mobile 4.4 is available now for Android 1.6 and above. Just search for Google Maps in Market or scan the QR code below with your phone’s camera to head directly to the download.