Google Maps for Android provides helpful turn-by-turn navigation -- whether you are driving, on foot, or taking public transit. The transit app notes points of interest while you travel, recommends local businesses, and lets you set multiple stops on a trip.
Easy to navigate: Open Google Maps and you'll see your current location with surprising accuracy. Click any destination around you, or summon another by entering it manually or speaking into the mic. Click the walking symbol to pull up directions. You can also switch to car, public transportation, bike, or ride service directions. Tap an empty spot on the screen to switch to full-screen view for better visibility. Larger typography makes things like street signs easier to read, and a new color scheme helps you differentiate between natural and constructed features.
Real-time traffic: Google Maps offers a color-coded traffic map: red for gridlock, yellow for slow, and blue for steady. Gray indicates alternate routes. You will also notice slowdown and accident info, courtesy of user-generated data, historical data, incident reports filed on traffic app Waze, and info from local highway authorities. In the interest of efficiency, road outlines have recently been replaced with traffic and transit lines.
Great discovery tool: Tap Explore in the hamburger menu to get drinking and dining recommendations in your vicinity. Google categorizes these under Breakfast, Lunch, Coffee, Dinner, and Drinks in the top rail. Choose one to get groupings such as best, cheap, and newly opened. Select one that piques your interest for contact info, hours, photos, reviews, and menus. You can also search Google Maps for additional services, including gas stations, ATMs, and parking.
Great filtering options: Along with filtering restaurants by price, reviews, and whether they're open now, you can also narrow down dining searches to include only Zagat-rated restaurants. Just type or speak what you're looking for, tap Filter in the lower-right corner, then press Zagat Rated and Apply. You can also tap Filter to narrow down other business searches to include only those with good ratings.
Areas of interest: Google now draws attention to hip areas with lots to do by shading them in orange. Tap one to explore all that they have to offer.
Multiple stop support: If your trip includes multiple destinations, you can finally add several stops and even rearrange them via drag and drop.
Hands-free: Just tap the mic button and speak your location by name or address, or say "Work" or "Home." This feature is particularly useful for drivers, who need to keep their eyes on the road.
Offline maps: If you're on a road to nowhere, this handy feature lets you create and save maps for later access, even when you're without an Internet connection.
Extensive help: The Help & Feedback section in the main menu helps you get started, search and manage contacts, and use quick gestures. But there's also a Tips & Tricks tab that shows you more, like how to save an offline map and how to zoom in and out in multiple ways.
Shake to send feedback: Shake your phone to report a data problem or to send general feedback.
Google account required: You must register for a Google account to use Google Maps for Android.
If you're looking to get from point A to point B to point C with little hassle, there's no better navigation app than Google Maps. Its extensive location info helps you make the most of your experience along the way.