Google Maps for Android updated with desktop history sync and single-handed zoom

Daniel Bader

September 20, 2012 9:03 am


Google has released an update to its Maps application for Android, just in time for its removal from Apple’s iOS 6.

While this is not a big jump in functionality, it brings one impressive and long sought-after feature: desktop history sync. Say you are about to leave on a trip, and look up where you’re going on your laptop; as long as you’re logged into the same Google account on your Android phone, that entire history will be present the next time you open the app. It’s a great — and simple — way to keep track of your searches.

Another feature that’s been added to the Maps app for Android is single-handed zoom: just double tap anywhere on the screen, hold down and slide your finger back and forth to zoom in or out. Very simple, but useful when you don’t have two hands to use (which is often the case when you’re navigating).

Considering many iOS 6 users are decrying Apple’s new Maps app as unfinished, buggy or just plain bad, the update for Android users will be just a little more heartening on this chilly September day.

Download Google Maps for Android.
Via: The Verge

  • Andy

    The single hand zoom is awesome. Tried it yesterday and works flawlessly.

  • nrj4life

    What Andy said. Flawless! Google for the win!

  • Kid.Canada

    My new S3 just keeps getting better and better :D

  • Art Vandelay

    Hopefully Google learned their lesson and patented the single hand zooming gesture this time before Apple copies it.

  • shadyguy

    2nd the Patenting notion – get er done.

  • Hinds2009

    Google maps are the best, no comparison!

  • NANDROID

    So did Apple remove it from the phone or the App Store? I hear the iOS maps are garbage. One of the Apple execs mentioned that the other day.

  • zzZZzz

    There are already different types of one hand zoom out there, one being the thumb zoom, though I don’t know how many are already patented.

    But old goog should go ahead and do it so a certain fruit won’t claim it first – since prior art doesn’t seem relevant anymore.

  • Android4Ever

    Soon Apple will copy this and call it “Inovation”

  • Dalex

    I don’t really care since I don’t own any IOS device, but removing Google Maps was just a dumb petty move. There was no logical reason behind it and they weren’t going to introduce anything that is better (heck it doesn’t even come close).

    Google Maps ftw

    • 3df

      I own a first gen iPad, and I’m glad it doesn’t get the new OS. Google Maps is one of the most useful functions on the device and that has now been taken away with the update.

  • Stan10

    Apple is clearly jelly…
    Way to restrict your blind followers even more, fruit!

  • HotTorontoDeals.com

    I wonder how long it will take Apple to approve the Google MAPS app on iOS 6??? Can’t believe I can’t even find & download my trusty Google MAPs app from the App Store? Apple are you so pig-headed that you won’t even give your users the option to use an app that you’ve bundled with your device since 2007?

    People depend on it…. I wonder if anyone’s car ends up in lake due to Apple’s MAPs app, if a law firm starts a class action against Apple?

  • Miknitro

    Woot, no more free coat tail riding Apple!

    Patent your stuff Google, where possible asap.

  • bob

    I don’t think single handed zoom was needed. We could already double tap to zoom, and this can be done with one hand easily.

    • Marorun

      Single hand zoom this way is 10 time more precise than old way just so you know.

    • Andy

      I bet “you” can double-tap and zoom out too? With one hand?

  • JV

    To BOB
    its true, but sometimes people need to zoom out a little if the double tap one too many times, or the want to find that sweet spot, and the one handed zoom goes a long way. Also there are those folks like my friend who only has the one arm and hand, and this feature he is LOVING. its when we stay complacent in our attitudes about something that innovation and creativity starts to die. Just because we all cant find an immediate use doesn’t mean its useless. More options are always god. It will always beat having less options. Hope everyone is having a Fantastic day! :P

  • Eric

    google maps already had one handed zoom. you use your finger and thumb to pinch.

    this is single FINGER zoom. instead of 2 fingers you use 1.

  • ImTherious

    Can anyone say MapGate?

    And where is the Engad*** article on MapGate?

  • sip

    Google please patent the 1 handed zoom. Or any other 1 handed GUI innovations.