Updates to Google Maps Across the Board

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The Google Maps Android API v2 allows you to easily embed Maps directly into your app, but today, Google took it one step further. The launch of three new Location APIs will bring services that improve the overall maps experience. Moreover, the next version of Google Maps for iOS and Android was previewed today, packing a bunch of new features.

First of the new location APIs makes location faster to acquire, more accurate, and add a new low-power location mode that uses less than 1% of battery per hour. The second is “Geofencing” which lets you define virtual fences around geographical areas that trigger when a person enters or exits them. Lastly is activity recognition. This API uses the device’s accelerometer to determine whether the user is walking, biking, or driving.

The Google Maps mobile app is also going to be seeing a wide variety of improvements. Of these include features that intend to make using the app more personal and connected to Google+.¬†Users will be able to rate restaurants and other local businesses in the app, for instance, using a new 5 star rating system. Also available will be a service called “Google Offers” which will provide incentives directly on the map.

The above API updates will be rolled out starting today, but the newest Google Maps mobile app won’t be available until later “this summer.”

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