Google Quietly Updates Maps For webOS | webOS Nation

Google Quietly Updates Maps For webOS

by Robert Werlinger Tue, 15 Dec 2009 11:45 am EST

For the second time since launching back in June, Google Maps for webOS has quietly received an update.  The first update came our way back in October, and brought with it a number of enhancements, the most notable of which were the addition of public transportation and walking directions to the already available driving directions.

This update brings with it a number of notable enhancements as well.  Unfortunately, there's no official change log to be found anywhere on the Google Mobile blog or even an acknowledgment that there's been even been an update, so we're left to our own devices to find the differences between this version and the last without being able to compare them side by side.  Here's what we've got so far:

  • Google Maps reports itself as being at version 6.7 (tap the Menu button > Help & Terms > About).
  • There seem to be substantial improvements in overall speed and rendering.  Menus open, transition, and close faster, and map rending seems vastly more robust.
  • We now have kinetic scrolling
  • An updated "Menu" interface with new graphics for switching between the Map and Satellite modes
  • A new "Help and Terms" Menu
  • Better integration into local public transit systems (at least here in Portland, Ore)
  • The ability to interact with the icons the map.  Tapping on the icon of a business or a transit stop will bring up the associated listing, allowing easy access to phone numbers, directions, reviews, and more.
  • A new dedicated "Results" button that, as one would guess, brings up the results of a search query. 

There's no question at this point that most of the webOS version of Google Maps is kept server side.  After firing up my comically out of date emulator running version 1.1 of the SDK, I discovered that all of the changes listed above were there as well.

It's great to see that Google is actively committed to enhancing the webOS version of its Maps software It gives us hope that it wont be too long before we start seeing services like Latitude and (dare I say) Navigation to make their to webOS.

Our list of enhancements is by no means a comprehensive change log, and there are sure to be things that we've overlooked.  If you find something that isn't on our list, do feel free to let us know in the comments! 

Thanks to @vara411 for the tip!