Google Maps is one of those apps that will always have an enormous number of potential new features, so it's interesting to see the things Google is focusing on with each new release. We just saw an update to v9.2 with new navigation settings and auto-correct for searches, but there are plenty of other really interesting additions in the works. Let's take a look at some of the features we might have to look forward to.
What do you do when you arrive in a new city and want to know what to do? I'm sure there are plenty of possible answers, but the correct one is to fire up Yelp. In the US, it's just hard to find a competing platform that offers the sheer depth and functionality that the service offers. Yelp displays discounts, allows user to make reservations, has Open Table integration, and - my personal favorite - gives quick access to addresses.
Believe it or don't, Fourquare has grown beyond hipster urbanites who desperately want to be the Mayor of the 6th Street Starbucks. More than a few businesses - independent or otherwise - are seeing the value in the location-based service. To that end, Foursquare has released its free business app on the Play Store, allowing local managers to update their business status for single or multiple locations.
Within the Foursquare for Business app, you can keep tabs on recent check-ins, set specials for users, and look up in-depth statistics for your business's performance on Foursquare.
As Google continues the work of expanding its Play Store services across the globe, it only makes sense that the giant is also working to provide a cohesive, pleasant experience for users in the 130+ countries that now support paid apps. To that end, Google has announced in a post to the Android Developers blog that developers can now include localized promotional graphics and video in their Play Store listings.
Basically, what this means is that developers can upload separate assets to ensure that users in, for example, the United States will see English-language graphics and video, while others around the world see materials in their own language.
In ancient Greece, Apollo was—among other things—the god of music. In ancient 2012, Apollo became the official music app for CyanogenMod. It was gorgeous, functional, and completely customizable, as you might expect from the world's most popular ROM. At the time, we were told that this lovely bit of software would be coming to the Market "in the coming weeks." That was back when we still called it the Market.
Sure, Google may have acquired Zagat and used the company's renowned ratings engine to start powering its data on everything from electronics stores to car washes. However, the review site got its start in restaurants way back in the day, and even after the purchase, continues to provide helpful information on every aspect of your food consumption outings. So, why not give the service its own app? Well, that's just what everyone's favorite search giant did!
While services like Spotify and Rdio may steal the spotlight most of the time, there are other streaming subscription services out there. Related: we need a better name than "streaming subscription services." Rhapsody, originally founded by Real Networks and since become an independent entity, has a pretty impressive library that users can now download for offline playback. An essential feature for a modern cloud music player. Update: To clarify, it's the ability to download songs on an individual or per-album basis that is new.
If you want to listen to your own music on your Android device, there are two ways to do it: first, store it locally, or second, stream it from a cloud-based service like Google Music or Amazon MP3. Obviously playing back locally would be faster (no buffering), reliable (you don't have to worry about reception), not use up valuable bandwidth, and allow you to use whatever music player you want.
Google held a press conference today where several new search features were unveiled, including some pretty nice improvements to the Google Mobile site. Among these features is the addition of Google Places on the main Google page, with quick links to areas of common interest at the bottom. Tapping any of the icons uses geolocation to provide results specific to the area that you're in.
Also announced were improved search capabilities in the browser and the ability to add additional details to Instant results by tapping the plus sign next to the suggestion that you wish to alter.