Friday 21 December 2012

Google Maps now lets you see inside businesses

In an interesting update, Google Search has made it easier for users to find Google Business Photos. This way, users have a way of seeing what the inside of a business looks like. Users can now virtually walk-through a business with Google Street View technology. To begin with, users have to click on the 'See inside' image on Search to enter the business and then walk around, almost as if they were there.

In less than a week after its release on iOS devices, Google Maps is racking up an impressive download count. The app has surpassed 10 million downloads so far, according to Google SVP of Commerce and Local Jeff Huber. The milestone was announced by Huber over the company's Google+ page. According to Huber, the app crossed the 10 million download count in less than 48 hours of its release.

Google recently stated in a blog post that Google Maps is now available for the iPhone and is rolling out across the world in the Apple App Store. Commenting on this new app for the smartphone, Google claims that it is designed from the ground up to combine the comprehensiveness and accuracy of Google Maps with an interface that makes finding what a user is looking for faster and easier.

Google claims that the app shows more of the map on screen and turns mobile mapping into one intuitive experience. Google states, “It’s a sharper looking, vector-based map that loads quickly and provides smooth tilting and rotating of 2D and 3D views. The search box at the top is a good place to start—perhaps by entering the name of a new and interesting restaurant. An expandable info sheet at the bottom shows the address, opening hours, ratings and reviews, images, directions and other information.”

One can also preview where they want to go with the Street View feature and see inside places with Business Photos to decide on a table or see if it’s better at the bar. There are also features such as voice-guided turn-by-turn navigation, live traffic conditions to avoid the jams and if one wants to use public transportation, they can find information for more than one million public transit stops. To complete the Google Maps ecosystem, it is also releasing the Google Maps SDK for iOS, and a simple URL scheme to help developers use Maps when building apps.

The new Maps app is compatible with the iPhone and iPod touch (4th gen) iOS 5.1 and higher, in more than 40 countries and 29 languages, including Chinese, Dutch, English, French, German, Italian, Japanese and Spanish. Please note that some of the features mentioned in this post aren’t available in all countries.

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