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Google Maps for Android adds transit schedules and Latitude features

Google Maps on Android was already leaps and bounds ahead of the experience on other mobile devices, but Google just unleashed some new features that make it even better. The latest update adds train and bus schedules, support for adding Google Latitude contacts, and Google Place Pages integration.

Android users can now grab transit schedules -- where they're available, anyway -- just by clicking a station or stop on the map. On my iPhone, I'm using Maps to find a route, and a separate app to view the schedules. Now Android users have got me beat. Jealous!

Google Place Pages, which launched not that long ago on the Web, are now available within maps. Place Pages give you at-a-glance info about businesses, including reviews. For the mobile version, they've organized the reviews using quick links to the terms that come up most often (food, service, atmosphere ... you get the idea). You may want to use Yelp or Urbanspoon for more detail, but Place Pages are very quick if you just need to find the closest place to eat.

As far as Latitude goes, Google has added a "suggested friends" list at the bottom of your Latitude contacts. Obviously, this is a big push to get more users sharing their locations on Latitude, which hasn't exactly taken off like a rocket since it was first released. At the very least, adding a few more contacts will make Latitude a more useful experience, so it's worth a shot.
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Tags: android, directions, google, latitude, maps, transit

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