Nothing like a maps application waiting readily in your smartphone when you need to get places. The fast rate at which stores and other commodities open and close these days, the concept of a paper city map is just not practical. Even roads twist and turn and shift ever so often, and routes may change, so having electronic guidance could be not only a money-saver, but boost safety during your daily commutes or travels. And whom to look for a solution, if not to the internet guru, the company of all companies, Google? Yes indeed, we Android people love Google even more than those that may see it as just "The Search Engine".

The new version of Google Maps has been released, and can be upgraded via Google Play (the re-branded Android app market) as of now. Google Maps now reached 6.5, and feedback is mostly positive. Let's take a look at the features and complaints.

According to Google themselves, “whether you need directions to your destination, the closest good place for a bite to eat, or just a sense of where you are, Google Maps for Android can help". No disputes so far -- but Google Maps is not the only maps app out there. Also, some people like to keep what they have and works for them, why pick/updgrade and use Google Maps 6.5?

The main highlight of this new Google Maps version is the beautiful graphics, designed to better display on high resolution screens, present on many newer handhelds such as the Galaxy Nexus, Galaxy S2, and the Droid Razr.  You may also notice the GUI is now slimmer, occupying less space on the display. Neat, all good so far.

A new addition is public transport mode, so that you won't need to keep that messy subway paper map stuffed in your wallet. Of similar benefit for those that do not use a car, Google Maps 6.5 also provides public transit, biking, and walking directions. Before you pull up directions, you can specify that you prefer a route with less transfer,  less walking and such,

Two built-in features in Google Maps 6.5 really seem impressive, and if they pass the test of time and testing by the community they will surely become trademarks of any map app made from now on.

The first is Navigation, for Ice Cream Sandwich. Those who use this version of Android will appreciate this feature on the home screen.

The second is a feature for speech recognition, so you don't have to stare in the screen and press all the time while rushing along to that business meeting in the meeting of (apparently) freaking nowhere. Your darling Android, with the aid of the new Google Maps, will get you there in time all fine and dandy. Use the "Speak Destination" function, tell the address of the name of the establishment you wish to reach, and the handheld will guide you.

Google Maps 6.5 also comes with 3D buildings, if you find this a better way to get around, or just for fun.

Voice-guided GPS indications are also implemented, for when you are driving -- which Google Maps 6.5 will ensure you do in safety.

If a specific destination is not your thing, Google Maps is also great for leisure, as it suggests restaurants, pubs, cinemas and the assorted sorts in your current area. This way, you can just let go of any other lifestyle apps and unclutter your Android.

Any bugs or problems reported? So far, the occasional user has noted slowness or crashes. Nothing that seems out of the ordinary on the launch of a new software or upgrade  -- especially considering that Google Maps 6.5 is still in BETA. The majority of Android users our there seems pleased and have moved up to the new, improved Google Maps 6.5. Why don't you?

Head on here to download Google Maps 6.5 from the Google Play Store today.

corner-left-up dots-three-vertical