Google Maps Mobile 4.4 includes new Places feature

Google has just updated its Google Maps application for Android handsets today with the new places feature enabling users to easily find the nearest restaurant, movie theater, store etc similar to what Yelp offers. Google Maps 4.4 is currently only available on Android 1.6 + devices (through the Android Market) and will later be released on BlackBerry. No word yet on the Windows Mobile version thought (wouldn’t be surprised if there isn’t one).

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Add elasticity to your Windows Phone 7 scrolling lists

It is a well known fact that the current Windows Phone 7 development tools are still missing important controls like Panorama, Pivot, Jump List etc… Thankfully smart folks from around the world have developed some the missing controls so third-party developers can start building WP7 applications without the need to wait for Microsoft to release the official ones in a few weeks/months. Clarity Consulting has been doing this for a little while now and has just released a few lines of code that will enable you to add the elasticy/squeeze/stretch effect to you scrolling lists as seen in the the core applications of Windows Phone 7:

Anyone that has an iPhone has undoubtedly been delighted when scrolling through lists for the first time. Aside from the kinetic scrolling, the resistance and elasticity characteristics make for a really nice fluid user experience. These effects are partly based on basic physics principles and partly faked by the animation framework of the phone.

If you’re like me, you’ve probably driven yourself mad by pulling, pushing and flicking your phone to death trying figure out how to re-create these effects.

And if the inertia, elasticity, and resistance weren’t enough WP7 has introduced a new subtly that takes the delight one step further. The scrunch effect. (See video below) Not only does the vertical offset of the list change when you scroll past the end of it, the items within the list box also scale in size. This, for lack of a better label, creates a “scrunch” effect…where all the items appear to get squished together as you pull down the list.

Unfortunately, some of these subtleties don’t ship by default with the windows phone controls. So with some help from my college kmarshall we cranked out some of the interactions and packaged them up in a behavior.

Check out the video adfter the break:

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