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).
On Android-powered phones with Google Maps 4.4, you’ll find the new Places icon in the app launcher with the rest of your apps. Press and drag it right onto your home screen to use it when you’re looking for a restaurant, shoe store, movie theater or any other type of local business. You’ll get a detailed list of all the nearest places and can choose one to learn more about it on its Place Page.
Search for several convenient types of places with the default categories or add your own for your most frequent searches. You can also use the search bar at the top to type or speak any query. I tend to use the “coffee” search a lot, but I’ve also looked for “gas stations” on the road, “ice cream shops” in my neighborhood, and even specific places like “Chelsea Market” on a recent trip to New York.