Google Maps for Android Gets Places Photo Uploads

Google Maps for Android 5.8 lets smartphone users upload photos of businesses and landmarks they visit. The company also added transit directions for London.

No Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) application is updated faster than Google Maps for Android as Google seeks to make it the central hub for its mobile, local and social software experience.

Less than three weeks after Google Maps for Android 5.7 landed with turn-by-turn GPS Transit Directions, Google Maps 5.8 for Android has arrived to let users upload photos for a Place they visit. Google Place pages cover businesses and landmarks.

The search engine is even dangling a carrot in front of Android smartphone users by suggesting photos users attach may become profile pictures for the Place page.

Users may also delete photos they've contributed to Places in the "Photos for Google Maps" album via their Picasa account.

Google also brought the descriptive terms and My Place feature, which offers easy access to starred and recent Place pages, from the desktop to Google Maps for Android. Smartphone users will press their handsets menu button while in Maps to view these.

Finally, users can add a new Place to check into if it isn't listed in the menu of places from their Android Latitude app. Users will select the "add place" option, and confirm the name and location of the new place.

While this place will be available for users to check into from Latitude, it will not appear as a search result in Google Maps or Google Places.

Maps for Android 5.8 will be updating Android 2.1 and later phones over the air. Those who are impatient and want it sooner may download the update from the Android Market here.

In other Google Maps news, the search engine has added public transport directions for London to both Google Maps and Google Maps for mobile.

Users of Google Maps for mobile app will have their location analyzed by Google's location database to offer the best route to their destination via all Underground, bus, tram and Docklands Light Railway (DLR) lines.

Android phone users will also get public transport directions with Transit Navigation in Google Maps, a feature that alerts travelers when it's time to get off the bus or train stop.