Google Maps for Android got an update earlier today.
Google is moving further and further into territory owned by Foursquare, Gowalla and (to a lesser extent) Facebook. Here’s what’s new in version 5.8:
– Personalize Place pages by uploading pictures from your visit
– Manage your starred and recently visited Places in the ‘My Places’ tab
– See descriptive terms for Places in search results and Places pages
– Add a new place to Places when checking in
You can see the emphasis of this update is on location check-ins and check-in information richness (photos, descriptions). Photos you upload to Google Maps My Places end up in a “Photos for Google Maps” folder in Picasa. Google does not say if these photos eat into an account’s storage quota. If it does, people may be surprised to see their overall Google quota size getting smaller.
The question of where functions belong will become an interesting one once Google+ becomes more widely available (no invitations needed). There’s a disconnect between Google properties like Google Maps and Google+ on Android. iPhone users have an additional disconnect since Google Latitude is a separate app there.