Google Maps for Android 3.3 Brings Simple But Incredibly Useful New Features

Google released another update for their Google Maps for Android…

Find what’s nearby and try Labs features with Google Maps for Android

I installed it on my Droid and took for a quick spin. Here’s what I found:

– What’s nearby feature: It seemed to do a pretty good job. It certainly looks useful when visiting another town or city. But locals will probably be puzzled by what shows up on the list (I was)

– (Labs) Distance scale bar: Simple, but much needed and very useful to know what distances are on a map as you zoom in and out

– (Labs) Terrain layer: This didn’t show anything in my area. And, yes, there is a nearby elevated area that should have shown up in the terrain layer

– (Labs) Compass arrow: Like the distance scale bar, this is a simple but incredibly useful addition to Google Maps that tells you which way you are facing when reading a map

– (Labs) Add a Layers button to the map screen: This is yet another simple but much needed addition. Layers like the Wikipedia layer are great but you don’t want it displayed all the time. This lets you turn layers on and off very quickly