Hands on: Google Maps 5.7 adds stop-by-stop public transit Nav. and offline maps to Android

google-maps-public-transit-web

Google has added some much needed public transit support to its Google Maps app, it revealed in a blog post today. Google Maps 5.7, now available on the Android Market, adds turn-by-turn (or “stop-by-stop”) GPS transit navigation for more than 400 cities around the world, with more on the way soon. A useful Google Labs feature that allows you to download offline maps (10 square miles at a time) has also been added.

Like turn-by-turn navigation, the Transit Navigation (beta) uses GPS to determine your location along routes that Google downloads from local transit companies or governments. The app warns you when your stop is coming up with notifications and will vibrate when it’s time to get off, even if you’re doing other things on your phone. While Google had a transit option on its Website before, the feature now seems to work a bit more accurately and is now supported on the Android Maps & Navigation app.

google-maps-transit-navigation

We tested out the navigation here in New York City to mixed results. While we like the option of navigating public transit on Google Maps, the service still pales in comparison to the accuracy of competing services like HopStop. Maps 5.7 Transit Nav. led us to a further stop than we could have used a few times and the app doesn’t have granular options to let you choose between bus transit and the subway, or how much walking you’re comfortable doing. In addition, though it will advise you to take the subway, it is completely useless once you head underground due to a complete lack of mobile data connections in the NYC subway system. For this reason alone, we’ll be sticking with HopStop, which doesn’t have the pretty maps that Google’s app does, but it works and gives us control over how we’d like to travel and the ability to look for alternate routes.

Offline, kind of

We are happy that Google has added some offline features. Now, when you re-enter Google Maps, it will show you the set of directions–walking, car, or public transit–that you last viewed. It would be nice if Google took this a step further and let you save directions or destinations to your phone memory (and online) for future reference. Again, this is most useful in cities like New York where public transit takes you off the mobile grid for extended periods of time.

The new Google Labs feature for offline storage solves some of these problems. The feature allows you to select an address and download 10 square miles of map data around it. To download an entire city or region, you must download it in square chunks. Still, once you have the data, you have it, so for those with limited data connectivity (or crappy data plans), it is a good option for basic navigation. The download took us about 30 seconds. It looks like it downloads those fancy 3D buildings Google introduced last December as well.

Below is a Google video explaining the features of the new Google Maps 5.7.

And here is a quick demonstration of the Offline maps feature via MobileBurn.

Product Review

Huawei’s monster Mate 20 X makes the Galaxy Note 9 look small

The Huawei Mate 20 X has a 7.2-inch screen, but is surprisingly manageable to hold, yet still a little too big to carry around. Huawei’s pushing the phone’s ability as a mobile gaming handheld, challenging the Nintendo Switch.
Mobile

Google Maps brings its real-time journey-tracking feature to iPhone

It's been available on Android for a while now, and now Google Maps has brought its real-time journey-tracking feature to iOS. It lets you choose who to share a journey with, and tracking ends automatically when you arrive.
Mobile

Key settings you need to change on your brand-new Google Pixel 3 or 3 XL phone

Google's Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL smartphones are now available. If you've set the phone up, we've rounded up a handful of key settings we think you should tweak or turn on to get the most out of your new device.
Mobile

These are the best LG V40 ThinQ cases to stop unsightly damage

The LG V40 ThinQ is the latest entry in LG's long line of great V series phones, but it's not invincible. The best way to protect it from potential damage is with one of the best LG V40 ThinQ cases.
Cars

Google Maps now shows EV owners the way to the nearest charging station

Google Maps now lets electric-car owners find the nearest charging station with ease. It's also added data on the number and types of ports available, charging speeds, and notes on the business where the station is located.
Mobile

Google may charge up to $40 per Android device for app suite following EU ruling

Google announced that it will be charging Android device manufacturers in Europe a licensing fee to use its apps and services. The announcement is part of an effort to comply with new European Commission regulations.
Photography

Camera shootout! Testing the latest Pixel, iPhone, and Galaxy Note in real life

Which takes the best photos, the Pixel 3 XL, iPhone XS Max, Galaxy Note 9, or Pixel 2 XL? We put the cameras on all these top-notch phones through their paces to see which performs best in the real world, from low light to portrait mode…
Mobile

How to sell your old Google Pixel or Pixel 2 for the most money

So, it's time for a expensive new smartphone, and you'd like to partially fund the purchase by selling your old Google Pixel. Find all the information you need to get as much money as possible for your Pixel or Pixel 2 here in our guide.
Mobile

The OnePlus 6T is coming a day earlier, event moved to October 29

According to a recent report, the launch of the OnePlus 6T could be different from any other OnePlus launch in history. How? It could have the backing of a major U.S. carrier. Here's everything we know about the OnePlus 6T.
Product Review

Amazon’s child-friendly tablet is the complete package

Kids are tough on electronics and it’s difficult to police screen time and manage what they’re doing. The Amazon Fire HD 8 Kids Edition could be the affordable answer to your prayers, with a rugged case and worry-free warranty.
Mobile

Huawei Mate 20 Pro vs. P20 Pro: Which 2018 Huawei flagship is best for you?

If you're tempted by Huawei's latest flagship, the Mate 20 Pro, but you're uncertain how it differs from the P20 Pro which Huawei released earlier this year, then we have you covered. Find out exactly what sets these two phones apart.
Product Review

Simple, smart, and affordable, Google’s USB-C earbuds are a must-buy

Google’s follow-up to its wireless Pixel Buds are the wired Google Pixel USB-C earbuds. It’s the simpler route, but the earbuds are still smart, deliver good sound, and -- best of all -- they’re affordable.
Mobile

If you're light on memory, these are the best lite apps for Android and iOS

Looking to save data, storage, and reduce performance issues? Lite apps and Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) are the best options. Here's our roundup of lite apps and PWAs for all the most popular apps on the market.
Mobile

Master your new LG phone with these V40 ThinQ tips and tricks

With five cameras and awesome specs, the LG V40 ThinQ is one of the most innovative phones of 2018. While the V40 can get a great shot in any scenario, it's capable of so much more. Here are a few of our favorite tips and tricks.