Google Maps offering indoor directions on Android
11th May 2012 | 22:07
You'll never have to ask for directions to the bathroom again
There's now a new app for those of us who are more navigationally challenged than others. Google announced indoor directions for Google Maps in the U.S. and Japan.
Indoor maps will provide detailed floor plans, allowing users to see their exact location using Google Maps' familiar blue dot icon as well as which floor they're on.
Obviously, not every building's interior will be mapped by Google, but many key locations will be.
Finally find your way around IKEA
Google is initially including airports, the Mall of America, select Vegas hotels and casinos, and particularly tricky retailers like IKEA, Home Depot, and select Macy's and Bloomingdale's stores.
The first run will feature 18 airports, including the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, Chicago O'Hare, and San Francisco International Airport, among others.
Google will continue to add new indoor maps and offer the option for building owners to upload their floor plans directly.
No Indoor maps on iPhone
Indoor Google maps are currently only available through Android devices running OS version 2.2 or higher. It also requires Google Maps for mobile version 6.0 or above.
Making indoor maps exclusive to Android could be a heavy blow against Apple's iPhone, which uses Google for its Maps app.
However, rumors suggest that Apple may drop Google Maps soon in favor of its own proprietary mapping service.
Apple will have big shoes to fill if it doesn't renew the mapping contract with Google for 2013.
After all, Google is recognized worldwide for its mapping and directions service. But Apple may still have a trick up its sleeve, having purchased three separate mapping services over the years that would give an Apple service a wide foundation to build on.