This evening Google released Google Maps 2.0 for iOS, and with it comes a bunch of new features, including full iPad support. That's a welcome change to owners of Apple's tablets, but the new Google Maps brings a bunch more with it.
Enhanced turn-by-turn navigation now includes live traffic updates and incident reports. When you are looking for something specific, Google Maps now drills down into popular categories like restaurants, playing, shopping, and sleeping. Google now owns Zagat, and as such, Zagat ratings are included and listed within the results. Google Offers also gets integrated into Maps, showing you results that have deals as well.
What may be seen as the coolest addition to the Google Maps app is the inclusion for indoor mapping. That means that you can now launch Google Maps to get indoor directions at places like malls, airports, bus and train stations, and more.
You can download Google Maps 2.0 for iOS now from the App Store.
This morning Google finally announced their NFC payment system, Google Wallet. We knew this was coming as soon as it was m ade known that the Nexus S would be packing in an NFC chip. Google put together the video above that shows how they plan on changing the game as it relates to payments. Our take? It's a step forward, but until we start seeing more Android devices shipping with NFC chips, this won't mean much. What it does do, though, is it encourages handset makers to start including NFC, as this is a huge incentive.
A few months ago Google was in talks to buy Groupon for $6 billion in order to bolster its local advertising business, but nothing came out of it. Now, a leaked document points at the company starting their own Groupon clone, Google Offers. The new service will be similar to Groupon and offer coupons to subscribers, based on location, offering them a deal of the day. It will be powered by Google Checkout and allow sharing through Facebook, Twitter, Reader and Buzz.
The service is in the testing phase right now, but we know Google wants to push this one out to the masses as soon as possible.
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