May 20, 2011 at 3:03 PM ET
While the mobile location-sharing issue continues to brew, that hasn't stopped Google from pushing ahead to make its popular Google Maps program better. And if you have an Android or iOS device, phone or tablet, you can take advantage of the improved mobile Maps experience.
Now, said Google software engineer Alireza Ali, on Google's blog Friday, "you can use many of the same Google Maps features you're used to from the desktop" on the go. When you visit Google Maps on your Android or Apple phone or tablet, you see your current location and search for what's nearby using "suggest" and "auto complete."
Google Maps Android and iOS users also can now:
As an example of what the changes bring, Ali said he recently was trying to find a good deli for lunch. "I opened Google Maps on my mobile browser and searched to locate a popular deli nearby. A few finger taps later, I had viewed photos and reviews on the deli’s Place page and found the quickest way to get there using driving directions — all from my mobile browser."
Google Maps is free. And the search giant makes it clear on the blog that users will need to "opt in" to share their location in order to take advantage of Maps' changes.