The latest update for Google Maps for Android mobile phones and tablets, officially rolled out yesterday, now offers turn-by-turn navigation with voice guided driving direction in Malaysia. A major refresher, the update encompasses of a thorough visual overhaul while introducing more features.

For us motorists the biggest news is the new Navigation (Beta) function. Critically it uses mobile data to gather traffic info, taking into account road congestions and other delays to offer alternate routes to get you to your destination as quickly as possible. With dynamic, on-the-fly rerouting also on offer, it operates much like the popular, equally free-to-use (and now Google-owned) Waze app, really.

Google Maps can be useful to public transport users too, as it can map out all the possible routes using a combination of buses, LRT and Komuter lines, offering the suggested arrival time as well as fare prices for each choice. You can also fine-tune the search to your preferred parameters (least walking, minimal bus use, among others) as well as set your own depart time to plan ahead.

The entire user interface has been revamped, using a new vector-based map that looks and feels better and smoother in operation. There are default, satellite and Google Earth (now fully integrated into Google Maps) viewing options too. The search function (for addresses, point of interests, etc.) has been given a Malaysian focus, and you can also access user generated reviews and pictures while searching.

Google Maps version 7.0 runs on Android 4.0.3 and above, while version 6.14.4 (also with Navigation) require Android 2.1+. Equivalent iOS versions will be made available soon.

For a more in-depth look, check out our sister site TechAttack.my’s coverage on the latest Google Maps for Android update here.