Google Nexus One Gains Multitouch, 3G Fix, New Map Features

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Multitouch just got multi-interesting. We all knew that Google was working with HTC and T-Mobile for a fix to the pesky 3G stability issues on the Nexus One, but the update is getting a wee bit more. Actually, a whole lot more when you consider that multitouch isn’t typically supported on the Google apps in Android. It is now — or at least, it will be when I get my over-the-air update. Engadget caught the news on the official Nexus One blog run by Google. Here’s a quick hit list of the updates that are rolling out this week:

  • Google Goggles will now appear as a default app. This is the software that allows you to search by snapping pictures of objects with the camera on the Nexus One. I’ve tried it on a G1 and the results were hit or miss, but I expect improvements over time.
  • Google Maps is updated to version 3.4. Starred map items will sync between handset and computer, search suggestions from Google history appear, and there’s a new night mode in Google Navigation — the display will change automatically at night. These improvements appear to further extend a seamless experience in Google services between the desktop world and handheld world.
  • Improvements to the 3G connectivity. This is what nearly everyone’s been waiting for, so the other features are almost icing on the cake.
  • Pinch-to-zoom functionality. Google’s enabling it in their Browser, Gallery and Maps software. I’ve been living without it, but the mobile experience is generally better with multitouch, so I’m looking forward to this.

The only question left is: why now? Why is Google choosing this moment to add multitouch? Actually, this begets even more questions. Will Apple have anything to say about it? Will other Android handsets see the same updates soon?

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