Google launches Maps upgrade on Android

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Martin Keene/PA Wire

(CBS/AP) Google is upgrading the maps designed for mobile devices running on its Android software as it braces for new competition from Apple.

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The improvements in the latest version of mobile maps for Android center on listings for public transportation options in nearly 500 cities around the world, including New York, London, Tokyo and Sydney.

The update released Wednesday includes directions and departure times for more than 1 million stations worldwide for the first time.

New technology on the maps will allow users to focus exclusively on directions for specific transportation options, such as the subway, while excluding other alternatives such as the bus.

The changes come as Apple prepares to replace Google's maps as the automatic navigation service on the iPhone and iPad. Apple is casting aside Google for its own mobile mapping service.

In June, Apple announced a new Maps app with turn-by-turn navigation, a quick route button and flyover feature. Apple Maps will launch with its next mobile operating system iOS 6, which is expected in the fall.

The latest version of Google Maps for Android is available at Google Play.