Google recently rolled out an update to the Google Maps mobile app for Android. Here’s how it works. Load up gMaps and locate yourself (make sure GPS is enabled). Then, using the drop-down menu in the top left corner, drop down the options that are available to you. In the middle you’ll notice an option to Checkin. Maps will search a POI database nearby (another example of why a business MUST get listed and verify their listing in Google Places) and present a number of options, optionally you can search if your place doesn’t appear near the top (handy in congested urban areas). I was interested to notice that when I load the checkin while at home, Google maps geocodes my location and accurately presents my home address as an option, although I don’t think I’ll checkin from my home! Select a place, I’ll pick a nearby cafe as an example, add a comment (the dialog is exactly what you see when you use G+ to make a post from your mobile, and checkin. Note, when checking in you have a number of sharing options that you can set including: share with your G+ circles, share with Latitude friends, or make public… this is cool! And here’s something quite cool, you can optionally enable maps to automatically check you in to this venue in the future when you are nearby or remind you to checkin the next time you come here. Finally, once you checkin you are shown stats of the leaderboard, this is the gaming element to Google Maps checkin, and then you can proceed to the Google Place listing page of the venue. I really like this, particularly as I frequently lookup Google places via this information.
See more about Google Maps in the Android Market