Google has announced some nifty updates to its Maps service on Android, including the extremely useful (for illiterate map readers at least) walking navigation function.

Google Maps for mobile Beta 4.5 adds the ability to use your phone's GPS to navigate you as you walk, with routes optimised for a more direct, pedestrian-friendly pathway.

You can choose to have your phone say the walking instructions to you as you wander, or you can set it to vibrate when you need to turn.

The Street View option has also seen a little revamp with the ability to drag "Pegman" along the street as you can on the desktop version. To get this function on your phone, you'll need to separately update your Street View app that plugs into the Google Maps app.

Finally, Google has also added a new search bar to the Maps app, with a "Places" feature which lets you: "Filter search results by distance or ratings; View prices categorised with dollar signs and "See cross streets for places".

You'll need at least Android 1.6 to take advantage of these new maps, but hey - if you're rocking a phone with a version of Android less than 1.6 then it means one of two things: Either you badly need to update your software, or you badly need to update your handset.