Android mobile OS has always prided the Google Maps built-in it.
Now, Google Maps has reached version 5.0 and has added some significant features.
Google 3D Maps
This is absolutely great for navigating an unknown place as you can see where you are in 3D as in buildings, open spaces, etc.
Starting today, we’ll use vector graphics to dynamically draw the map on your device as you use it, allowing you to interact with it in new ways:
- Tilting: Drag down with two fingers to tilt the map. Tilt while zoomed in on one of the 100+ cities around the world with 3D buildings to see a skyline spring to life.
- Rotating: Twist with two fingers to rotate the map. After tilting to see 3D buildings, rotate around them to gain a new perspective from any direction.
- Smooth zooming: Slide two fingers together or apart, and see the map and labels continuously scale to any zoom level, stopping when your fingers stop.
- Compass mode: Center the map on your location, and then tap the compass button in the top right corner. The map will flip into 3D mode and start rotating to match your perspective, while still keeping all the labels upright and readable.
One major issue with Google Maps on Android was it depended on cellular coverage to update. This could lead to tricky situations where the map doesn’t refresh when you are in bad signal area.
This is an issue no more as Maps can work in offline mode. You can set it to pre-fetch maps when you are connected on WiFi.
Also, Maps is intelligent enough to know where you travel the most and have those areas cached. This means faster loading times even on cellular network. And with offline rerouting, you don’t have to worry about bad patches and losing connection.
Do you have an Android phone? You can get Google Maps 5.0 now for Android 1.6+. But, 3D and offline capabilities require Android 2.0+.