Dec 16, 2010
[Update 12/22: Check out what makes Google Maps 5.0 tick Google Maps 5.0 - Under the Hood]
Anyone who saw Andy Rubin tease the world with his mystery Motorola tab running Honeycomb at D: Dive Into Mobile knew that this day was coming. To show boat some more for the camera, he pulled up an unreleased version of Google Maps which displayed some awesome new features such as vector graphics, which would be replacing the then current tiling system. We were told the rest of the Android world would be getting this updated Google Maps within days and just like that, *poof*, we now have Google Maps 5.0 for Android! While most all Android users will be able to update to version 5.0, users must be running 2.0 and above to take advantage of the new 3D and offline features. Did I just mention features? Yea, this new update has features. Want to hear them?
“Bye, bye,” flat, north-up tiling map and “hello” 3D, smooth flowing, vector graphics! The new 3D interaction really gives users a more real-life feel when navigating their surroundings by making use of:
- 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.
The 3D models don’t work in all areas so if you aren’t seeing them, try pulling up a major city and zooming in. Now you’re ready to experience the joys of big city life from the palm of your hand. Another huge feature included in this update is the implementation of offline rerouting and greater offline reliability all together. Losing connection during navigation can throw a huge monkey wrench into your itinerary and Goggle feels your pain. Now, thanks to offline rerouting, you don’t need to worry about veering off the beaten path should you lose connection. You do however still need a connection to start a route. As usual Google is pushing things forward and creating richer ways for us to interact with our world through technology. Kudos to you Google. Check out the short video demo and follow the links below for more information on Google Maps 5.0.
Download: Google Maps 5.0
Source: Google Mobile Blog