The internet giant Google announced Â Google Maps 5.0 for Android, with two significant new features: 3D interaction and offline reliability.
Explore maps in 3D
Until now, Google Maps has always downloaded the map as a set of small, square images that we stitch together to form the map you see. (Youâ€™ve probably seen those gray squares getting filled in, block-by-block, as the images load over the network.) Starting today, weâ€™ll useÂ 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 theÂ 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.
Google Maps has always been, and continues to be, a fundamentally Internet-connected experience, meaning you always get the freshest map and place data, search and voice search, live traffic conditions, satellite and Street View imagery, and much more. Still, we understand that mobile Internet connections arenâ€™t 100% reliable. So today weâ€™re happy to take the first steps toward greater offline reliability, so you can find your way even if you lose your connection.
In the past, youâ€™ve probably had frustrating moments when you get stranded without a map, whether ducking into the subway, sitting at the back of a restaurant or traveling anywhere with a flaky Internet connection. But dynamically drawing maps requires 100 times less data to get maps across all zoom levels, so now weâ€™re able to proactively cache (or store) large areas on your device based on where you use Maps the most. This way, you can rely on having fast, robust maps available to you where youâ€™re most likely to need them.
For example, I live in San Francisco and work in Mountain View, so Maps makes sure I can always pull up detailed street maps of each city and area maps for the whole San Francisco Bay Area. When I do have an Internet connection, I still get live traffic, imagery, richer map details and all the other features Iâ€™m used to with Google Maps.
If youâ€™re one of the more than 10 million people relying onÂ Google Maps Navigation (Beta), our free turn-by-turn GPS navigation feature, losing your Internet connection can be particularly painful. (This happened to me on a recent ski trip to Tahoe, and I was left trying to manually find my way back to my route.) So weâ€™re also introducing offline rerouting. Youâ€™ll still need a connection to start a route, but if you miss a turn along the way, weâ€™ll quickly get you back on track, even if you donâ€™t have an Internet connection.