Thursday, December 16, 2010

Mobile Maps NG, Google Maps 5.0 for Android, Is Here Today.

Mobile Maps NG, Is Here Today.
Google Mobile maps have been so useful that it feels as if it has been there for ages. But it is only five years old and have saved me from having to use GPS, making my life easier by helping to learn about my localities better. When Click2call was introduced it took away the need of having to flip through the likes of yellow or white books for day to day tasks like finding a new pizza parlor and placing an order.
But we all did that on a north up bound flat map, which misbehaved when the connection to internet was lost.
Well you can be happy now. The maps are not flat anymore also they are not fixed on north up mode anymore either. It is a great relief for me as now I can get my maps to show where the true right and left is! :). You can use compass mode to get yourself oriented.
Best of all is that it will continue to work, even if you lose the Internet connection. Great for those Xmas travels.

Google Mobile Maps 5.0 changes what you are used to with mobile mapping,
The new 3D assisted by vector graphics to draw the maps dynamically on your screen brings in a pleanty of new capabilities;

  • 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.
I think most will come to appreciate the Google Maps 5.0 for Android. The vector graphics based maps mentioned above allow to pack more area into a less data so Google will cache ahead based on where you use your maps most.
I used to trace my routes earlier, hoping it will cache data and makes drawing of maps faster. Now I know for sure, it will. It will help me to have a greater locality (My weekly drives to Mountain View from East Bay, like the author of the blog post linked below) right in my phone, which is going to be, a new Google Nexus S, as soon as my company approves a new Google Dev phone for me. But the best part is that Google mobile maps will help me to become truly mobile.
The offline routing feature will really help people like me who uses Google Maps Navigation to get around. I never really liked GPS devices until I came across Google Maps Mobile. The same dynamic vector graphics helps to cache more data so you will still be guided when the internet connection is interrupted while traveling. This makes Google Maps mobile have the true GPS capabilities plus live traffic, imagery, richer map details and all the other features from Google Maps.
So go get Google Maps for mobile 5.0 by searching for Google Maps in Android Market (or Clicking This link from your phone). All Android 1.6+ devices can get Maps 5.0, but 3D and offline features require Android 2.0+, and some features may not be supported for all devices or countries.
Happy traveling.

Official Google Blog: The next generation of mobile maps


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