Google Maps 5.0 Brings 3D Compass Mode, Offline Navigation

Android: Google Maps on Android has always been great, but today's update brings it to a new level of awesome, adding 3D maps, compass mode and offline caching so you can get anywhere you need to go — even without internet.

We've been waiting for this update ever since Google previewed it last week, and it's everything we hoped it'd be. You can now explore maps in three dimensions, showing you 3D representations of buildings, and using your phone's compass to automatically rotate the map so it always faces the same direction you are. The screenshots may make it look gimmicky, but the ability for Maps to more accurately represent what you're seeing in real life makes navigating a breeze, no matter where you are.

A possibly even cooler feature is offline caching, which allows you to use that awesome turn-by-turn navigation we love so much, even if you lose internet connection. In fact, it will proactively cache large map areas based on where you spend the most time — meaning Maps is extremely fast and reliable in the places you need it most. It can even reroute your turn-by-turn directions without connection, so you don't have to worry about getting where you need to go when you have crappy 3G coverage. By default, it only caches when connected to Wi-Fi, but there is a setting to allow prefetching on non-Wi-Fi connections as well. Hit the link to read more, or just head to the Market to update it and try it out for yourself.

Google Maps 5.0 is a free download for Android phones. Android 1.6 devices can get Maps 5.0, but most of the new features (including 3D maps and offline caching) requires 2.0 or above.

The Next Generation of Mobile Maps [Google Lat Long Blog]


    Love to offline caching, but I wouldn't mind an option to turn off the 3D buildings when you're viewing the map flat (i.e. not tilted/rotated)

    The question is can we pre-fetch that map when we're going to be roadtripping in another state/country? It would be so nice to pre-festch using your home connection and have it ready when you arrive and there is no mobile signal at all.

    These 3d maps - is it available for Sydney or it only for cities in US?


    HTC HD2 Android - MCCM SE V3.4 FroyoStone Sense

    Free? Freakin' brilliant!

    Thanks so much for the offline caching.
    100 out of 10 for that and being free.

    Smooth and quite quick and free.

    Excellent choice of directionals and 3d modeling and free.

    Not ready for prime time - Yet.
    And certainly no comparison to Copilot.

    Can hardly read the street names.
    Don't want to be squinting at the screen.
    Needs larger font and ability to edit size.
    (If it doesn't already somehow that I can't find.)

    Needs to be able to connect to my contacts.
    And use my contacts address and phone. etc.

    Reads accurate to within 1 meter. Its not.
    But close enough.

    Very nice so far and free!

    And needs to keep phone from banking off while plugged in power.

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