If you are a frequent traveler, you must have definitely realized the importance of the Maps application on your iPhone. The navigation apps available with such modern day smartphones make it extremely simple for users to explore new places.
However, until now, iPhone users have had to contend with a two-dimensional view on the pre-installed Maps app besides having to put up with unreliable connectivity when they are on the move or invest in relatively expensive navigation apps from Navigon, TomTom etc.
Google has recently rolled out a new version of Google Maps for Mobile (Google Maps 5.0) that takes its navigation app to a whole new level. The application is presently available only on the Android platform though we hope it will come to the iPhone and other mobile platforms soon.
The new version of Google Maps for Android introduces users to a 3D view of buildings. Users can seamlessly traverse between the 2D and 3D views by dragging down two fingers vertically over the Maps. Once in a three dimensional view, users can also rotate and zoom in or out using the multi-touch controls available with the application. An interesting new feature is the app’s Compass mode. Users may center the map on their current location and tap on the compass button to switch to a 3D view where the map shall rotate to match the direction that the user is facing. Check out these features in the video embedded below:
The latest version of Google Maps for Android also brings offline reliability and rerouting to users. This is done by caching the map data of the users’ most frequented locations thereby offering them access to these data even if the mobile phone loses web connectivity. Michael Siliski, the Product Manager of Maps at Google explains that the offline re-routing function will still require the application to be connected to the internet to start a route. However, the new feature will ensure that the navigation data shall not break away mid-route due to loss of connectivity.
We are sure our readers will be excited to see such features added to the Maps app that comes pre-installed on the iPhone. What do you think about Google Maps 5.0? Would you like to see these features coming to the Maps iPhone app or prefer to use navigation apps from Navigon, TomTom?
[via Google Mobile Blog]