2.3 isn't the only thing that Google was showing off yesterday
when it comes to smartphones. The company also pulled the wraps off
the latest version of its popular Google Maps application.
The latest version of Google Maps can
operate in a mode that forgoes the use of data-intensive
photorealistic tiles to represent cities and instead uses dynamically
rendered vectors for maps complete with 3D buildings (the New York
Times says that 3D buildings will
be available in 50 cities at launch, but Google is likely to
quickly expand that number). By using vectors instead of tiles,
Google says that it can significantly pare down the amount of data
required to provide mapping data.
The key advantages to this approach
include faster load times and the ability to cache entire cities for
offline use (which means that you won't always require an internet
connection to continue navigation as long as the mapping data is
Google Maps also takes a page from
Google Earth's book with the ability to tilt maps in 3D.
The newest update to Google Maps should
be coming within the next week and will be supported on the following
to Android Police: