Google Maps 5.0 for Android is out now which boasts of two new features to help spruce up your navigating experience - 3D maps and offline capabilities. 3D maps, as its name suggests, renders surrounding building in 3D giving you a pretty good idea of what the area should look like. This feature is already available in more than 100 cities across the globe.
The most useful feature, however, in my opinion, is offline capabilities. The new Google Maps now caches large maps on the device of areas most frequently visited giving users the freedom to access these without having to connect to a data network.
In conjunction with this, they’re also introducing offline rerouting as well in turn-by-turn navigation. A data connection is still required though to start a route, but is no longer needed through out the entire trip for navigation services. This one will be gradually rolled out “over the next few weeks.”
Here’s a short promotional video of Google Maps 5.0 which also stars the newly announced Nexus S:
Google Maps 5.0 is compatible with phones running on as far back as Android 1.6 although the two new features – 3D maps and offline features – will only work devices installed with Android 2.0 and up.