Google Maps for Android to gain offline support soon [UPDATED]Alex Wagner - Editorial Director of News and Content
Today Google held its Google Maps event that was announced last week, and the company announced that support for offline Maps will soon be coming to Android. An offline feature has been available in the "Labs" section of Google Maps for Android for some time, but Google now appears ready to bring it into primetime. While demoing the feature to the audience, Google showed how a user can select a portion of a map that they'd like to save, and the app will give an estimate of how much space your saved map will take up on your device. The data will then download. Google said that offline Maps support will be coming to Android soon, but didn't offer a more specific timeframe on its launch.
While an offline feature has been available in the "Labs" section of Google Maps for Android for some time, it looks like Google is now ready to bring it into primetime. Offline Maps should come in handy when users know that they'll be in an area with a weak or nonexistent Internet connection, and while I'm sure that there are many Maps power users that have been utilizing offline Maps for a while now, there will likely be a number of folks that'll be excited to take advantage of the feature. How many of you have used the offline Labs feature in Maps already? Do you think offline Maps is something you can see yourself using quite a bit once it officially launches?
UPDATE: Google also announced an update for its iOS and Android Google Earth app. The app will soon receive enhanced 3D models that'll offer an increased level of detail thanks to the fact that they'll be modeled from the ground up to the roof, and buildings will have a color that'll actually match their real versions. The new 3D feature is said to be rolling out "soon."