Dec 07 AT 12:51 AM Taylor Wimberly 24 Comments

Google Maps Mobile 5 will bring 3D buildings and offline support in a matter of days

Google Maps for Android is about to get a lot faster thanks to an update to version 5 which now draws maps with a dynamic map rendering engine. Andy Rubin showed off the new Maps app when he demoed the Motorola Honeycomb tablet, but the updated app will also be available on the Market in just a matter of days.

Instead of pinging Google’s servers and downloading individual squares to build the entire map image, the new app receives meta data about your most popular locations and renders them on the fly. The new maps should now load much faster because they require 100 times less data than the old ones.

Offline caching has also been updated and Navigation will reroute users back to their original course in 90 percent of scenarios where they get off track. Buildings will also appear in 3D in some 100 cities worldwide when you zoom into street level view.

Google did not specify the requirements for Google Maps 5, but from the early reports it looks like it will initially be limited to devices with Android 2.2. Engadget is reporting it will definitely run on the Galaxy S, Droid, Droid X, Droid 2, Droid Incredible, Evo, Nexus S, and G2.

For more coverage see GigaOm, Engadget, and TechCrunch.

Taylor is the founder of Android and Me. He resides in Dallas and carries the Samsung Galaxy S 4 and HTC One as his daily devices. Ask him a question on Twitter or Google+ and he is likely to respond. | Ethics statement

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