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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  • http://Website Jarrod DellaChiesa

    Sounds amazing! But not the N1 for sure?!

    • http://Website blake

      Look at that list. The original Droid is listed. If that now-shitty phone is acceptable, then there should be no question if the Nexus One should get it. It will.

      • http://Website AdamJ

        Apparently N1 will get it but it won’t be 100% due to multitouch limitations. Remember the N1 didn’t have multitouch at first.

        • http://Website Frank Zermeño

          The Nexus One doesn’t have “true” multi-touch, it has more like “dual-touch” as it can only read up to a second finger. Even then, the axis flips half the time when your using two fingers (e.g. in games needing a virtual d-pad, the nexus has no clue where you are touching the screen).

  • http://Website david279

    Nexus 1 didn’t make the cut. Guess you gotta get that nexus 2 for sure.

  • http://Website Dylan Andersen

    The Nexus One will be supported (obviously) but “100 percent of the features” will not run on the N1. Obviously, this means any multitouch complicated gestures, such as the tilt/rotate feature in GM 5.0. The N1 has a poor touch screen.

  • nathan118

    What’s the offline caching about? According to the engadget article:

    “the Nexus One, interestingly enough, supports vector maps but not the rotate functionality because it lacks the latter multitouch requirements.”

    Whatever, as long as I get faster and better maps.

    • anakin78z

      Offline caching lets you cache an entire route, so if you loose cell signal, you can still view the maps.
      Since they switched to vector graphics rather than tiled images, storing the maps becomes trivial.

  • http://Website 513

    If the Droid Incredible and Evo are on the list, it should work for the Nexus One, they have the same processor.

    • http://Website Hans

      But the Nexus S has a crappy screen.

      • http://Website Hans

        I meant Nexus One.

  • http://Website dagamer34

    One would hope that Google would let people model buildings that would eventually be accepted into Google Maps.

  • mac

    yep the N1 touch screen is its one let down
    mine occasionally ‘has a cow’ and just behaves randomly.
    a wipe and sleep fixes it.

  • mac

    also this version of google maps basically makes it very similar to ovi maps
    vector maps, offline loading of maps – so no data needed if you go abroad / no signal etc.
    and 3d buildings.

    all been on ovi maps for a 2/3 years but now theres one less reason to have a nokia
    ovi maps and the awesome camera (N8) are the two nokia things that mean i still pack one.

    now im not so sure.

    • http://Website P.K.

      Desire Z and Desire HD already have Locations which is pretty much what Ovi maps are – free maps + navigation for a small fee.

  • http://Website Tom

    Will it feature on the Desire HD?

  • http://Website Richard

    Pretty much the same list made by engadget will be the devices getting gingerbread. Yes the nexus s already will have out the box Dec 16 then the nexus one will get gingerbread then right after that my beloved HTC evo 4G will recieve it’s gingerbread I believe the evo will have it no later than Jan 15 2011anytime earlier will be a pleasant surprise….Let’s see how much HTC and SPRINT loves there flagship device

  • http://Website wayne

    first off the original Droid is better than the nexus one so don’t be a hater. I have the Droid x with 2.2 and it kills nexus one in benchmark testing

  • McLovin

    This is pretty close to what the bad guys had when they were chasing Arnold Schwarzenegger in the movie Total Recall. Except my G-2 looks much sexier than what they had.

  • http://Website J240

    Umm.. No love for one of the newest and fastest phones out there – the MT4G??

  • http://Website Taylor

    Definitely WON’T run on Galaxy S unless Samsung updates our phones. When was “September” again?

  • http://Website al alson

    One more reason why i enjoy my overclocked G2 and why i wouldn’t be getting the no 4g having nexus s.

  • http://Website alexdisare

    Htc desire ?
    And ? Gingerbread.

  • http://Bsnllive Pk elvy

    I alway try to instole google map in my mobile but always fail