Ever since Andy Rubin demoed Honeycomb and Google Maps 5 with improved 3D people have been waiting with bated breath to hear from Google about the Google Maps 5.0 for mobile!
The New Google Maps for Mobile packs great set of features. First and foremost, 3D Rendering. Now we all can explore our cities in 3D. The new edition has a fundamental improvement over the predecessors. The new edition employs dynamic map drawing made possible through vector graphics. It's strange why google took so long to adopt this. Looks like the storage requirements with the new approach is significantly lesser!
Till now, if we have been using our fingers to move and zoom (by pinching), we can now use our fingers to rotate and tilt! Multi-touch capability being exploited well. Another major benefit is the ability to cache the maps offline which will enable offline navigation. They call it offline-rerouting which essentially means even if your mobile is not hooked onto internet, the voice-guided GPS navigation will still work. Doesn't look like a modern feature to me..all they had to do was to store the maps offline! I guess google is playing catch up game with respect to Maps and Navigation for mobile here! But hey, when they are offering all this features for FREE there's not much to complain only reasons to be happy..right? :)
Depending on the hardware capabilities of your handset your phone might support some or all the new features. If your handset has great multi-touch hardware, you can experience tilt and zoom. If your hardware supports 3D rendering, you can enjoy 3D maps. Google said most of the phones can support the new Google Maps 5 but has given a list of phones which can 100% support the new maps edition [list below].
Google Nexus S
Samsung Galaxy S
Motorola Droid X
Motorola Droid 2
HTC droid Incredible
HTC Evo 4G
"Explore the world in 3D from the palm of your hand using Google Maps 5.0 with Navigation (Beta), Places, and Latitude.
Zoom, tilt, and rotate the map with two fingers to explore cities in 3D. Orient yourself with compass mode, which automatically rotates the map to the direction you’re facing. Keep viewing the maps you use the most, even if you lose your connection.
Find local spots like restaurants and ATMs using Places. Then, use Navigation for free turn-by-turn GPS voice guidance with offline rerouting."
Video demonstrating Google Maps 3D Buildings
Video demonstrating Google Maps Navigation 5