Google’s vice president of engineering Andy Rubin today showed off the new Google Maps Android app, on a prototype Motorola tablet running the next version of the Android operating system, “Honeycomb”.
Speaking live on stage at the D: Dive Intro Mobile conference, Rubin revealed the new version will feature revolutionary new vector-based 3D rendering, which uses less data than the 2D images the application currently uses.
Here he is showing what the new Google Maps app can do :
Rubin also announced that Maps for Mobile 5 will feature an offline mode, meaning areas can be pre-cached and won’t require an active internet connection. Navigation can be re-routed in offline mode, though you will need the web to change your destination altogether.
The new Motorola tablet featured at the conference also demonstrated the new ability to use a two-finger touch to tilt the 3D view. The update, which is out in the “coming days” should work on most Android phones, depending on hardware capabilities.
At least 8 of the latest Android devices will be 100% compatible with everything Maps for Mobile 5 has to offer according to Google. These are: Droid, Droid X, Droid Incredible, Droid 2, Galaxy S, Evo, Nexus-S and G2.
Rubin explained that the update is initially Android-only, but other versions were “natural extensions”.
Andy Rubin co-founded Android before it was acquired by Google and is currently in charge of overseeing its development.
Let us know what you think about the new Google Maps. Just meaningless eye candy or are you excited right now?