Google Maps 5.0 Goes Live – Now in 3D

Google has just released a MAJOR update to Google Maps. Andy Rubin talked about it at All Things Digital recently, and today it’s available for download.

So what’s included in this update? For starters, they’ve abandoned the old “tile” method of loading the map in favor of vector graphics. With this come the following new features:

  • Tilting: Drag down with two fingers to tilt the map. Tilt while zoomed in on one of the 100+ cities around the world (what, no Tulsa?) with 3D buildings to see a skyline spring to life.
  • Rotating: Twist with two fingers to rotate the map. After tilting to see 3D buildings, rotate around them to gain a new perspective from any direction.
  • Smooth zooming: Slide two fingers together or apart, and see the map and labels continuously scale to any zoom level, stopping when your fingers stop.
  • Compass mode: Center the map on your location, and then tap the compass button in the top right corner. The map will flip into 3D mode and start rotating to match your perspective, while still keeping all the labels upright and readable.
  • Google also says that Maps will be more reliable when you lose your data connection. When your phone is plugged in and connected to wifi, Google Maps will be caching maps of the areas you visit most. This, along with the ability to reroute when your connection drops once your route has been started, should make Google Maps a valuable tool, even when your data connection might be spotty.

    Check the video below, grab the update from the market, and let us know in the comments what you think.

    YouTube Preview Image

    [via Google Mobile Blog]

    » See more articles by Michael Murphy


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    • thesmoth

      This doesn’t work on my HTC magic. I updated, and don’t have any of the new features.

    • http://VITI.COM vitii

      rotation does not seem to work on htc desire but tilting is still pretty awesome

    • michael

      Some features don’t work on my Nexus one, like 3D buildings and rotating.

    • Brian A

      Works great on MyTouch 4G

    • Andrew T

      Works well on my HTC Desire Z. 3D tilting, and compass mode both work. Google, you’ve outdone yourself again.
      I’m still wondering if it can cache

    • Andrew T

      I should probably finish my comment.
      I’m wondering if it can cache full routes before leaving.

    • http://www.j-lweb.co.uk Jean-Loup

      None of those features work on my htc hero, not sure why they bothered pushing the update to non supported devices

    • http://robopixel.com Jeremy Felix D.

      Confirm: 3D tilt, rotation, compass not working on HTC Magic… Everything still seems to be loading in tiles.. is it even vectors??? Does offline caching work?

      *Unsatisfied*

      I need a new fucking phone anyway. What a piece of shit the Magic is.