Google Maps is one of the primary apps for smartphone users. The integration of Maps, Navigation, Street View, and Earth are among the best to view directions and places of interest. Google has announced updates to its location tools, which will expand the usability and upgrade these services with new features.
With rumors that iOS will remove Google Maps for a proprietary service, these updates may be directed towards Android users rather than Maps users overall.
Find out what’s new with Google’s location services.
Google’s largest Maps announcement is that Android users can save maps and use them offline. Now you are able to save a section of a map (the exact size hasn’t yet been revealed) and use it offline. It looks like a great tool for travelers who can now save destination maps before arriving.
There isn’t any word as to how or if it will work with other Google location services, and there hasn’t been a release date announced. Google also didn’t address if the feature would be releasing for iOS devices.
In Google Earth, Google announced that it is working on improving its 3D maps. Using planes to take multiple 45 degree pictures, Google built 3D models of buildings. They are working on creating these new maps for a large number of cities by the end of the year.
Google showed the new feature on both iOS and Android. Even if Apple removes Google Maps you should still be able to download Google Earth, since Google Earth is a standalone download in both app stores.
Google Street View
Google didn’t announce any true update with Street View, but they did reveal a new portable 360 degree back mounted camera. Most of Google Street View’s images are taken on some sort of vehicle, and now with the portable back camera it will be possible to take pictures of places where vehicles can’t go.
Some places in San Francisco support interior maps, so it is possible that Google is looking to expand interior maps with this new device as well.
Skip to 30:40 for the start of the presentation
It looks like Google is expanding the usability of Google location and navigation services with this update announcement. Since there isn’t an exact release date for the new features in Maps and Earth, it’s anyone’s guess as to when these features will go live though.