Today we are hearing from Brian McClendon, VP of Google Maps on what they have in store with Google Maps and the future. As the entire event gets under way we’ve already learned a few interesting little bits about the extremely popular Google Maps. Things like over 5 million unique miles have been drove by the Google Map cars. Today however, they just announced full offline maps coming soon to Android.
Now you might be thinking to yourself “wait, that isn’t new.” And you are partly right. Last year Google made navigation transit directions available offline in some aspects. Users could input their navigation directions, their to and from information and save it for later use. While traveling outside of service range you could still have full directions and mapping. What Google’s announced today is completely different. You can now have entire cities offline.
Obviously entire cities might be too large, but if you’re headed to London for a summer vacation and won’t have a phone data connection you can just download and save a large portion of the city. This enables users to have full navigation, directions, and mapping of their destination without a data connection. Using your phones GPS you can still get full directions, enabling most features to work perfectly without racking up that huge roaming bill. This has been available in Google Labs (beta) for a short while too.
There are multiple different usage scenarios for offline maps, especially when they have the services, details, and reach of Google Maps. According to Google this will first be available on Android, and is finally coming soon. Stay tuned for more details as the Google Maps event continues.