Google maps 5.0
  • mvl
    Posts: 1,148
    There was a presentation last night for an updated version of Google maps. It appears to be arriving in a few days on certain Android smartphones.

    Key new features include 3D view in certain cities, vector graphics, and offline navigation.

    I've been playing with a new Android tablet toy for a few weeks, and I'll attempt to load up the new maps app and give it a whirl when it comes out.
  • gatorguy
    Posts: 7,244
    Which tablet MVL?

    BTW, you still wanna (have time to) look at a Garmin?
  • mvl
    Posts: 1,148
    I got a Viewsonic G-tablet. It's a damn good device.

    I'm quickly learning the Android mod world as the preinstalled Android software has some key features crippled.

    I'd still be curious to look at a Garmin.
  • gatorguy
    Posts: 7,244
    I'll take care of it.

    Google maps has surprised me with the features they continue to roll out. And their quality and coverage has made huge leaps in the 13 months since moving away from TeleAtlas, and Navteq before that.
  • bacevedo
    Posts: 197
    I have a DroidX, and I rarely get out my Garmin nuvi 3750 anymore.

    Google Maps and Navigation Beta work extremely well when driving around town. It's like having a nuvi 1695 and 3790 in one unit.

    You have all of the connected google search you could ask for, voice activated commands (using Vlingo is sweet), and an incredible touch screen. The real time traffic displays really well on the maps, and you can switch to a satellite view as well as having the street view. I have used street view quite a bit to see exactly what the intersection or destination look like before getting there. That feature alone is huge!

    Now that they are updating to the vector line maps, I am not sure how often I will use the 3750. Don't get me wrong, the 3750 is a sweet unit, but when I already have a phone that does the same thing with me at all times, it seems kind of redundant. I have lifetime maps on my 3750, but my DroidX has maps as up to date as they can be at all times.

    I like the 3750 for longer drives (like going on vacation) because of the extra options it displays, but in reality, they are not needed. I could easily just use my phone on vacation, and now that it will cache the maps and not require a 3G connection, one more barrier is lifted.

    I am seriously thinking about selling my 3750 now, and it is by far the nicest GPS unit I have owned. I am thinking someone without a new Android phone would have great use for this unit.

    Garmin should be worried about the new generation of Android phones coming out. The processors and graphics capabilities are impressive, and google is making the maps and navigation even better. I actually think all of the stand alone GPS makers should be worried now, with google making the standard and FREE navigation work this well. They need to give a good reason for a consumer to buy their hardware (or even their app) when the google supplied version is free and is very, very good.

    Bryan
  • mvl
    Posts: 1,148
    The biggest reason to have a standalone PND (in my opinion) is the pre-loaded maps. Google Maps doesn't work in cell-data deadzones, which are frequent if you plan to travel anywhere outside urban/suburban areas.

    Google maps 5.0 attempts to address that with pre-downloading of your routes. But once you want to change routes (eg: find a stopover for a snack, or find a road closure) in a dead zone, you're again stuck. If you are relying solely on an Android phone, I'd make sure you at least have a Rand Mcnally (paper map) in the trunk for emergencies.
  • Tim
    Posts: 19,394
    I think we will soon see some of these players come out with an approach that mixes pre-installed maps with over the air maps. I imagine it would go something like this... You download the small app to your phone and launch it for the first time. It finds your location and the next time you're on wifi it downloads all of the maps in an area surrounding you by a couple hundred miles, or perhaps your state.

    While near your home area the app is using the pre-downloaded onboard maps. When you travel outside of your typical area you would get maps over the air, on the fly.
  • patruns
    Posts: 1,951
    In the Nokias, you download whatever map you need. I have the US and Serbia maps on mine. It's just a matter of downloading whatever map you need before you go somewhere.
  • gatorguy
    Posts: 7,244
    Google has responded to one of the most frequent complaints regarding Google maps, and that's the need for a data connection to your smartphone to use them. Today Google Labs announced that Android users can now download map segments, storing them directly on your smartphone.

    Another nail anyone?

    http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2011/07/download-map-area-added-to-labs-in.html
  • patruns
    Posts: 1,951
    And I think that is the way it should work, especially with the various GPS enabled wifi tablets hitting the markets. As long as you have the storage, you should be able to load up maps before you travel.
  • wfooshee
    Posts: 114
    Reading the blog about downloadable maps, it seems to be a good start, but you can't route (get directions) with just the downloaded map, you still need a data connection to get directions. The downloaded map lets you see the detailed street map without a data connection, but you're on your own with it. You'll see your location with GPS enabled, but you can't route.

    And it's Android only, can't do anything similar with your laptop.
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