At today’s Google Maps event, Google revealed a few planned features for not only Google Maps for Android (no mention of iOS), but also Google Earth for Android and iOS. The Google Maps announcement was simply offline support, and something that users have been after for years. In Google Earth news, Google announced stunning new 3D images and a new UI would be coming soon to both Android and iOS platforms.
The new 3D images are molded using algorithms to create the shape and color of buildings after receiving thousands of images taken from various Google planes flying overhead. The end result is the most realistic view of a city’s landscape you’ve ever seen. You can scroll around in Google Earth or take virtual tours and experience the feeling of actually flying above these areas.
There were no announcements regarding expected releases and interestingly enough, Google used an iPad to demo the new Google Earth features. This could be a preemptive strike to woo developer’s attention off of Apple’s upcoming 3D map announcement and keep them focused on what Google is doing with their map software.
Overall, I wasn’t too impressed. I would have much rather heard they were merging Maps and Earth into one kick-ass platform, but I’ll take what I can get for now. I’m still interested in what Apple has planned, so stay tuned for some comparisons after Apple’s keynote next week.