Thursday, June 07, 2012

Google announces limited offline maps. Can help prevent roaming sticker shock [within a 10-mile radius].

via CNET >>

This announcement is significant news for some handset vendors and more bad news for makers of personal navigation devices. The ability to conveniently pre-load maps onto an Android device means that no connection is required to stream map data while navigating. And map data can gobble up bandwidth very quickly.

Android devices did already have the ability to cache map data, but the intention was for a smoother map viewing experience. Google has also announced some improved aesthetic features for Maps and Earth such as a series of impressive 3D Fly-overs and expanded Street View.

While this might appear to be a marginal category improvement from Google and has been expected, it is meaningful to most industry players such as Apple, Microsoft, Nokia, Garmin and TomTom.

Free, high-quality offline navigation from Google has altered the playing field. Mapping has become on the of key mobile battle grounds, and no vendor can afford to get lost along the way.

2 comments:

Dipankar Mitra said...

Well, Nokia always had offline maps for sometime, as you (of all people) would know ;-), but navigation directions needed a GPRS/3G or Wifi connection. If Google has made even navigation offline, then is a really good feature. Maps & navigation are needed most when on international roaming, and roaming data costs are frightfully high.

Peter Bryer: Mobile Foresighter said...

Yes, looking at the details, Google's 10 mile radius "cache" is very lame. Of course, that's not a company that tends to stand still.