Google VP Marissa Mayer took the stage at LeWeb 2010 today, and it was no surprise to see the search and user experience exec pull out a Nexus S. Unlike most Nexus S handsets – such as the unit we spent hands-on time with yesterday – Mayer’s phone is running the incoming Google Maps for Mobile 5.0, and they wasted no time before running through a demo.
Video demo after the cut
The two main features of the updated app were demonstrated, starting with 3D landmarks – which can be panned and moved around with two-finger multitouch gestures – and then looking at cached usability thanks to the new offline mode. According to Mayer, both features are possible because of the switch to vector-based graphics, which have helped shrink data traffic in Google Maps down to 1/100th of the previous amount.
That permits a bigger cache of navigation data, and while it’s not the entire map – unlike, say, Nokia’s Ovi Maps, which can be locally stored – it’s enough to get you through data deadspots or to navigate a pre-planned journey without a connection. Check out both features in the video demo below.