Google Maps 5.0 gets Nexus S video demo

Dec 8, 2010

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.

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