Live on stage at its “Next Dimension of Google Maps” event, Google is giving three demos of the updated Maps app. The first gave us a look at the upcoming enhancements to the offline Maps experience that allows Android users to have full access to maps they saved through a “make available offline” option when not connected to the Internet. The offline Maps will let you to still view the blue GPS marker and access the compass. It also provides fully zoomable maps with Street View.
Offline was available as a Labs feature before (Google is shuttering Labs to focus on big-picture stuff), where you would have to map something out while connected and then have Android cache it. This will actually make cell/mobile data less valuable. You could even do mapping with devices like Samsung’s Galaxy Player—as long as you have the local area cached via Wi-Fi.
We are expecting it to go live in the coming weeks.