updated 04:35 pm EST, Mon December 3, 2012
Google Maps gets Google Play services v2.0
Google today announced new additions to the API for Google Maps, bringing new information layers, as well as improved integration with Google Play services. The new Maps API is compatible with devices running Android 2.2 and up, and it brings better user interface designs for Android tablets, shoring up Google's offerings in a device sector in which it is trying to grow its market share.
Google announced the new API today in a post on the Android Developers Blog. It brings vector-based maps -- such as those seen in Apple's Maps app -- that support both 2D and 3D views, allowing users to tilt and rotate the map with gestures. It also adds indoor maps for major airports and shopping centers, which developers can use within apps.
Google says that the new API is easier to use, with developers being able to add map functionality with just a few lines of code.
Google has also added new APIs allowing developers to integrate the Photo Sphere camera function with their apps. Photo Sphere is an open format allowing users to generate spheric panoramas by taking pictures from multiple angles before the app stitches them together into a coherent image.