Google has just announced the new Google Maps API that will let Android developers use the same vector-based data that Google Maps has been using for some time. Previously, Android apps could only use a (bitmap) tile-based map system. The new API offers better visuals and better data throughput than its predecessor.


In terms of visuals, the vector-based graphics can adapt to any resolution. For instance, the Google Nexus 10 (read out full Nexus 10 review) uses an unprecedented 2560×1600 resolution. Apps using the tile-based data would have to choose between downloading huge tiles, or display low-resolution data. With vector graphics, the maps always show up with their finest details. Additionally, the new API also features new developer-accessible data such as indoor maps for popular malls and airports.

The first apps to use these features are already out: Trulia, Expedia Hotels and FlightTrack are examples of what can be done with the new API and without a doubt other developers are going to release their own apps shortly. What is your favorite location-based app?

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