Google has launched v2.0 of its Maps Android API, which gives developers access to updated maps features for use in Android apps. The API enables developers to incorporate more advanced functionality, while taking less time to create and needing less custom coding.
2D and 3D views, zoom, rotate and tilt now come as standard, while the labels will always stay the right way around. Indoor maps are now included where available and users can quickly toggle to terrain mode and satellite view.
Like Google Earth, fly-over animations allow a smooth transition when moving from place to place. Or the map can be coded so the users go direct from place to place. Ground overlays mean devs can show data including traffic, crime, local schools, postcode information and weather.
Brands can customise information windows on the map markers, including content and shape, customise icons to fit in with their company colours, and even use map tile overlays to deploy custom map tiles – useful for games developers or those who want to closely manage the user interface.
Polygons can be drawn over certain areas by the user, customised at the backend with or without colour, so users can search within a chosen area. Polylines can also be used by the developer or the user – for showing flight paths, for example.
Developers can also offer multiple maps in the same view to give users side-by-side comparisons of different areas, or use map fragments instead of the endless map area.
All of these features are located in the API Library. 800,000 sites already use Google's mapping capabilities.