Update: Google has confirmed that the new offline Google Maps will work on Android 2.2 devices or higher. As of this writing, they have not confirmed 3D compatibility.
Remember that article we did about the free offline navigation from CoPilot that was shown at Mobile World Congress? Well, if that wasn’t exactly the sweet sugar cube in your “navigation” cup of tea, then you might be interested in what Google has coming next: offline navigation for Google Maps on Android.
Yes, it’s true. Google has confirmed it at their Maps event. Global SIM card users packing Android devices (along with every Android user on the planet) will be able to find their way when lost without using their precious funds in their accounts.
Android users can soon opt to download full maps for given areas (instead of just caching routes) without needing to connect to the mobile network or a Wi-Fi connection.
This is a big thing for those who have to travel abroad to unfamiliar cities, or just to areas where underground tunnels might cut off Internet access before GPS.
Unfortunately, that’s all that Google was willing to share: Android phones and tablets will only be getting the upgrade sometime “soon.” This new update has given Apple another run for its money as it prepares its own Maps application for prime time at WWDC next week.