Google Maps 5, which we have been anxiously waiting for, mostly due to its 3D capabilities and offline map caching, has arrived! You can download the update in the Market by clicking the following QR code from your mobile phone or scanning it with Barcode Scanner:

QR code for https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.google.android.apps.maps

Here are the new changes:

  • Explore the map in 3D. Two finger drag down/up to tilt; twist to rotate on supported devices.
  • Use compass mode to rotate the map to where you're facing. Center the map with My Location then tap again.
  • Improved map caching and offline Navigation rerouting if you lose your connection.

Update: Google's official blog post with more details can be found here.

The following devices are listed as fully supported, though the list is clearly incomplete:

  • Samsung Galaxy S
  • Samsung Nexus S
  • Motorola Droid
  • Motorola Droid X
  • Motorola Droid 2
  • HTC Droid Incredible
  • HTC EVO 4G
  • HTC G2
  • the dual-core Motorola tablet we've been salivating about

The following devices support panning, zooming, and tilting gestures only:

  • HTC Desire
  • Sony Ericsson X10
  • LG Ally
  • HTC Nexus One

Note: In addition to hardware requirements, rotating gestures also require at least Android 2.2 (Froyo).

        The Maps application on Android is so superior to any other navigation software on any other platform, and even the Android platform itself, that it is almost wrong that we are allowed to use it for free. Thank you and great job, Google!

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