Google is hoping to attract consumers towards Android tablets this holiday season with a new update to its Android Maps API, which was released this morning.
The updated API, which features better support for maps on tablets along with integration with Google Play, brings vector-based maps that load more quickly and 2D and 3D views that allow users to tilt and rotate maps with simple gestures.
Integration with Google Play services 2.0 will allow developers to send out updates and add new data layers faster and will give them access to features like Photo Spheres (a special camera mode in Android 4.2 and up).
As devs begin using the new API, Android users will see more layers in their maps, including satellite, hybrid, terrain, and traffic. There are new indoor maps for several major airports and shopping centers. Creating markers and info can now be done with with less code as well.
The API also comes equipped with more dynamic and flexible UI designs for large screen Android devices.
The updated API for tablets fills a gap that Google has largely ignored, with better mapping templates for Android tablet developers and a focus on creating tablet specific layouts for apps.
Google’s new API is designed to work with devices running Android Froyo and up.