Maps

Google Maps on Android 3.0 is another highlight and provides a distinct advantage over the iPad 2. You can view maps with satellite imagery, detailed terrain, or a faster map-only mode. When you zoom into a major metropolis like New York, you can see the Street View mode and flick your way down a city street. The Street View images look crisp and work smoothly on the larger screen size.

android 3.0 maps
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Android 3.0 uses the Google Maps 5.0 client with support for 3D maps that show you buildings in major cities as well. You can swipe with a finger to zoom and twirl the interface around and get your bearings on a specific location. In many ways, the 3D imagery is a gimmick in the sense that it looks great but doesn't really provide a useful function – the buildings are not rendered as they actually are in real life.

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Voice navigation on Android 3.0 is exceptional. You can set a destination and then follow on-screen prompts for turns or a voice that guides you. Google Maps does not include some of the extra features of an app, like Navigon or TomTom on the iPhone with clearly-labelled markers for highways. You can easily see points of interest, however, including banks and petrol stations on the map interface.

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Google Latitude also works on Android 3.0, letting you share your current location with friends. On the Motorola Xoom, this functionality is a bit suspect, however. The Xoom only works for GPS coordinates when you use it outside. The iPad 2 does a better job of triangulating your location or using GPS as long as there's a window nearby.