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Google Maps for Android Improved for Offline Use

Users are now able to download certain maps to their device in anticipation that a data signal may not be available. during a trip. Included as a Labs feature, Maps offers a "Download map area" option.

Google said that each map area has a 10 mile radius and downloads base map tiles with landmarks, while satellite view, 3D buildings and Places are not included. The downloaded maps will remain in the cache of a device for 30 days and will then be removed.

Other new features include a new scale bar for maps, as well as a new line tool that can measure the distance between two points on a map. All new Labs features require Android 2.1 or higher. The application itself is available free of charge in Android Market.