A new release of Google Maps, version 7.1, has slowly begun to roll out for Android devices. While many of us are still waiting for the update to hit, it’s already been torn apart and analyzed, giving us a preview of what to expect.

Maybe the most interesting development is one that’s not yet active; text strings in the new Maps APK describe a still in-testing 3D mode. While Maps already has simple 3D views in certain cities, it’s anticipated that this mode would be more like the sort of fully-textured 3D experience we’re used to from Google Earth (above) – certainly, warnings about performance issues with phones much lower-specced than the Nexus 4 point to some pretty high-detail 3D imagery.

We also get better notifications about routes with tolls, clearer itinerary displays for public transit routes with multiple transfers, and apps that plug in to the Maps API look like they’ll be getting support for cached offline maps – not bad, altogether.

Look for Maps 7.1 to hit your Android device in the coming days and weeks.

Source: Android Police

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