Google Maps for Android going indoors in new update

San Francisco International Airport before and after, with 3D tilt.

Google Maps for Android has received a new update that brings the version number up to 6.0. As explained in a new entry on Google's official blog site, the 6.0 update allows Android smartphone and tablet users to take a look inside some large public buildings for the first time.

That includes a number of major international airport terminals such as San Francisco International Airport. As you can see in the above image, the Google Maps version on the left shows the old way of viewing the terminal building while the new 6.0 version of Google Maps shows a number of gate locations as well as other landmarks inside the building. Microsoft previously launched an update for its Bing Maps service in October 2011 that also shows what's inside a number of airport terminals in the US.

Google Maps 6.0 for Android also lets users see what's inside a number of US retail malls such as the Mall of America in Bloomington, Minnesota, and the Vallco Shopping Mall in Cupertino, California. A number of retail store locations for Macy's, Bloomingdale's, Ikea and Home Depot are also shown with inside information in the new Google Maps. You can check out a full list of what floor plans for retail locations are supported on Google's web site. The update supports locations only in the US and Japan at the moment.

Google plans to add even more public building floor plans in the coming months to Google Maps for Android. It is inviting businesses to add their own building floor plans for Google Maps at this web site.

Image via Google

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