Google Maps Android API Version 2 Gets Street View Features

The new Version2 of the Google Maps Android API includes Google Street View capabilities and other new features.

Google Maps Android API

Google has now added Street View imagery capabilities to the Google Maps Android API v2, which also introduces more controls for developers as they use the API for indoor maps.

The new features were detailed by Megan Boundey, product manager for Google Maps mobile SDKs, in a May 27 post on the Google Geo Developers Blog. Both features were added to the Google Play Services 4.4 release in May, but are now part of the latest Google Maps Android API, wrote Boundey.

The Street View capabilities in the Google Maps API give developers the ability to add Street View features to their Maps apps, wrote Boundey. "Let your users navigate through Street View's panoramic 360-degree views themselves, or programmatically control the zoom and orientation of the Street View camera," she wrote. "You can enable and disable Street View controls and gestures, as well as toggle the display of street names on or off. The Street View coverage available through the Google Maps Android API v2 is the same as that for the Google Maps for Android app on your Android device."

Several apps are already using the new Street View features, she wrote, including the Runtastic Running & Fitness app, which can be used to map and track individual fitness activities, and a Walgreens App that uses Google Street View to help locate its stores for customers.

"Do you have a store locator in your app, but wish that users could tell whether your store is in a strip mall or on the street?" wrote Boundey. "Now you can! You can even bring users into your store using Business View. The same


object provides seamless access to both indoor Business View and outdoor Street View imagery."

Also new in the latest Maps API are programmatic controls to Indoor Maps, she wrote. "You can disable the default level picker (floor picker) by calling


and add your own custom level picker instead. You can also determine which building and level is currently in focus and set a listener to be called when a new building comes into focus or a new level is activated within a building. This is particularly useful if you want to show custom markup for the active level."

In May 2014, Google unveiled its latest Google Play services application, giving app developers these same kinds of new features. Google Play services 4.4 was the recipient of the first-time introduction of Street View to the Google Maps Android API, which is separate from the Google maps for Android API.

In February 2014, the Google Maps Android API Utility Library received a host of updates, including two key new data visualization features—marker clustering and heat maps—that are aimed at improving the tools developers have when they are building apps for Google Maps on Android.

Version 4.1 of Google Play services was released in January 2014, according to an earlier eWEEK report. That version included a wide swath of new features, as well, including turn-based multiplayer support and improved battery life capabilities. It also included a preliminary API for integrating Google Drive into apps.

Under Version 4.1, the Google Mobile Ads SDK fully supported DoubleClick for Publishers, DoubleClick Ad Exchange and Search Ads for Mobile Apps, which means that developers can use a new publisher-provided location API to provide Google with a user's location for ad serving placement on mobile devices. Version 4.1 also provided improved integration with Google+, which makes it easier for users to share with their friends from their apps.

Google Play Games, which is Google's gaming platform for Android and iOS devices and for the Web, was introduced by the company in early 2013.