Recursive Penguin

Is there a new Android Google Maps API around the corner?

Evidence that a new version of the Google Maps API has shown up in a recently released app named Field Trip. This app sits in the background and will alert you when you near interesting landmarks. There are wonderful looking maps throughout the application, that have much of the enhanced functionality that users are used to from the Google Maps app. It would seem that this app is not just for fun, and that Google is using it to test out a new version of the Google Maps API.

Field Trip

Decompiling Field Trip reveals some secrets about the new Maps API. The application tag in the app manifest references "":

<application android:label="@string/app_name" android:icon="@drawable/launcher_icon" android:name="" android:description="@string/app_description" android:hardwareAccelerated="true">
        <meta-data android:name="" android:value="redacted" />

While most of the project has been obfuscated by proguard the package remains intact. Ever since Google introduced fragments developers have been requesting a MapFragment class. It would appear that there requests have been answered, the package contains a MapFragment.smali file. There is also a SupportMapFragment.smali for use with the compatibility libraries that google uses.

.class public Lcom/google/maps/MapFragment;
.super Landroid/app/Fragment;

# interfaces
.implements Lcom/google/maps/GoogleMap;

All signs point to the fact that the new maps API is almost ready for developers to use. Hopefully Google releases it sooner rather than later.