What you need to know
- Google Maps Platform has been updated with three new gaming-focused features.
- Maps Platform games drew nine million daily users in November.
- New features offer performance enhancements and more control over territories and landmarks.
Google has game developers in mind with three new features just added to the Google Maps Platform. The company says the ten mobile games that currently employ the platform have been very successful, with nine million daily active users (DAU) in the last month. New features will improve graphics performance for some Maps tasks, as well as give developers more control over where users should go and what will happen when they arrive.
One new feature, Playable Territories, will allow developers to carve the landscape into playable regions with natural borders like roads and rivers. A game could instruct players to capture a region or perform different tasks depending on where they are. Players could also be directed to territories that are busier or quieter, depending on what the game calls for.
A Mixed Zoom feature will draw maps more efficiently, so that the area near a player includes a high level of detail, with less information as the viewer approaches the horizon. This will allow developers to show a wider bird's eye view without drawing so much processing power, as Maps will use vector tiles to redraw areas in the distance. Google will also give developers a new ranking signal that will call out map features of artistic interest, "like museums, gardens, and art galleries."
Best for Games
Our overall favorite for gaming
Never experienced gaming in 90Hz on a phone? Let the OnePlus 7 Pro be the first to dazzle you with its edge-to-edge display, which should look great hunting aliens, dragons, or Pokemon in AR.
We may earn a commission for purchases using our links. Learn more.
These are the best Android phones you can buy right now
There are so many great Android phones to buy, so it can be tough to know which one to buy. These are the best of the best at each price point.
5 ways the Cortex-X program could change Android as we know it
The new Cortex-X program from ARM is a big deal. Here are 5 ways it could impact the Android space going forward.
The Samsung Galaxy Note 20 'Ultra' might be on its way after all
While a recent rumor had claimed Samsung isn't planning to release a Galaxy Note 20 Ultra, the upcoming flagship has been certified by the Bluetooth SIG. Similar to the Galaxy S20 series, Samsung may launch three Note 20 series phones this year.
These are the best phone-based party games to play while social distancing
Being on your phone doesn't have to be a social faux pas, thanks to these great party-friendly games for Android!