Using Maps on Mobile devices is a challenge, especially when powerful features are needed.

March 23, 2010 in Blog Leave a reply

iPhone and Andriod now fully support the standard JavaScript Google Maps API which makes it easier to develop accross platforms.

Care must be taken in mobile designs though due to:

  • Screen size
  • User interaction
  • Speed

For example, iPhone Safari is 10x slower to parse JS than desktop with limited caching.  Networks also induce significant latencies which often dominate load times relative to total file sizes.  Improve performance by compiling/obfuscating code.

Current Gmaps API (v2) is poorly designed for mobile apps.  v3 means to address these concerns and enhance mobile support.

  • Only 35K in size (vs 190Kb in current v2)
  • Static map is built in
  • Optimized for mobile devices
  • ~9s to load js and tiles on v3 vs over 18s on v2
  • Chrome and iPhone supported
  • no domain keys required!
  • Default UI construct so app can by automatically keep up with control updates
  • New geocoding API

v3 is based on a Model-View-Controller architecture to allow fast loading of initial models and wait for on-demand loading of required views.  New features can be added as additional views/controllers with less impact to the overall code base.

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