Product Engineering // Blog

Android Developer Tips: Native Google Maps API vs. Google Maps API V3 in Browser

which google maps api should i use?

This post is brought to you by Applico’s monthly Lunch n’ Learn series. Each month, Applico holds a platform specific (Android, iOS, etc.) developer meet-up to discuss new findings, bugs, ideas and anything else relating to thecurrent state of the OS they work on every day.

Did you know that there are multiple ways to integrate Google Maps on Android? They don’t always return the same results either. Our android app developers discussed the issue at our most recent Lunch n Learn. We recommend going the maps.google.com route via the generalized Google Maps API3. Here’s a quick breakdown of the two main API’s you can use to integrate Google Maps.

The Native Google Maps API

The Android platform provides native API access to Google Maps. The native API provides slightly superior performance and better integration with device sensors. On the other hand, updates are subject to release cycle of the developer and the users willingness to install said updates.

Google Maps API V3 in Browser

Google Maps API V3 is a flexible alternative to the native API. The main benefit here is that updates require no downloads or permissions. Browsers can also be embedded within native apps which allows for seamless integration. Most modern smart phones can handle running API V3 with performance on par with the native API.

Are you an Android App Developer?

If so, we hope you find this information useful. We will be sharing more insights from last weeks Lunch n Learn soon. We’d also like to let you know that we’re hiring android developers in NYC and LA. Please contact us if you’re interested, we’re always looking for talented Android engineers.

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