Most significant from a functional standpoint, is the addition of offline maps caching. Google Maps for Mobile will now offer to store map data on the device, and work when no data services are available. This will help aide Google Maps for Mobile on Wi-Fi only Android MIDs and tablets. Additionally, Google confirmed that Google Maps Navigation will also work in offline mode, including basic rerouting functionality when driving/walking off-course.
Visually however, the upcoming release will also add 3D dynamic mapping for Android. This feature brings Google Earth-like functionality to Google Maps, allowing for standard map data to be viewed with depth and with buildings represented in 3D. The feature is already partially implemented in Google Maps Navigation, for turn-by-turn direction, but will now be accessible in the standard Map view.
Requirements for Google Maps for Mobile 5.0 vary. Google has indicated that offline map features would be available for Android 2.0 and later devices, while dynamic map views would require a more-powerful device. Google did issue an initial list to some in the media, but it appears incomplete (for example, Galaxy S and Nexus S are listed, along with DROID Incredible, but the DROID Incredible’s very-similar counterpart, the Nexus One, was missing from the list). The EVO 4G and T-Mobile G2 were also mentioned, along with the entire DROID family of devices (excluding Droid Eris).