Google plans to release an updated version of Google Maps for Android that is going to make iPhone users turn green with envy. The new version, which the company unveiled last night at a conference, will bring Android users a vastly updated version that includes faster performance, 3D vector graphics and offline browsing.

If you've spent any time traveling and using Google maps, then you know how big a deal an offline mode can be. Venture more than a couple of miles away from a city or interstate in most of the country and your data connection is non-existent. Even in city limits, if the connection degrades it can cause Google Maps to fail and this is precisely what the new offline mode targets. According to Venture Beat, the smaller vector graphics used in the updated maps will allow for caching of map data that you most often use, giving you a more consistent experience.

The vector graphics will also help to drastically increase the app's speed. According to Gizmodo, the new app will download about 100 times less data, "which leads to faster load times and super smooth zooming."

In addition to speed and offline mode, Google Maps 5.0 for Android will have 3D buildings for more than 100 cities when you zoom in. As you move and rotate your phone, the view on the map will change to show the proper direction.

According to Venture Beat, the new version of Google Maps for Android will run on any Android device running Android 1.6 or above, but older devices will not be able to utilize more advanced features like dynamic rendering and automatic rotation.