Getty Images/TORSTEN SILZ
SAN FRANCISCO -- Google's digital mapping service is preparing to introduce offline access on mobile devices and more three-dimensional images of major cities as it braces for a possible loss in traffic from Apple's iPhone and iPad.
Wednesday's preview of the upcoming features came ahead of an Apple developer conference next week. Published reports say Apple Inc. is planning to use that forum to announce that it is dropping Google's maps as a built-in option on its mobile platform and switching to its own, internally developed navigation service.
Google Inc. mapping executive Brian McClendon didn't directly address questions about the potential Apple setback. He says Google wants to make its maps available in as many places as possible.
The new options on Google's maps won't be available for at least a few more weeks.