You don’t have to worry (so much) about being offline, as the app now caches the areas next to the one you’re currently in, meaning you’ll be able to seamlessly keep navigating for a while even when offline. If you’re using Google’s turn-by-turn GPS navigation, the app can now calculate a different route, even if you’re offline. You still need a connection to start a route, however. This feature will be rolled out gradually over the next couple of weeks.
The new version of Google Maps will work on Android 1.6 devices, but only owners of Android 2.0+ devices will be able to enjoy the new 3D and offline capabilities. Get Google Maps 5.0 in Android Market