Good to see that Google is (still) listening to its customers and users. In a Google+ posting, the Google Maps product team just announced that it brought back an easy way to cache offline maps for yesterday's all new Google Maps v7 for Android. Google wrote: "We've been happy to hear so many of you enjoying the interface and features of the new Google Maps app for Android, but we know some of you are missing an easy way to access maps offline. That's why our engineering team has been working around the clock to add a "Make this map area available offline" card below the search box for easier access." So offline caching isn't exactly there where you would expect it, in the map mode, but now it's part of the search results.
While this is better than nothing, it's not where I would expect such a feature. I rarely search for a maps area but most of the time I browse around in the map. therefore it's good to know that the "OK Maps" thing is also still working, even if this is the most inconvenient way to get a map area cached since it feels like the return of the "command Prompt", on Windows PCs also known as "cmd".
Anyway, with this update, Google has also added a "Where's Latitude?" link at the bottom of the side menu which provides more information about the future of location sharing.
The update will begin rolling out globally starting today.
Cheers ~ Arne