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Google Maps for Android gets UK indoor mode

Google Maps for Android now lets you see floor plans from the inside of UK buildings. Futuristic!

Google Maps for Android now lets you see inside UK locations, with a floor plan view of British buildings, ZDNet reports.

More than 40 venues in our green and pleasant land have been added, which doesn't sound like much, but those buildings include popular locales such as the Barbican and Kings Cross station. In other words, Harry Potter would have had no trouble locating platform nine and three quarters if he'd been rocking a Samsung Galaxy Nexus.

The updates requires very little mental computation -- in a blog post the search guru writes that all you need to do is zoom in using the app, and the floor plan will appear on screen.

You can also search for locations within buildings and get a guide on how to get there "even if you're on a completely different floor", Google promises.

Shopping cathedral Harrods is mapped, as is the British Museum, the O2 Arena and airports including London Stanstead, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Birmingham and Manchester. If you're interested in seeing a full list of UK mapped locations, click on this glowing blue text.

The floor plans come hot of the heels of an offline mode that lets Android owners save a region to their phone to use later. There's no navigation within offline maps, but you can save an area roughly the size of London. Being able to store maps for later viewing could help you save a few quid next time you're abroad, too.

The subtext to all these goodies is that Apple is about to ditch Google Maps in iOS for its own mapping software, and Google will surely want Android looking as compelling as possible when iOS 6 makes its debut.

Are you a fan of Google Maps? Have you zoomed in on any floor plans yet? Let me know in the comments or on our Facebook wall.

Editor's note: We're a little late on this news because someone (cough) forgot to set this story live. Sorry about that -- we thought you'd be interested anyway.