Testing in the field or on the road sorts out what works and what doesn't. After the first pass I had three Android Apps to try:
I gave all three a fair test, and versus the incumbent, the Nokia N73 plus Bluetooth GPS receiver.
First up, MapDroyd. Did the lack of detail control count it out? Well, it does not get off to a good start. Surely there are _some_ roads in the USA, Canada or Mexico?
and maybe one road that goes from LA to Las Vegas?
Zooming in, its the same problem. Here's an example where I've tried to get the amount of the city showing to be the same - you need to allow for different aspect ratios of course, so I've tried to fit the width.
and that, in a nutshell is MapDroyd's problem. If it had no competition, then you could use it, because its not a bad App in itself.
Second up, Google Maps. First the good news. When you are in a cached area, it works just like you are used to.
Third up, OSMand, and it really is a case of the best for last. Detail is good, and after trying all three for a day, it became the only App I used for the rest of the trip. I can't get the zoom quite the same for a fair visual / zoom comparison, but I don't need to - its just plain better.
It does have the idiosyncracy of the whole map disappearing at zoom level 6 with an error message that I was not able to use to fix.
And it doesn't really do routing either, just gives you a pointer for the direction you need to go. If you are flying, or trekking cross-country it might be all you need.
So the final scores:
Google Maps: 4
Sorry Google, the whole offline caching thing is just not working well. And its not a competition solely against other offline maps, its against the N73, and the N73 just works.
MapDroyd. If that was the only option, it would be useable, just not as good as the N73. I cannot see why it works this way, when on the new Android devices there is so much more screen area to play with.
OSMand: the clear winner, though some eccentricities keep it from scoring higher.