Maybe I’m reading way too much into this, but it almost suspiciously sounds like Google is getting Maps reading for a Retina Display iPad.
Maps API Product Manager Thor Mitchell:
As an added benefit, Maps API Premier developers can also request maps with a scale factor of 4. Although this exceeds the maximum window.devicePixelRatio of current mobile devices it does facilitate generating maps for printing at high quality.
“Current mobile devices”. There’s one device rumored to be coming in the next few months that would welcome the 2048 pixel count.