Google's new zoom method?

Following Apple's successful lawsuit against Samsung the media was awash with stories claiming that Apple had a pinch-to-zoom patent victory, and Android phones would have to remove the functionality to avoid further legal action from Apple. This however, was not strictly correct. The ruling was actually relating to a very specific scrolling implementation, which can't broadly be called "pinch-to-zoom".

However, Google's latest update of it's Android Maps application has added a new method of zooming. In it's own words...

Single-handed zoom, double tap, then hold down your finger and slide to zoom

Is this new zooming method a reaction to Apple patent claims, or simply a new improved zoom implementation designed specifically for the maps app?

From a personal point of view I find the new technique to be more than fine, but if you want to zoom in over a large distance you may have to repeat the process more than once which can get a little tiresome - double tap zoom, double tap zoom, double tap zoom..... you get the idea... but then again I guess PTZ is also a constant act of repeating a physical hand motion itself.

This new, one-fingered technique is currently in addition to traditional pinch-to-zoom, but I wonder if this could be the start of a gradual transition to this new technique. What are your thoughts? Am I reading too much into this, or are we seeing the effects of Apple's legal prowess force Google's hand?

It will be interesting to see if we soon see this new zoom scrolling method in a future update of Chrome...