Check Out Google Navigation On Your Android Device Today

We knew it was coming this week, but Google today switched on Navigation for Android devices in Australia and New Zealand.

The service - which doesn't require you to update the Google Maps application - will work on any Android device running 1.6 or above and running Google Maps for mobile 4.2 or above, which is pretty much every Android handset on the market.

While it doesn't feature complete maps stored on your device, it does cache enough of the information to be able to direct you to your destination should you lose connection - so long as you don't miss a turn. Once you regain your 3G signal though, it'll do its best to get you back on track with voice navigation.

Considering this is a free application, and integrates with Google's voice search perfectly, it's kind of hard to justify spending any money on dedicated navigation software, especially for Android. At this stage it is only for Android, apparently because only Android phones feature the 3D graphics capabilities to support the interface the app uses. Not so sure that the most recent iPhone or any of the Wndows Phone 7 phones wouldn't be capable of the same processing grunt, but if that's the way they want to spin it, more power to them...

Anyway, if you use Android, check it out - it's actually really good!


Comments

    Noob question: Is that using your data plan on 3G, or the GPS in some handsets?

      It's using both - the 3G for data (i.e. the map tiles) and GPS for your location

    @bigdog76. It'll use wifi/3g to get the maps/directions then use the GPS to navigate you through the map as you go along a route.

    A great thing about it is that you can plan your route online then go offline and it has everything it needs for your journey. This is great for me as I don't use 3g.

    Great upgrade Google.
    If you have any shares in TomTom or the like you might wanna sell them asap.

      It's a very cool system with one flaw, as noted in the article. It only caches the data between A and B. If you take a wrong turn, you'll either have to use another wi-fi hotspot, turn on 3G or use a directory like a caveman to get back on the road.

        If you can afford a smart phone, you yourself should be smart enough to find and pay for a cheap data plan. I just leave data turned on and don't need to ever worry about caching map tiles or going off route

    This is awesome

    Rather bad news for navigation companies. I have to say it seems a little unfair from a company's point of view that the app is given away simply because google can afford to. I will maintain that stance until it's on iPhone.

      I wouldn't feel too sorry for satnav companies. They've been gouging customers for years with overpriced map updates. They can either innovate or die which at the end of the day is better for consumers.

      It's Google Android. Aka: You get an Android phone to get the whole Google experience, including maps. It's by Google's own grave that Navigation apps are available at all, and able to make a profit on their platform.

      Satnav apps, as noted are among the most expensive on the market. While I respect intellectual property rights, costs of R&D etc, it literally does not cost Tom Tom any more money to install their app on your phone. Yet they're charging $70.

      The point is, the related costs of the apps have already been paid for by these companies. If they released at a much more reasonable price, say $10, they'd still make a profit, and more people will happily pay for a supposedly superior product over Google's free offering.

      lol Damo ur strange!

      Even htc locations is a rip off! So glad I only purchased a month of maps on it and now google can take me the rest of the way.

    It's all fine and dandy until google start putting ads on it while you're trying to drive. But wait, pay this much and the ads disappear!

    There's always a catch.

      To be fair, Google's advertising is usually quite subtle. With search, Gmail etc, you can only really notice the ads if you're actively looking for it.

    been using brut maps for a while now and prob will just because i cant store the map tiles

    Agree with harvz: Still using maps [brut] which downloads map tiles. Woot!

    brut maps only downloads map tiles in google maps, not google navigation. navigation using vector graphics which cant be saved with brut maps.

    Have been testing this out since it was released (I have a Nexus One). It works great. The travel time feature in the lower left corner is usually spot on. Been watching how much of my 3G internet it uses, I was surprised that it wasn't much (driving from Melb Airport to the City) aprox 1mb (might have ben less, cant remember) and thats with me checking out traffic etc on the app. One thing i would like to see would be the vehicle speed (dont know if thats an option that I haven't found yet). So far only 3G area testing, guess would have to pay a little more once in a roaming area.
    Who needs a GPS and a phone when you can have both in one.

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