Wow, we didn’t see this one coming. Today Google announced Google Maps Navigation (Beta) which features turn-by-turn GPS navigation with voice guidance. The new navigation system is part of Google Maps for mobile and is available for phones with Android 2.0.
If you were thinking about buying a shiny new GPS unit for Christmas, save your money and get the service for free on your phone.
Highlights of the service include:
- Search in plain English (watch video). No need to know the address. You can type a business name or even a kind of a business, just like you would on Google.
- Search by voice (watch video). Speak your destination instead of typing (English only): “Navigate to the de Young Museum in San Francisco”.
- Traffic view (watch video). An on-screen indicator glows green, yellow, or red based on the current traffic conditions along your route. A single touch toggles a traffic view which shows the traffic ahead of you.
- Search along route (watch video). Search for any kind of business along your route, or turn on popular layers such as gas stations, restaurants, or parking.
- Satellite view (watch video). View your route overlaid on 3D satellite views with Google’s high-resolution aerial imagery.
- Street View (watch video). Visualize turns overlaid on Google’s Street View imagery. Navigation automatically switches to Street View as you approach your destination.
- Car dock mode (watch video). For certain devices, placing your phone in a car dock activates a special mode that makes it easy to use your device at arm’s length.
I really hope G1 owners get Android 2.0 now.