The following news will either make you extremely happy or frustrated with your carrier. Google Maps Navigation, that first launched with the Verizon Motorola Droid and Android 2.0, is now available for Android 1.6 devices. The application is free and can be download from the Android Market.
Depending on which phone you have, you might not be able to access this exciting new application. Many carriers still have phones with Android 1.5. We are working on a big report concerning first generation phones and when they might receive Android 2.0, but I am still waiting to hear back from certain carriers.
Android 1.6 currently supports voice recognition, but it appears Google has remove the “navigate to” voice commands. I’m not sure why this feature was excluded unless it was part of some exclusive deal Google made with Verizon.
The follow devices are still stuck on the outdated Android 1.5 and will be unable to use Google Maps navigation:
- Archos MIDs
- Sprint HTC Hero
- Sprint Samsung Moment
- T-Mobile Motorola Cliq
- T-Mobile Samsung Behold II
- Verizon HTC Droid Eris
From the Official Google Mobile blog:
If you have a phone running Android 1.6, you can download an updated version of Google Maps from Android Market to use Navigation today. Google Maps Navigation is in beta and is currently available in the United States. Some features of Android 2.0 are not available on Android 1.6, for example, the ability to use the “navigate to” voice command as shown in our demo video. However, you can still create a shortcut that will allow you to launch Navigation and start getting directions to a specific place from your current location with just a single touch from your home screen. For example, you can create a “Home” shortcut to quickly navigate home, no matter where you are. Just use the “Add” menu item from the home screen, then choose “Shortcuts”, then “Directions.”
[Thank you Kote for the tip]