Oct 28 AT 10:11 AM Taylor Wimberly 23 Comments

Google pisses off every GPS company

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.

Taylor is the founder of Android and Me. He resides in Dallas and carries the Samsung Galaxy S 4 and HTC One as his daily devices. Ask him a question on Twitter or Google+ and he is likely to respond. | Ethics statement

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  • Stunned

    “Wow, we didn’t see this one coming.”

    How could that be?!? How could you no see this coming? I’ve been amazed at how long Big G has been on making this move. They’ve had all the bits here and there for a long time; the operating hardware was the last piece of the puzzle, and they got others to do that for them.

    • Dave

      You obviously haven’t been following this site’s stories nor clicked the link in that sentence

  • s15274n

    Stunned, sarcasm is hard to pick up in text….

    Cyanogen, I will help buy you a keg for 2.0.

  • carig

    man, i feel sorry for tom-tom, garmin, etc.

    i thought they would release turn-by-turn directions, but i didn’t expect it to be so much better than everything else, plus it’s free

  • naguz

    Unless this gets offline navigation (I guess it doesn’t), CoPilot etc. will still get my money.

    • Aaron

      It caches your route when you start one. So, its not fully “offline” but if you have service where you start, it will have your route cached.

  • Tomas Herman

    this looks absolutely amazing…but i guess that voice magic wont work too well in czech republic :/ and i agree that without offline avability its kinda useless :( at least for me

  • Androidawg

    According to other articles I’ve read this morning there will be a cached mode for when the unit loses it’s connection to the network. However I don’t see how it can run in any areas where there is no connection to start with. Turn by turn nav still requires a database of maps to run properly. Bu who’s to say Google won’t find a way to download maps to the SD?

    • Tomas Herman

      well i think it would be awesome if you could preload maps for your state and then only when youre connected to wifi the maps would update…and you could just choose if you want to get traffic etc updates or not..hopefully it will work that way ;]

  • Tom

    I’m surprised IT TOOK THEM SO LONG as well. As soon as I saw the Layar app, I said to myself “Google could put this company out of business in about a day”. And here it is. Countdown to location aware advertising popping up as you drive. Not today but soon. Google loves them some ads!!!

  • http://soft.antonspaans.com Anton Spaans

    Have you seen the stocks of Garmin (GRMN) and TomTom (AMS:TOM2)?



  • shift

    @Androidawg Good point for sure! How will this work without a data connection? And the fact that you are limited to 256mb to install apps isn’t going to help you load navigation software on the Droid. Nav apps are usually over a gig. I do alot of hiking and one of the reason’s I like GPS with locally stored maps is because I usually don’t have a signal. For roads, Google will do, but I see alot of concerns when there is no data signal – and Verizon won’t admit it but they have holes in their data network too…

    • http://soft.antonspaans.com Anton Spaans

      The maps can be downloaded to your SD-card. There’s nothing technical preventing this.

      And maybe there is a way to pre-download maps for areas that don’t have any proper (data-)signal.

      • http://androidandme.com Taylor Wimberly

        Yeah except for the limited storage space of most Android phone…

        • Daniel

          I don’t follow your comment. How does the limited storage of the phone prevent copying map data to the SD card? Or is it the limited size of most SD cards?

  • http://gardenwife.com GW

    I don’t see anything about voice prompts, though. The video and description at their site talks about voice search and navigation, but it doesn’t say there will be TTS voice prompts for the driver to hear. Did I miss something? Without such voice prompts, I see accidents happening maybe even more than people experience while texting.

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  • kingof9x

    If only google maps would allow us to access topographic maps. I am very jealous of my friends iphone app that allows him to download topo maps to his device for times when you hike out of a service area and i can not download maps from google.

  • Mystery

    Its about time Google provided its users a way to download their area maps on SD Cards…. which will make google maps faster and more accessable…

  • redmer

    hello, i cant donwload the app on my magic..
    can some help me?

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