Apr 21 AT 11:26 AM Sean Riley 24 Comments

The British are navigating! The British are navigating!

Google Navigation crosses the pond to Britain

British Android users awoke this morning to find a slightly belated Easter egg from Google lying in their Google Maps. If you have Android 1.6 or 2.1 coupled with Google Maps 4.1.0 or 4.1.1 you should now be able to get your free turn-by-turn navigation on.

Everyone in the aforementioned section of the Venn diagram gets the turn-by-turn navigation with voice directions, but it would appear that only the Nexus One owners get the added bonus of being able to use speech recognition in Maps to say “navigate to” and the like.

So if you already have Maps installed you should just be able to pop it open and start zigging and zagging to the soothing tones of your Android navigator, if not get thee to the Market or hit the QR code above.

Unfortunately due to the ash cloud none of the Android and Me staff were able to fly over there and verify the functioning of the update in Britain so sound off in comments if you notice anything wonky going on or if you just want to give a little hip hurray for free navigation that’s cool too.

Via: Engadget

Source: Google Mobile Blog

Sean has been with Android and Me for over 8 years and covering mobile for the last 9. He occasionally muses about gadgets and tech outside of the Android universe at Techgasms.

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  • http://Website Nik

    Yay, it works!

    I do wonder why Microsoft aren’t allowed to install their own browser in their own OS, yet Google can give away a product that will hurt TomTom, etc.

    European anti-competitive laws baffle me.

    But, we are navigating! I used it today for the first time, and it works quite well.

    • http://Website OKK77

      If other Navigation apps are free too, bundling Maps with Android is probably anti-competitive. But there aren’t any free and good stuff in the market, are there? :)

  • http://nickedynick.blogspot.com Nickedynick

    Working great here! Granted, I’ve only tested it by walking back from uni since I don’t have a car, but it seems pretty awesomely functional. And on a G1!

    Let’s hope for some sort of offline caching next… :-)

    • http://Website lhopki01

      In navigation mode the entire journey is cached ahead of time so there will be no problems of losing reception. Only the street views need an active data connection.

  • http://Website Alex

    It caches the whole route, however, if you go off course and don’t have a data connection, you won’t get rerouted but will still have access to the initial route.

  • http://Website tim

    Tested it in the car twice earlier. It is one if the best features if the HTC desire now. The auto re-route function is awesome as well as the street view. Just needs voice recognition.

  • http://Website sgb

    Great news. But so annoying for me, I just (two week ago) got a tomtom of eBay.
    Can’t wait to check this out, then be upset if its good lol.

    • http://Website sgb

      update- used the desire wih uk nav on a longish journey and it never missed a beat, very good ap for free.

      a major con, mainly for the desire and not so much for google nav is, the screen is usless in the sun so voice has to be used. (never used voice on my tomtom as so enoying.).

      that is where the secong con is with google nav, far to much info from the lady. instead of roundabout ahead, take 3rd exit onto A1234, it will add; onto A1234, signposted liverpool, manchester, wigan, blackbern. and just the amount of info thrown at you is very tiresome.

      to sum up very good for an emergancy but untill the screens are better, tom tom, navman and the like have no need to worry.

      to add the desire gets very very hot, so its not jst the N1. after a 40min drive the phone was almost to hot to touch.

  • http://Website sid

    What an awesome surprise. It works great top….. well done Google.

  • http://alexreynish.com Reynish

    I can finally use those awesome navigation shortcuts on my home screen

  • http://www.guyontechnology.co.uk Guy Adams

    I tested on my first appointment this morning, worked like a charm and was very impressed to see a picture of my final destination when I got close.

    Since that appointment I have used it all day and its been perfect.

    My only negative comment would be the robot text to speech function which would get annoying on a long drive but hey its free.

  • http://Website Martin

    You do know that there are other countries in Europe then the UK right?
    Here is a link to the 111 countries google maps navigation supports:

    • http://www.technogasms.com Sean Riley

      That isn’t the same service as Maps Navigation for Android. The information I have only indicates that service was enabled for UK and Ireland. If you are on the ground elsewhere in Europe and are seeing Maps Navigation functioning on your Android device please let us know.

      • http://Website Martin

        My bad there, just asummed that it was, as Denmark is not listed, on that website, and i have had those directions since i got my nexus one back in january.
        So i thought it would make more sense if it was infact the navigation they where talking about, as we do not have that.

  • http://Website Martin

    Works great in N1. Shame some UK 3G coverage is a little poor – can leave you unable to make a new route if out of town.

  • http://Website ady

    Tried it on my magic for a short trip to get a loaf of bread it worked like a dream.

  • http://xda-developers.com maedox

    Good for you, and fuck Google for being so insanely slow. We want this in the rest of the world too so we can navigate through the volcanic ashes.

  • http://Website JP

    Its working fine and i love the street view part which is great but for some reason theres no way to change from stupid imperial yds to proper metric.

  • http://Website David Anderson

    Damn you HTC and HERO. Damn you to hell

    • http://fishbowler.net Fishbowler

      One more reason to be excited about the ever-imminent upgrade!

  • http://www.pixelphotography.co.uk Clint RAndall

    Hooray, fantastic app I was so pleased when I found it. I used Google Maps all the time as the maps are always up to date, but with Navigate it’s even better, bye, bye TomTom.

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