Feeds

Google navigates Android to turn-by-turn directions

Free mobile sat nav

The Power of One Infographic

Google has slipped turn-by-turn navigation into the latest version of Android, giving away one of the few mobile services for which punters were still prepared to pay.

The application, which will only be available on the yet-to-be-launched devices using Android version 2, provides all the functionality that one might expect from a satellite navigation service: route planning, directions and points of interest, along with Street View pictures to help with the details and caching of maps to allow off-line use, and all for free.

Google Maps Navigation won't, necessarily, be bundled with every Android 2.0 device; that's up to manufacturers and network operators, but devices that do have it installed will provide turn-by-turn instructions and even cache maps once a route has been planned, which should make it operable even with connectivity lets you down, but try not to deviate too far from the proposed route unless you're confident of your connectivity.

Rumours about the application have been around for a while, with hints including Google's steady removal of its reliance on map providers, sourcing more of Google Earth's maps from information collected by its fleet of Street View cars, and even allowing users to report map errors as well as monitoring user locations to feed traffic information.

Limiting the app to Android 2 should provide a killer feature for the platform; users will upgrade just for Google Maps Navigation, or switch platforms to get it, but the release is bad news for everyone else in the satellite navigation business, including Nokia, who are going to have a hard time competing with the Chocolate Factory's policy of giving away services.

Gizmodo has a nice walk-though of the service, though if you've seen a satellite navigation system before then most of it should be familiar to you, it's just the price which will take a little getting used to. ®

The Power of One Infographic

More from The Register

next story
Auntie remains MYSTIFIED by that weekend BBC iPlayer and website outage
Still doing 'forensics' on the caching layer – Beeb digi wonk
Major problems beset UK ISP filth filters: But it's OK, nobody uses them
It's almost as though pr0n was actually rather popular
Microsoft unsheathes cheap Android-killer: Behold, the Lumia 530
Say it with us: I'm King of the Landfill-ill-ill-ill
All those new '5G standards'? Here's the science they rely on
Radio professor tells us how wireless will get faster in the real world
Apple orders huge MOUNTAIN of 80 MILLION 'Air' iPhone 6s
Bigger, harder trouser bulges foretold for fanbois
Oh girl, you jus' didn't: Level 3 slaps Verizon in Netflix throttle blowup
Just hook us up to more 10Gbps ports, backbone biz yells in tit-for-tat spat
GoTenna: How does this 'magic' work?
An ideal product if you believe the Earth is flat
Telstra to KILL 2G network by end of 2016
GSM now stands for Grave-Seeking-Mobile network
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.