Google Maps Navigation : GPS software for Android 2.0
October 29th, 2009 - 11:35 am ET by C. D.
This was always going to arrive one day. Google has announced the beta version of Google Maps Navigation, a complete and free navigation program for Android 2.0 Eclair.
We have for a long time suspected that Google was preparing a navigation program, and it was with the arrival of Android 2.0 Eclair that the rumours started to be confirmed. With the first smartphone running Eclair being released, the Droid by Motorola, and the SDK having been updated, it has now also come that Google has unveiled the beta version of their new navigation program Google Maps Navigation.
Designed as an extension for Google Maps on the Mobile, and available only on Android 2.0, the program offers all of the functions of a traditional GPS navigation program, with an itinerary calculator and voice instructions.
Like Google Maps, the maps aren’t stored on the handsets, but are instead accessible from the servers. An Internet connection will be required, which means that the user’s mobile phone data subscription will be used.
The application offers numerous advanced user functions like voice recognition so that you can tell the device your destination naturally, without having to know the exact address. This voice mode saves you from having to laboriously enter the address into the smartphones screen, even if this manual entry option is still available at all times. The interest in this is to look up information from the Web, to obtain information about your desired search result.
The program is capable of displaying real time traffic, satellite view and photos from Street View so that you can easily find landmarks around your destination to get an idea of where you are going. Points of interest are also present, helping you to find service stations, restaurants or public parking lots in proximity.
Only available in the United States for the moment, Google Maps Navigation should put up a real fight with existing navigation solutions as it brings together all of the functions available in a cloud. It should also be noted that only Android 2.0 Eclair handsets are compatible.