Mashable! • by Stan Schroeder
When it comes to maps, Google has had nearly everything: great satellite imagery, huge coverage, and even some basic navigation features, but not what everyone that’s ever used a GPS device really wants: turn-by-turn navigation.
This changes today, as Google just released a beta version of Google Maps Navigation for Android 2.0. Here’s a quick overview of the features:
- Search in plain English – quickly search and navigate to places, businesses, landmarks
- Search by voice
- View of live traffic data over the Internet.
- Search along route – find locations near your current path
- Satellite view – you can view the same satellite imagery you’ve seen Google Maps, on your phone
- Street View – check out what the exact surroundings of a location look like
- Car dock mode – when you place certain devices in a car dock, a special mode activates that enables easier operation
Google Maps Navigation does two very important things for Google: it makes it a competitor to established GPS firms like TomTom and Garmin, which should make this space a lot more interesting, and it suddenly makes Android – the only platform this app is currently available on – a lot more desirable. And – you guessed it – the first Android 2.0 phone to support this app is the upcoming Motorola Droid.
Since the application is free, we can expect Google to add advertisements to it at some point. But currently, since you have to pay for every other mobile turn-by-turn navigation app out there (we’re not talking pocket change here, either), the sheer fact that this thing is free will certainly make it a huge hit.
Check out a video overview of Google Maps Navigation and some screenshots below.
Reviews: Android, Google, Google Maps
Tags: Google Maps Navigation