With Android 2.0, Google has added a new feature to its Google Maps application. Google Maps Navigation will offer 3D views, turn-by-turn voice guidance and automatic rerouting using the device’s Internet connection. Companies offering navigation services are probably getting a little nervous with this announcement: Many of these features have traditionally been found in standalone GPS navigation devices or required the purchase of software or subscriptions.
Because Google Maps Navigation uses an Internet connection, it will offer the latest maps and business listings (no more need to buy updates). It will also support many capabilities already found in Google Maps:
- Plain English searches
- Voice-activated search
- Live traffic data (where available)
- The ability to search for businesses (like a gas station) along your route (and using map layers to display results)
- Satellite View
- Street View
Google Maps Navigation will initially available in the United States. Hopefully other countries are announced as Android 2.0 devices are announced elsewhere in the world.
Google Maps Navigation will be available on the Verizon DROID by Motorola, the first Google Android 2.0 device announced.