Google brings Google Maps Navigation to more Android devices

By Justin Mann on November 24, 2009, 6:00 PM
Google is giving more attention to Android users this week as they push Google Maps Navigation out to additional Android devices. Google announced that GPS navigation software is now available to any device running Android 1.6 or higher. This includes older devices such as the T-Mobile G1 and myTouch 3G. Only phones running Android 2.0 or higher were capable of running the software prior to this development, leaving many older handsets in the cold.

Google Maps Navigation is a very useful extension of Google's existing mapping services, which provides many features expected of traditional GPS navigation: voice guidance, automatic re-routing, destination searching and more. Since it is integrated with other Google services, it can also overlay things like geographical information, Wikipedia articles and a lot of other metadata.

One of the most attractive aspects of Google Maps Navigation on an Android is the fact it is added on to existing hardware. GPS navigation devices can be very pricey, particularly for ones that are feature-rich. Even the entry-level car navigation units are not easy to swallow. With Google Maps Navigation, you are turning an existing device into a GPS navigator for no cost. What it may lack in features it will make up for in being free, though Google has clearly attempted to offer as much as possible.

If you own an older Android device, now is your chance to download the navigation software and give it a try.




User Comments: 19

Got something to say? Post a comment
codefeenix codefeenix said:

sounds like bad news to tom-tom's and similar companies stock.

Xclusiveitalian Xclusiveitalian said:

Love the idea of using the phone as a gps, maybe this will make the real gps drop there prices and then I can afford one.

matchu said:

I wonder if the phone's built-in gps is as accurate as an actual GPS device, though. This would be a huge issue if you were driving in a densely populated metropolitan area. You'd get so loss with all the roads going about.

Puiu Puiu said:

This is why google became so successful. Give people a lot of free stuff and make them worship you. After that you can offer them some paid services too.

I hope this will make regular GPS devices drop their prices a bit because they are too expensive. (although i'm pretty sure that they won't)

Razerblade said:

I really wish they would bring this out for Windows Mobile. It looks really good, especially with it being free! Hopefully they will bring it out as Google maps is already available for it! Come on Google do your thing!

Hyperian said:

killing all the stocks lol, also bring this to webOS

ajickes said:

Very cool! Map navigation tools for free - thanks to Google! I just wish I already had one of those Android phones... maybe this Christmas I'll finally get one.

yangly18 yangly18 said:

yup, just like one of the guys said above, give them free stuff and they will worship you. Google definatly knows what they are doing by giving free GPS to every user out there- they are selling out phones like crazy. I still dont have a GPS for my car, and if the gps on the android is as fast to update routes as it is on a tom-tom, you can bet that I will be using the android for my traveling needs. I'm hoping that it is world-wide gps though, since I don't really want to put update map packs on the phone if I don't need to.

yorro said:

Kudos to Google for bringing this App to the market, but also making it compatible to older phones.

freedomthinker said:

I can't say anything just that google is awesome ! They always make these things awesome , yet free !

DJ83 said:

I love my nokia device, and have been using a symbian phone since 2001, would love to give andriod a try on a nokia device.

Kibaruk Kibaruk, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I have been wanting to try Android for a while now, I own an Acer Aspire One netbook and read they are shipping new AODs with Android and wish someone reading here know how to make it dual booting, if possible.

Leaving that aside, maps navigations from google is a really good utility.

z00lander said:

All the news about Android makes me want one but I am tied to Sprint and they don't have a phone with 2.0, yet. I might make the switch when and if they do.

swilllx2p said:

I'm looking at upgrading my phone anytime now...does anyone know if at&t offers any phone with android capable of this, that isnt to expensive with a 2yr agreement?

pomonasi said:

i actually heard this app brought stock prices down for a lot of the GPS companies... they must be doing something right

levar said:

swilllx2p said:

I'm looking at upgrading my phone anytime now...does anyone know if at&t offers any phone with android capable of this, that isnt to expensive with a 2yr agreement?

Don't know of one mate, but anyways this is very nice, I'm acutally looking forward on using Google Maps my 2yr contract with Verizon ends next yr Jan. looking forward on getting my hands on the DROID.

manintech said:

There must be a lot of companies want to kill google now

LookinAround LookinAround, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

sounds like bad news to tom-tom's and similar companies stock.

I think it gets even worse. I think a close look at Google Maps reveals its impact will be even far more reaching. Google Maps not only competes with nav device providers (like Tom-Tom and Garmin) but will also hurt the two major nav map data providers: TeleAtlas and Navteq.

Originally, Google bought its street level map data from both TeleAtlas and Navteq

  • Then, in September, 2008 Google announced it would get all its US data from TeleAtlas (even though Navteq was considered to have better data for the US market)
  • And now it looks like Google has discarded TeleAtlas as well. It appears it is now using its own Street Level data it collected itself. (Take a look at Google maps. You only see the Google copyright. You no longer see either a TeleAtlas or NavTeq copyright)

Given

=> Google's deep pockets and hoards of cash

=> Google's offering free map navi apps on Android devices (hurting Tom-Tom et al)

=> Google's cutting out the map providers (TeleAtlas and NavTeq) and maybe even reselling its data to compete with them as well

Sounds to me like we'll be hearing news of lawsuits soon claiming unfair business practices and antitrust.

Btw: As of a couple years ago

> Tom-Tom bought TeleAtlas (so it becomes a double "whammy" for Tom-Tom!)

> Nokia bought Navteq

jerry53 said:

we all love the android now it just got a little better happy for the android phone users as people know google brings a lot to that particular platform.

Load all comments...

Add New Comment

TechSpot Members
Login or sign up for free,
it takes about 30 seconds.
You may also...
Get complete access to the TechSpot community. Join thousands of technology enthusiasts that contribute and share knowledge in our forum. Get a private inbox, upload your own photo gallery and more.