Announcing Google Maps Navigation for Android 2.0

Wednesday, October 28, 2009 | 7:00 AM

(cross-posted on the Official Google Blog)

Since 2005, millions of people have relied on Google Maps for mobile to get directions on the go. However, there's always been one problem: Once you're behind the wheel, a list of driving directions just isn't that easy to use. It doesn't tell you when your turn is coming up. And if you miss a turn? Forget it, you're on your own.

Today we're excited to announce the next step for Google Maps for mobile: Google Maps Navigation (Beta) for Android 2.0 devices.

This new feature comes with everything you'd expect to find in a GPS navigation system, like 3D views, turn-by-turn voice guidance and automatic rerouting. But unlike most navigation systems, Google Maps Navigation was built from the ground up to take advantage of your phone's Internet connection.

Here are seven features that are possible because Google Maps Navigation is connected to the Internet:

The most recent map and business data
When you use Google Maps Navigation, your phone automatically gets the most up-to-date maps and business listings from Google Maps — you never need to buy map upgrades or update your device. And this data is continuously improving, thanks to users who report maps issues and businesses who activate their listings with Google Local Business Center.

Search in plain English
Google Maps Navigation brings the speed, power and simplicity of Google search to your car. If you don't know the address you're looking for, don't worry. Simply enter the name of a business, a landmark or just about anything into the search box, and Google will find it for you. Then press "Navigate", and you're on your way.

Search by voice
Typing on a phone can be difficult, especially in the car, so with Google Maps Navigation, you can say your destination instead. Hold down the search button to activate voice search, then tell your phone what you want to do (like "Navigate to Pike Place in Seattle"), and navigation will start automatically.

Traffic view
Google Maps Navigation gets live traffic data over the Internet. A traffic indicator light in the corner of the screen glows green, yellow or red, depending on the current traffic conditions along your route. If there's a jam ahead of you, you'll know. To get more details, tap the light to zoom out to an aerial view showing traffic speeds and incidents ahead. And if the traffic doesn't look good, you can choose an alternate route.

Search along route
For those times when you're already on the road and need to find a business, Google Maps Navigation searches along your route to give you results that won't take you far from your path. You can search for a specific business by name or by type, or you can turn on popular layers, such as gas stations, restaurants or parking.

Satellite view
Google Maps Navigation uses the same satellite imagery as Google Maps on the desktop to help you get to your destination. Turn on the satellite layer for a high-resolution, 3D view of your upcoming route. Besides looking cool, satellite view can help you make sense of complicated maneuvers.

Street View
If you want to know what your next turn looks like, double-tap the map to zoom into Street View, which shows the turn as you'll see it, with your route overlaid. And since locating an address can sometimes be tricky, we'll show you a picture of your destination as you approach the end of your route, so you'll know exactly what to look for.

Since there's nothing quite like seeing the product in action, we made this video to demonstrate a real-life example:




The first phone to have Google Maps Navigation and Android 2.0 is the Droid from Verizon. Google Maps Navigation is initially available in the United States. And like other Google Maps features, Navigation is free.

Click here to learn more and browse a gallery of product screenshots. Take Google Maps Navigation for a spin, and bring Internet-connected GPS navigation with you in your car.

61 comments:

Farhdine said...

The link to google.com/navigation doesn't work...

Purity Products said...

Will Android 2.0 come for the G1? Or just newer phones?

Will said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

Al Sutton said...

Very sweet.... now can we have it for the rest of the world?

Farhdine Boutzakhti said...

Ok, the good link is: http://www.google.com/mobile/navigation/index.html#p=default

Will said...

Will 2.0 be available on HTC Magic for example? This is the handset I am running. Exciting news for Android!

Jeroen said...

Pleaaaaase also make this available for blackberry... (pretty please with a little sugar on top)

The Editor said...

for iPhone?

Steve said...

I just had a Google Gasm!

Christopher said...

You iPhone/Blackberry folks best get on this Android train if you want these cool features!!!

JeremyJ said...

google is on top of it!

Calculon said...

Does this sync with your contacts, so you can say "Navigate to John Smith's House." or "Navigate to John Smith's Work." and it will route you there?

Olyvyer said...

Another nice move from Google ! Good job Guys ! Would it be possible for users to send feedback (to improve trafic accuracy for example) ?

Steven said...

Oh my God!!! I can't believe it! You guys at Google are ... AMAZING! I am so getting the Droid! Bravo. Well done!

Zmulate said...

I you make a version for the iPhone, I hope Apple/AT&T will approve it. If not there will be a lot of unhappy Apple/AT&A customers!

Daniel said...

of course it doesn't work on what everyone is currently using. *SIGH*

Guilherme Santos said...

What do I do when I'm in the middle of nowhere, with no internet connection?

It could have an option to store my route's maps locally into the phone.

Maybe it does and I don't know.

martin said...

That looks fantastic. Here's hoping for an S60 or maemo version soon.

Prabhat Gupta said...

How about offline navigation in case the data network is not available?

Eliseo said...

"coming soon to Android powered devices", so there's the answer

Aslam said...

This is fantastic! Well done... this is what mobile navigation should be.

As a very happy iPhone user, I'm not likely to switch to Android just for this one app. However, can I request that you folks package this functionality up as an official iPhone app for the App Store. I could easily see you guys blowing TomTom and the other current GPS app vendors out of the water if this were available for iPhone users at a reasonable cost.

I also think it is well within Google's platform independent philosophies to make this innovation available to those not using Android. For Google it has never been about one platform winning over the other but rather about making innovations available to as many people on earth as possible. You fine men and women at Google have always had a platform independent philosophy in the past which I heartily applaud you for and encourage you to continue with this mobile navigation innovation.

I would pay good money to get this on my iPhone.

CooperL said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

CooperL said...

Does the Google Maps Navigation still work outside 3G network and WiFi area?

Darek said...

Yes! Yes! Yes!

Darek said...

this is iphone-killer app!

dryheatwriter said...

Excited to see Google moving this way - disappointed its only on Android. What about us millions of Blackberry users? Now entirely depressed to see Google Maps is still unusable as a navigation system unless you drop Blackberry for Droid.

GreatSunJester said...

Of course, I look at things from a blind/low vision accessibility perspective (EyesFreeAndroid!). Could this GPS/map combo provide walking level feedback? Set to periodically say what street you are on and what direction you are heading? Say what the upcoming intersection is and which directions are available? There are very expensive devices (and cell phone apps) which do this for use in addition to using a guide dog. Could the Google Maps Navigation be given this same capability?

alicia said...

I will pay money to have this on the iPhone. Hopefully we don't have to wait too long!

Canada Direct Nissan said...

Do I feel guilty for selling my soul to Google in exchange for most of the coolest stuff on the web people do, use, see and share? Now and in the future? For making my life so freakin easy? Na!

stew said...

No one has mentioned, it so I will... Can we expect this for Windows Mobile too?

Roberto said...

We want Android on Nokia Internet Tablets!
Android for N800 please!

Steve said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

tony said...

Another home run guys! Way to go! Now if only we had a half way descent facebook app and a camera on the front of the phone for video conferencing... not to mention voice with my standard phone number. God so many requests!

Marcelo said...

"this is iphone-killer app!" - no, it's not. apple just need to tell Tom Tom to lower its app to $20.

Bryan H. said...

GPS Accuracy
How will these features handle inaccurate GPS locations. I use the BlackBerry Pearl and it used the cell towers to get my location, sometimes within a radios of half a mile. Will Android phones have a true GPS system>?

Michael said...

It needs cell service to work, sorry Google, that right there will keep it from replacing CoPilot Live 8 on my Touch Pro 2 :) What's the point of a GPS app that relies on cell service to work anyway?

Chris Beaman said...

Good stuff, Google. Keep it coming.

Martin Strnad said...

Excelent work Google team!
I'm impressed and excited. I can't wait till it's available in Europe together with Motorola device!

Robert S said...

Good work! I second the call for the ability to download maps of areas in advance. Phones that will run this will likely have access to lots of memory, so that's not a problem, and the app could be written to check for a data signal first before using a stored map, so that the user is getting the most current data possible. I guess I'm thinking of the large swaths of the country with poor 3g coverage, and U.S. users traveling abroad where roaming data rates are outrageous (think $7/Mb, at best).

Tomaz said...

A off-line mode will be welcome too.

Gav said...

Awesome work guys!!

To those talking about an 'offline mode' that's what map cache is. It stores your route on the phone.

Wahoo!!! Droid FTW

lucromero said...

When is it going to be available in Europe? Android 2.0 are just around the corner in this side of the world

Irene Lopez de Vallejo said...

Nobody worried about how information about the routes you take, the places you stop at etc, linked to your facebook, twitter, flickr, gives malicious people opportunities for abuse, physical and virtual?
Nobody thought about how difficult is to stop those kind of relationships once you have agreed on the licence agreement?

Jonathan said...

I work for a large city that is currently working on a new state of the art system to collect and disseminate real-time parking availability.

Please contact me, as we would like to discuss integration opportunities.

Curt said...

Getting POI, Street view and traffic data over internet is fine, but the map data needs to be on the sd card locally. Depending on a cell signal for gps navigation is a poor design. Im hoping there is a off line map capability or this is close to useless.

tato said...

I also hope there is some sort of way to use this GPS without having to be connected to the internet. Data plans in Portugal are expensive. Also one might want to travel abroad and use the GPS. Data in roaming is even more expensive. Thanks!!

tudza said...

Let me tell you, Fenway is a great example, and here's why.

When I drove to Boston, I wanted to find a place just a block or two from Fenway. I kept missing it somehow, so *I actually stopped and asked for directions*. I asked a guy on the street, some guys outside the emergency room entrance of a hospital I drove by ( god I hope they weren't ambulance drivers, although they were uniform ), and a gas station attendant. None of these guys could direct me to Fenway. What the hell? I ended up buying a map from the useless gas station guy.

jennifer said...

Google never ceases to amaze! This is just like science fiction.

Poor TomTom. Poor me. I recently paid a lot of money for a TomTom. I could have better spent it on an Android.

When do we get this in Europe? Holland would be a great place to start. It is densly populated and the traffic situation is constantly changing due to road construction and congestion. I'm constantly getting lost here. Please come soon.

And I'll need an attachment to mount my Android onto my bike's stearing wheel! But they've probably already thought of that.

Rob said...

NOT coming to an iPhone near you!

Ivan said...

Bryan H, I believe all, if not most, android phones thus far have GPS built into them. Cell phone tower location is inaccurate, but it's not really a GPS signal.

ibsteve2u said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

Shay said...

"NOT coming to an iPhone near you!". Well you fail because google just submitted a copy to apple for testing.

Classicalphotog said...

This is a killer app. It would be great to have this in my Nokia E71.

I currently use a Garmin and Google maps on my E71 at the same time. Garmin for routing and Google for traffic and being able to find much more because the phone is connected to the web.

I can't wait to see the app ported to Symbian.

Great going google.

JFSV said...

THis is a great app. Like Rob Pegoraro says in his column this weeks, this is a wake up call for all those other GPS manufacturer when they drop the ball.

However, I must say that it is kind of weird for Google to start being all "For Android-only". I'm ok with not doing it for iPhone, after all, these guys denied gVoice. But don't neglect the other OSs! Blackberry, Symbian, even Windows Mobile!

AHMED... said...

Now that Google maps are available for Pakistan, will we get driving directions too? or at least will we see which road we are on without driving directions?

Rene said...

I am impressed by the spirit that flows around with Google! First Google Mail sync and now this fantastic application! Hope it hits Europe very soon. Thinking about leaving WinMo after 5 years, think Andoid shows us the way!!!

Asia said...

ok, fine, but what if you are driving in Death Valley for example... and there for sure is no internet connection available... - at least 300 miles... and what then??

Ed Seas said...

Worthless without a cell signal - who would be willing to rely on a device that needed a cell signal when they were driving on a long trip?

friisinvest said...

Hello.

This is a very nice function.

Google keep going


Mikkel
www.BilligeMobiler.nu

Tim said...

Another request for an S60 version, and (and this is more important) a version that works offline. I use Google Maps already on my Nokia, but every time I end up going back to Nokia Maps (which sucks otherwise) because my signal goes just when I need it and then I need offline maps.

Potito said...

Please an off-line feature buffering on sd card, where there is no network signal! Looking forward to this app's availability in Europe/Luxembourg. Bravo & keep up the good work!