Wednesday, June 9, 2010 | 4:00 AM
There’s nothing quite like driving through Europe in the summer. In the past week, I’ve seen the beautiful Val d’Aosta, the Swiss Alps, the Cathedral in Chartres, and travelled through the Channel Tunnel as I road-tripped from Milan to Geneva, Zürich to Stuttgart, and on through Paris to London. Why the burst of mileage? Well, I’ve been testing Google Maps Navigation version 4.2. Yes, road-testing it around Europe was a grueling process, but somebody had to do it :)
Today we’re launching Google Maps Navigation version 4.2 in Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, and Switzerland for Android devices 1.6 and higher. Google Maps Navigation is an Internet-connected GPS navigation or ‘satnav’ system that provides turn-by-turn voice guidance as a free feature of Google Maps.
On my test trip, I found a number of Navigation features useful:
- While driving through the Loire Valley, I put my French language skills to the test by finding my destination with Search by voice (now launched in French, German, Italian, and Spanish for Android 2.0 and higher);
- I previewed a typical British roundabout with Street View to see exactly where I’d need to exit before getting there in person;
- I satisfied my craving for moules frites by searching for it along my route;
- I kept the gas stations layer on to ensure I’d always know where the nearest petrol station was, just in case;
- And, of course, the turn-by-turn voice guidance kept me on-track to my destination -- despite my sometimes spotty connection in mountain tunnels -- thanks to the way Maps Navigation saves the route on your device when you start.
Try Google Maps Navigation in your local country and language today -- and have a great time touring around the Continent this summer if you get the chance!