Google revolutionalises GPS Navigation with Google Maps Navigation for Android 2.0

It’s raining Android today, the rumored Google Map Navigation application became official today with the launch of Verizon Droid and it is seriously an absolutely killer app.

But there is a hitch, it is only available for Android 2.0 phones. Hence, Verizon Droid became the first phone to get hold of it.

What makes it different from other Navigation devices or applications. The application is completely free and has got internet connectivity.

Google said its new Google Maps Navigation product will provide real-time, turn-by-turn directions directly within cell phones that are based on the new version of its Android software.

The navigation product, which features speech recognition and a visual display that incorporates Google’s online archive of street photographs, marks the latest step by Google to challenge Apple iPhone and Microsoft Corp’s Windows Mobile software with its Android smartphone software.

It also represents a direct competitive threat to companies like Garmin and TomTom which sell specialized hardware navigation devices. TomTom also makes a software navigation app for the iPhone that sells for $99.99 in the U.S.

The new navigation service will work with Google’s forthcoming Android 2.0 software, the next version of the smartphone operating system developed by Google. The company announced development tools for Android 2.0 on Tuesday, but a spokeswoman said specific details about when Android 2.0 will be available should be directed to phone-makers and wireless carriers.

The new navigation product taps into various existing Google products and technology, including Google’s flagship Internet search capability to find the addresses for a particular destination, as well as Google satellite images and Google Street View, for more realistic views of a route.

The product also uses voice-recognition technology, making it well-suited for use while driving, Google said. And the navigation software can display live traffic data that Google collects from various sources, including data it collects on the speed and distance that users of Google mobile maps are traveling.

via Techcrunch / Reuters

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