Google Maps Navigation review
We try out Google Maps Navigation to see if the free voice-guided sat-nav from Google has what it takes to replace our incumbent GPS devices.
Google Maps has been the failsafe guidance software for practically everybody since smartphones became a mainstream phenomenon.
It's both fast, simple and effective at getting you from A to B and is an absolute godsend when you're lost on the way to a meeting in an unfamiliar city. However, Google a company that's never afraid of pushing the boundaries has just raised its game with the release of Google Maps Navigation onto the Android Market. It offers free voice-guided satellite navigation to anyone lucky enough to have an Android handset with version 1.6 or above of the operating system.
Over the last 12 months Android has been an unstoppable force in the global handset market and, fortunately for Google, this means that practically everybody is fully accustomed to Google Maps as it comes as standard on all Android devices.
If you're lucky enough to have a handset powered by Android 1.6 or above, the jump to Google Maps Navigation isn't a big deal. In fact, it's simple. And this is what makes Google Maps Navigation so brilliant that, and the fact that it is 100 per cent free, of course.
One of the main assets of Google Maps Navigation is that you can view the map in three modes: Normal, Satellite and Street View. Granted, you may prefer to use one, say, Normal mode, because it's quicker and doesn't require as much loading time, but it is always nice to have the choice and in Google Maps Navigation, you're pretty much spoilt.
When software like Google Maps Navigation is given away for free it causes a bit of a stir in the technology world mainly because Google is offering a service that many other companies demand in excess of a 100 a year for. So what you're getting with this little package is actually quite incredible, even if it does potentially knock some of the other navigation players out of the game.