Google Brings Free Satnav For UK Android Users

Google has finally announced the availability of its free turn-by-turn service, also known as Google Maps Navigation for mobiles, for those using Android smartphones in the United Kingdom.

The service, which could mark the slow decline of the stand alone satellite navigation industry, will be released as part of Google maps on any device (phone or others) running Android 1.6 or others.

The guy in charge of Google mobile maps, Steve Lee, attributed the delay in the launch of the UK version of the service to the fact that road layouts here are significantly different to the US with many more roundabouts.

Interestingly, the service will calculate and download an entire route and variations for the journey which means that it doesn't need to connect continuously to its data source.

ZDNet reports that people with strong accents might find it tricky to get their orders to their Satnav through. There's also the possibility of providing with the option to load regional maps which saves the cost of having to access data networks when abroad.

The announcement by Google that it was essentially giving away a satellite navigation solution capable of rivalling with entry level stand alone devices prompted Nokia to offer its own Ovi Maps service for free recently.

Our Comments

Google is expected to derive revenue from location-based advertising. Apple is also expected to launch something similar soonish, maybe as Steve Jobs promises, two days ago, that the company would be introducing a slew of new services and products. LBS is going to be big money soon despite the recession.

Related Links

Google finally brings full GPS to Android users in UK

(Afterdark)

Google turns on Android maps voice navigation for Ireland, U.K.

(Cnet)

Google brings Android turn-by-turn sat-nav to UK

(ZDNet)

Google Maps Navigation video

(The Inquirer)

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