Google has announced the availability of its free Google Maps Navigation app for Android 1.6 handsets, thus bringing its much vaunted mapping application, which was until now restricted to users of Android 2.0, within the reach of more users of its mobile operating system.
The Google Maps Navigation software is a web based software which allows the user to get turn-by-turn voice directions to their destination of choice. The software was launched in a Beta version for smartphones developed with Android 2.0 in the US on October 28.
The users of T-Mobile powered Mytouch 3G and G1 smartphones can rejoice as the application will be made available to them with a host of new features like the ability to get geographical information about a particular place including transit lines and Wikipedia articles about the place. However users will not be able to use the ‘navigate to’ voice command feature.
Michael Siliski, from Google, mentioned that the application will allow its user to create a shortcut for Navigation and will able to get directions to a place with a touch of a button. Users with smartphones running on Android 1.6 OS will able to update the Google Maps apps from Android Market.
Google has the capability not only of revolutionising the satellite navigation market but also of making the likes of Garmin and others redundant within a few years. Garmin's Nuvifone has yet to be release despite being announced in January 2008.
(The Washington Post)