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Google Builds Free Turn-by-Turn Navigation Into Android

Gordon Kelly

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I think we can believe this one...

Following the disappointing news that the Chrome OS beta was ultimately nothing more than a fanboy fake, Google has at least placated us with hugely significant news for Android: it's getting free turn-by-turn GPS navigation.

The move, which is likely to make the likes of TomTom and Garmin even more of an endangered species than they already are, sees its debut in Android 2.0. It will also debut in Google Maps for Mobile which means users of non-Android handsets may suddenly find the concept of paying £150 for the iPhone TomTom app and mount even more ridiculous than it already is.

From launch Google Maps Navigation will have support for plain English searches, voice searches, traffic views, satellite and Street Views. It also has a Car dock mode, which suddenly explains the Android Car Mode homescreen we saw previously. Of course Google isn't the first company to go down this route this Nokia Maps has been around for some considerable time and is already very popular with its customers.

Will other handset makers dare to integrate such a solution into their native Google Maps services or stick by their dedicated cash cow apps? It'll be interesting to see the fallout from this one. My tip: the first Android powered GPS devices within six months...

In related news Google has also brought its ‘Powermeter' energy monitoring software to the UK. The service is already available in the US and is designed to make us aware of the electricity we use and consequently help us lower our monthly bills.

Links:

Google Maps Navigation

Google Powermeter

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