Google Maps Navigation Announced, Video Demos!

Yesterday’s rumour du jour – Google Turn-By-Turn Directions – got officialized pretty darn quickly. Google has just officially announced the service which will first be available ONLY on Android 2.0 devices and provided an awesome video demo:

As you would expect/hope and as we said it would be – Google Maps Navigation is a full blown GPS Navigation application:

This new feature comes with everything you’d expect to find in a GPS navigation system, like 3D views, turn-by-turn voice guidance and automatic rerouting. But unlike most navigation systems, Google Maps Navigation was built from the ground up to take advantage of your phone’s Internet connection.

Google reminds us of some of the awesome capabilities, many which are directly tied to the whole “Internet” thing.

(1) Updated Contact Info – since searches are done live via the web, when a business listing/address changes it doesn’t matter to you. You’re always pulling live data from the web which reduces “incorrect” addresses or closed businesses when searching by business.

(2) Search in English – type it, search it, press navigate. BOOM – done.

(3) Speak the destination and it will find it… you can even say something not definite, like “Mexican Restaurant in Philadelphia near the stadium” and Google will try to work its magic.

(4) Traffic view. Google collects real-time traffic data which – guess what? – gets used here

(5) Search along route – obvious and awesome

(6) Satellite View

(7) Street View

(8) Car Dock Mode

The folks at TechCrunch grabbed this little video demo that was performed at the Droid launch event:

I absolutely CANNOT WAIT to try this out. It looks fantastic. The Street view combo is just brilliant – hopefully they can ramp up its range of availability. Something tells me I won’t have to wait long for my first test run ;)

[Google Navigation via Official Google Blog]

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  • Jean

    Any word on pricing for accessories like the phone docking station, ect?

  • kg

    now that is fricking cool.

  • Justin2

    So the question then becomes, is the car-dock mode something only to new phones, or will I be able to get a dock for my G1? I want to upgrade, but as of right now, it be to much money to move to something new. Dear Google overlords, please do not forget us early adopters in this wonderful new world you are building! :D

  • Eric

    This is so sweet! My first thought was that maybe this will be almost as good as a stand-alone GPS device. Now that I see the thing in motion with Satellite images and Google Streetview.. this is BETTER than a normal GPS device. And as the guy says.. no need to update maps for POI’s! This looks really nice. And it seems to be running pretty smooth on the Droid too.

  • kapnkrik

    Since you cannot use both data and voice at the same time, what happens to your gps directions when your phone rings in a call?

  • Anthony0822

    HOLY CRAP! NICE! THIS FEATURE ALONE WILL BE CAUSE DROID SELLOUTS AND BACKORDERS

  • Bob

    I suspect that similar to streaming media, Nav will temporarily pause while you either take or reject the call, then resume once complete.

  • Scalpel

    So what does this mean for the current batch of Android phones? I was planning on picking up the Cliq on Monday, but I’d really like this sort of functionality on my phone.

  • S

    So does this give audible directions as well as on-screen?

  • Rob

    There’s news on Engadget that the announcement of Google Maps Nav just sent Garmin’s and Tom Tom’s stocks into a nosedive.

  • akil

    that is a good question however most times i get on the phone on my G1 i am able to still surf the web and access the market for anywhere from 2mins to 2hrs before i’m unable to access the internet but most times im off the phone b4 that happens…….30mins on the average i’d say

  • Eric

    @kapnkrik – are you sure about no data and voice at the same time or are you just assuming? It’s a good point though since the map data is streamed and not resident on the device, it could be a problem if you loose data for some reason. But I guess everything has a strength and a weakness. That doesn’t stop somebody like Garmin or TomTom from creating an Android app which stores map data on the SD card. (And I think I heard one or both are already working on it). But the satellite maps and streetview navigation are huge advantages for the Google solution.

  • http://ukstokes.com/blog Ben

    Amazing. Android just gets better and better.

  • Jesse

    The announcement makes it sound like the current batch of Android phones will not be getting 2.0.. Very confusing..

  • yhbae

    Is this downloadable now? I wanna test the beta version on my Hero-rized Magic if possible!

  • Eric

    It is possible that the current (pre-Droid) Android phones can’t handle some of the features of 2.0. There will obviously be a point where Android will progress beyond what the current hardware can handle. I think this is a good thing.. we don’t want to be buying Android 5.0 devices in two years knowing that Google has been gimping Android releases so they can work on the G1! Hardware and Software will advance and we don’t want to prevent that from happening. It’s not like 1.6 is broken or there is something inherently wrong with it. It just came out and it works great! And it’s not going to suddenly stop working when 2.0 or 3.0 comes out.

  • mikeeeee

    one more reason to get a new 2.0 android.

    sure beats the hell out of updating my garmin.

  • http://web.mac.com/barrywoods barry99705

    @mikeeeee

    Cheaper too.

  • http://web.mac.com/barrywoods barry99705

    I want one of those “I am here” shirts…..

  • Jonathan

    Beautiful.

  • kapnkrik

    @Eric I’m not 100% sure its a limitation of CDMA, but I tried a couple times to lookup something on the web while on a call (Blackberry curve 8330). The page never loaded. I never had that problem before when I was with AT&T.

    Either way, I’m looking forward to this phone.

  • Deus Invictus

    First off you people that are saying will this not work if a call comes in because it can’t do simultaneous voice and data, your probably only assuming the droid or some other CDMA phone on an EV-DO network. Any phone that comes with this on an HSPA network will have no problem since HSPA supports simultaneous voice and data. Aslo I thought I saw somewhere that the Droid supports EV-DO Rev A, which does support simultaneous voice and data, I just can’t speak for how much of VZ’s EV-DO network is Rev A.

  • Ryan

    Being tied to data is a pretty big handicap in my opinion. I travel to many places without a strong data signal and rely on the on board data provided by Copilot to find way points and such. Oh well, it will be nice to have around town even though I rarely need directions in town. Very cool, but crippled feature.

  • harry

    Google Maps need to update the maps data more frequently.
    With a 5+ years old map where i live, you would get terrible misguided from time to time. Roads i use every day does’nt even exist in Google Maps.

  • Scalpel

    it just seems odd that Google is coming out with something that is this big of a deal, while at the same time releasing phones over the next few months that will not be able to utilize this “next big thing”. Doesn’t it encourage people like me to NOT buy an Android phone until 2.0?

  • _david_94

    Too expensive for me. Way too expensive.

  • http://dailydvddeals.com Andy

    This is a great feature, I’ll be able to use the Maps a lot.

    I am definitely looking to get an Android phone when its time for me to upgrade.

  • curt

    I like the idea of POI, traffic, street view coming from internet, but I want the maps on the SD card. Depending on a cell signal for gps navigation is just a bad design.

  • dave

    So when are the MyTouch 3Gs getting this 2.0 Update? my god android is growing sooo fast. sooo many phones and new features

  • isadorah

    so what happens if you take a phone call…your map switches off…and in the middle of the phone call you were supposed to make a turn?

  • Robert

    Verizon’s antiquated CDMA network won’t be able to hand simultaneous voice and data, unlike GSM/ATT. Why have multi-tasking without this feature? I can talk on my iPhone and browse or check email at the same time.

    Also, anyone have a line on what pricing will be for data on VZW/Droid?

  • http://www.cepmuvakkit.com Mehmet

    I think this is working only united states because i could not use in Turkey although google earth can able to make navigation in Turkiye