What is the FIRST thing I did when I got my shiny new Motorola Droid and headed home to begin a grueling pace of testing and video reviews? I loaded up my favorite new feature in Android 2.0 – Google Maps Navigation – and did a quick test run to give you a basic idea of what its all about:
Emphasis on quick and basic, right? Definitely not safe so I ended the party early – we’re going to do this the right way (with 2 people) tomorrow and provide a complete review. I’m just trying to give you guys a quick glimpse until I can provide a more in-depth review. Sincere apologies for my dramatic overuse of the word “BAM!” – as you can tell I’m having some fun. Can you blame me?
Google Navigation is really going to turn an entire industry upside down. The world has been used to obtaining their GPS needs through a select few methods:
- Paying for a dedicated GPS unit
- Paying for GPS software/service on a smartphone
You can throw both of those models out the window. With Google Navigation you have a GPS turn-by-turn navigation solution that is free, full-featured and available on your smartphone. Supplying you have an Andriod 2.0+ device of course.
The one issue I see here is that some Android Phones won’t have large enough screens to make this realistic/effective. I’m assuming that some big name manufacturer’s are already working on Android GPS units that will be built for the sole purpose of Google Navigation. A nice big screen, docking station and I suppose details of a mobile internet connection will be necessary but I don’t see why some sort of tethering/bluetooth connection to your existing smartphone would be out of the question. There COULD be a separate/additional fee for GPS dedicated device service, but that somewhat diffuses the advantage of “free” and “converged” in the first place.
Stay tuned as I compose complete and thorough (and much more safe) review of Google Maps Navigation on the Motorola Droid for Verizon Wireless!
And oh yeah – almost forgot – I promised you a picture of the Motorola Droid Car Home Dock Accessory. Here is a screengrab from one of the official google videos on the topic. Place it on your dashboard to achieve a more standard GPS-like experience- looks good: