Google unveiled a free navigation system for mobile phones Wednesday. The company announced the next step for Google Maps for mobile, Google Maps Navigation (Beta) for Android 2.0 devices.
This new feature comes with everything users would 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 a phone's Internet connection.
Since Google Maps Navigation is connected to the Internet, users' phones automatically get the most up-to-date maps and business listings from Google Maps. Google Maps Navigation also brings the speed, power and simplicity of Google search to a car. If a user does't know the address he is looking for, he can simply enter the name of a business, a landmark or just about anything into the search box, and Google will find it for him.
Google Maps Navigation alo allows users to say their destination instead of typing, gets live traffic data over the Internet, search along the selected route for a specific business by name or by type, or turn on popular layers, such as gas stations, restaurants or parking.
Google Maps Navigation uses the same satellite imagery as Google Maps on the desktop. The satellite layer offers a high-resolution, 3D view of the upcoming route.
Duble-taping the map zooms into Street View, which shows users to see the next turn, with their route overlaid. And since locating an address can sometimes be tricky, the system shows users a picture of their destination as they approach the end of your route.
The first phone to have Google Maps Navigation and Android 2.0 is the Droid from Verizon. Google Maps Navigation is initially available in the United States for free.