Android 2.0 just got its first killer app: Google Maps Navigation. Google Maps Navigation for Android 2.0 will be available for free and will be part of the default Google Maps app on Android 2.0 phones. The service offers all the features that users expect from a modern GPS app, including traffic data, 3D view and turn-by-turn voice guidance. Because it’s connected to the Google cloud, the app can also display street view images, satellite imagery and real-time traffic data. Google also implemented a voice recognition feature.
Disrupting the Mapping Industry One App at a Time
Two weeks ago, Google severed some of its ties with Tele Atlas in the US and started to display its own mapping data instead. Today’s launch of the Maps Navigation app explains why Google decided to do this. Google can now display these maps without having to pay royalties to a third party and without having to negotiate a new contract with Tele Atlas.
Top Features According to Google:
- The most recent map and business data
- Search in plain English
- Search by voice
- Traffic view
- Search along route
- Satellite view
- Street View
By making this a free product, Google is disrupting the mapping and GPS navigation market. Mapping companies like Tele Atlas or NAVTEQ make their money by licensing their data to GPS developers like TomTom or Navigon. Google, on the other hand, can give this product away for free.
For now, the app will only be available on the Droid, but in a press conference earlier this morning, Google also said that these navigation capabilities would eventually come to other phones, including the iPhone.