Google launches voice navigation app for Android phones

Google Maps Navigation free to download

Google has launched a free app for Android-based mobile phones that offers users turn-by-turn voice and visual navigation.

Google Maps Navigation, which is currently available in beta, uses a phone's GPS to locate your position and offer directions to a new location.

The app can be downloaded for free from the Android Marketplace and allows users to search for a street, business type or name and then get directions to its location from their handset.

Mobile phone owners are presented with the latest maps featuring visual navigation to the chosen destination, as well as turn-by-turn audio navigation.

Just like the Google Maps website, users can switch between 3D satellite aerial images and Street View, which offers to see street-level photographs of an area.

Furthermore, in Traffic View, an on-screen indicator is either depicted in green, yellow or red depending on the traffic congestion along your chosen route.

This view also allows users to turn on layers such as petrol stations, restaurants, or parking to see where the nearest facility is.

Google Maps Navigation also offers the ability to speak the name of a destination rather than typing it into the handset.

When used with some devices, the app also offers a Car Dock mode that ensures the device can easily be used at arms length when docked in a cradle in a vehicle.

Google also says that because the app uses a handset's internet connection to obtain the latest maps, users will never need to manually update or purchase new maps.

Google Maps Navigation can be downloaded from the Android Marketplace now for free.

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Carrie-Ann Skinner

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