Google Maps Navigation has recently launched in Australia and New Zealand.
Google Maps Navigation is a feature of Google Maps for Mobile that provides voice-guided turn by turn directions in real time.
That means that instead of printing out directions in advance, or having a co-pilot read aloud from a list of directions, users can use their Android smartphone to guide them to their destination directly.
Google Maps Navigation builds on that by combining the best of Google Maps for mobile, Google Search, and a host of unique capabilities only available on smartphones, like GPS, compass, text-to-speech technology, a permanent Internet connection, and the ability to search by voice. It allows users to:
• Search instead of type: Maps Navigation is integrated with Google Search, as well as Google Voice Search. That means users do not need to know the destination’s exact address, or even its name.
• Access satellite view of the route: Users do not have to download imagery or data or store it on the phone. It’s always connected to the Internet, which means users can access satellite views of their route or preview their destination in Street View.
• Explore along the way: Once on route, users can search for anything along their route: petrol stations, restaurants, museums, hotels, parks. Because Google Maps Navigation is integrated with Google Search, users can search their surroundings just as easily as they search the Internet.
• Steer clear of traffic: Maps Navigation displays live traffic conditions on top of the route: red means heavy, yellow means slow, and green means clear sailing. If traffic is looking bad, users can find an alternate route. Road traffic is available in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Wollongong and Newcastle.
• Seamlessly in sync: Users have to simply sign in to Google Maps on their desktop, click the star next to any result on maps.google.com.au and that place will automatically be starred on their phone, making it easy to remember (and navigate to!).
Google Maps Navigation is available for smartphones running Android 1.6 and later in both Australia and New Zealand.