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Google Releases Free Turn By Turn GPS For Android, iPhone Soon?

Today Google announced a free, turn-by-turn GPS navigation application called Google Maps Navigation that makes its debut within the new Google Android 2.0 platform. The GPS app is integrated with Google Maps, provides turn-by-turn navigation and is completely free.

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The GPS app comes with a ton of features such as voice search, keyword search, satellite view, and more. Check out the features list below from the Google release. Wow:

The most recent map and business data
When you use Google Maps Navigation, your phone automatically gets the most up-to-date maps and business listings from Google Maps — you never need to buy map upgrades or update your device. And this data is continuously improving, thanks to users who report maps issues and businesses who activate their listings with Google Local Business Center.

Search in plain English
Google Maps Navigation brings the speed, power and simplicity of Google search to your car. If you don’t know the address you’re looking for, don’t worry. Simply enter the name of a business, a landmark or just about anything into the search box, and Google will find it for you. Then press “Navigate”, and you’re on your way.

Search by voice
Typing on a phone can be difficult, especially in the car, so with Google Maps Navigation, you can say your destination instead. Hold down the search button to activate voice search, then tell your phone what you want to do (like “Navigate to Pike Place in Seattle”), and navigation will start automatically.

Traffic view
Google Maps Navigation gets live traffic data over the Internet. A traffic indicator light in the corner of the screen glows green, yellow or red, depending on the current traffic conditions along your route. If there’s a jam ahead of you, you’ll know. To get more details, tap the light to zoom out to an aerial view showing traffic speeds and incidents ahead. And if the traffic doesn’t look good, you can choose an alternate route.

Search along route
For those times when you’re already on the road and need to find a business, Google Maps Navigation searches along your route to give you results that won’t take you far from your path. You can search for a specific business by name or by type, or you can turn on popular layers, such as gas stations, restaurants or parking.

Satellite view
Google Maps Navigation uses the same satellite imagery as Google Maps on the desktop to help you get to your destination. Turn on the satellite layer for a high-resolution, 3D view of your upcoming route. Besides looking cool, satellite view can help you make sense of complicated maneuvers.

Street View
If you want to know what your next turn looks like, double-tap the map to zoom into Street View, which shows the turn as you’ll see it, with your route overlaid. And since locating an address can sometimes be tricky, we’ll show you a picture of your destination as you approach the end of your route, so you’ll know exactly what to look for.

Check out a video of the app in action.

Awesome, right? There is only one problem. It’s not available for iPhone! At least not yet.

According to an article at CNET, Google and Apple are working to bring Google Maps Navigation to the iPhone (please, please, please, please). How awesome is that! FREE turn-by-turn navigation INTEGRATED into the already existing amazing iPhone Google Maps app.

Both companies are working on solution which may or may not involve licensing the technology to Apple. In any case, you can check out the blurb below:

Google is working with Apple on bringing it to the iPhone, and it’s not ruling out licensing the software to makers of portable navigation devices used in cars throughout the world, said Gundotra, vice president of engineering at Google for mobile and developers. The process involving Apple is slightly different from the usual App Store submission process, because Maps is a built-in iPhone application, he said.

(please, please, please, please)

Reports on iPhone news, reviews apps and accessories. Also an armed ninja with an iPhone 4S.

  • rorypiper

    That would be awesome!

    A huge kick in the pants to anyone who paid $99.00 for the TomTom app, though!!

  • djelimon

    A massive kick in the pants to anyone who had an iPhone turn by turn gps offering as well which is at least a couple companies.

    As an iPhone user this is great!

    As a potential developer I thought the approval process for the AppStore was supposed to avoid this kind of situation.

  • bcb

    the features look fantastic! but, another problem – for those on carriers with ridiculously expensive data roaming charges (can you say, “Rogers” ?) – this will be of limited use because it relies on a data connection.

    So even if available on the iPhone, if you're traveling in the US and use this app, it might cost an arm and a leg to navigate to your destination because of Rogers' extortionary data charges when outside of Canada. There will still be some use for dedicated nav units or nav apps with built in maps because of this, for some people.

    Within Canada of course no problem (yay 6GB data plan), assuming Google comes out with Canadian support – currently the beta only works for US. and of course with an unlocked phone and local SIM card w/data, I suppose the problem can also be avoided…

    at least hopefully it will drive the prices down of things like the TomTom app and others on the iPhone, this is an obvious feature to add to Google Maps app. competition is good for all of us!

  • Shorty_dammit

    I'd still rather use Waze. The only downside is that right now we've got to build the maps ourselves. But once we've got maps done, Waze's other features make it a better choice.

  • xaroc

    Nice. I really have high hopes for this. I tried the $99 TomTom maps from the App Store (i used my own kinda free trial) and it didnt thrill me to much, but google is always a superstar in their field. Cant wait :D

  • Prailor

    Sweet app, i hope it makes it to Canada sooner then later, im guessing that it will only work with cities that have the streets views done already, so a couple majot cities, with nothing in between.
    Free would also be great, thought about getting the tomtom app, but you can buy an actual tomtom for that price.

  • howardalexander

    You're telling me. Not only a kick in the pants but given that the Tom Tom app is not that good, is not as GPS sensitive as most other GPS apps, has a ridiculous price for the TOM TOM cradle to supplement the app, has crap results for MOST searches for business, restaurants etc.. and has not had a significant update to incorporate anything useful like live traffic I'm somewhat gutted. Still I didn't buy the cradle having already felt ripped of by TOM TOM and if the google maps navigation is either free or cheap I'll be happy. I think a lot of people have been waiting for this feature of google maps – with it's current functionality it lends itself to being more powerful and sophisticated than any other mapping app out there.

  • Prailor

    Sweet app, i hope it makes it to Canada sooner then later, im guessing that it will only work with cities that have the streets views done already, so a couple majot cities, with nothing in between.
    Free would also be great, thought about getting the tomtom app, but you can buy an actual tomtom for that price.

  • howardalexander

    You're telling me. Not only a kick in the pants but given that the Tom Tom app is not that good, is not as GPS sensitive as most other GPS apps, has a ridiculous price for the TOM TOM cradle to supplement the app, has crap results for MOST searches for business, restaurants etc.. and has not had a significant update to incorporate anything useful like live traffic I'm somewhat gutted. Still I didn't buy the cradle having already felt ripped of by TOM TOM and if the google maps navigation is either free or cheap I'll be happy. I think a lot of people have been waiting for this feature of google maps – with it's current functionality it lends itself to being more powerful and sophisticated than any other mapping app out there.

  • http://cellphonetrackers.org GPS tracker

    Google should develop or encourage others to develop more apps to acquire the market shell, and GPS apps is one of the most important.

  • http://www.gpscardvd.com/ Car DVD GPS

    Google Maps Navigation supports voice search, satellite view, 3D view, traffic information, automatic rerouting, among many other features you would find on premium GPS devices.