Google To Release Its Free Navigation App For iPhone

Google has may have confirmed plans to deliver its free turn-by-turn navigation app to other smartphones, such as the iPhone.

The navigation app is currently available for free to Android phones as an update to Google Maps, but the iPhone may soon get the application as well. Unfortunately, Google did not indicate when it will make the app available for iPhone users.

A really neat feature of the Google navigation app is the way it gathers map data. Instead of storing the maps on the device, the maps are instead downloaded on demand. What this means is that users will require an active data connection but only for the initial route planning process. Afterward, during travel, data is not required.

”Google Maps pre-caches the entire route,” said Mobile Maps product manager, Steve Lee. “It needs a data connection when you ask for navigation. But while driving to your destination, if you intermittently lose the connection, it will still carry on. As long as you stay on the route.”

During map use, users can choose from several map viewing options, however the app still includes the standard maps and directions Google normally provides such as satellite view and Street View.

With all the drama surrounding Google and Apple recently, I’m glad to see that Google is still actively supporting the iPhone platform.

Update: Looks like this ain’t happening after all.

[MacUser]

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