Google Maps turn-by-turn navigation coming to the UK & Ireland

by Ben Smith on 21st April 2010

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Google have announced that the turn-by-turn navigation available in the US is coming to the UK and Ireland. Engadget caught the story this morning and it was confirmed during a press event held at Google’s London headquarters.

The feature set will be the same as that available in the US and will be available to all Android devices running version 1.6 or higher. The popular HTC Hero which still runs version 1.5 will receive an update in June to allow it to use the new service too.

Key features include:

  • Business search
  • Traffic alerts and auto re-routing around problem areas
  • Satellite and ‘Streetview’ views whilst navigating
  • Layers with ‘points of interest’
  • Voice activation
  • Low data use:  typically 200KB for a 20km route. Data is pre-cached and navigation continues if internet access is lost.

The delay to availability of the service was due to the additional testing required Google admitted – the US are less keen on roundabouts… who knew they’d be such a problem?

Voice search was particularly impressive when demonstrated, coping well with a variety of inputs.  It can – we were told – cope with most to be found around the UK and Ireland.

Google are considering other platforms, but this feature is Android-only for now.  When pushed for comment on Nokia’s recent Ovi Maps announcement they would only comment that Google Maps navigation was intended to be a simple navigation solution. They are focusing on adding more innovative features (such as voice search) to stimulate  a ‘stagnant business’.

Jemima Kiss has more at the Guardian.
Image credit
: Dabr creator David Carrington who has been testing the service.

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  • http://davidcarrington.co.uk David Carrington

    I’ve not driven with this yet but my first impression is that it’s currently a bit too simplistic, as if it was designed by Apple. The route selection shown in my photo above is *nice*, but doesn’t have the full functionality of other satnav apps that can be told to avoid or use a particular road (e.g. a toll road or known problem area).

    I’ll test it out while I’m driven home this evening – another benefit of lift sharing :)

  • http://davidcarrington.co.uk David Carrington

    I've not driven with this yet but my first impression is that it's currently a bit too simplistic, as if it was designed by Apple. The route selection shown in my photo above is *nice*, but doesn't have the full functionality of other satnav apps that can be told to avoid or use a particular road (e.g. a toll road or known problem area).I'll test it out while I'm driven home this evening – another benefit of lift sharing :)

  • http://davidcarrington.co.uk David Carrington

    I've not driven with this yet but my first impression is that it's currently a bit too simplistic, as if it was designed by Apple. The route selection shown in my photo above is *nice*, but doesn't have the full functionality of other satnav apps that can be told to avoid or use a particular road (e.g. a toll road or known problem area).I'll test it out while I'm driven home this evening – another benefit of lift sharing :)

  • http://davidcarrington.co.uk David Carrington

    I've not driven with this yet but my first impression is that it's currently a bit too simplistic, as if it was designed by Apple. The route selection shown in my photo above is *nice*, but doesn't have the full functionality of other satnav apps that can be told to avoid or use a particular road (e.g. a toll road or known problem area).

    I'll test it out while I'm driven home this evening – another benefit of lift sharing :)

  • http://davidcarrington.co.uk David Carrington

    I've not driven with this yet but my first impression is that it's currently a bit too simplistic, as if it was designed by Apple. The route selection shown in my photo above is *nice*, but doesn't have the full functionality of other satnav apps that can be told to avoid or use a particular road (e.g. a toll road or known problem area).

    I'll test it out while I'm driven home this evening – another benefit of lift sharing :)

  • Anonymous

    OK, so 200KB for 20km. Right, someone needs to get out, and test this on a route from Dover to Inverness, via Harrods, Aberystwyth pier, The Deep in Kingston upon Hull and Edinburgh castle. Leave Dover at 06:45. Then post how much data it used and compare it to a Nokia with the latest, free, Ovi maps, and the “traffic and safety” turned on, in the same car on the same route. I would do it, but then it would take me 3100km and 35 hours to just reach Dover…

  • garethjames

    OK, so 200KB for 20km. Right, someone needs to get out, and test this on a route from Dover to Inverness, via Harrods, Aberystwyth pier, The Deep in Kingston upon Hull and Edinburgh castle. Leave Dover at 06:45. Then post how much data it used and compare it to a Nokia with the latest, free, Ovi maps, and the “traffic and safety” turned on, in the same car on the same route. I would do it, but then it would take me 3100km and 35 hours to just reach Dover…

  • garethjames

    OK, so 200KB for 20km. Right, someone needs to get out, and test this on a route from Dover to Inverness, via Harrods, Aberystwyth pier, The Deep in Kingston upon Hull and Edinburgh castle. Leave Dover at 06:45. Then post how much data it used and compare it to a Nokia with the latest, free, Ovi maps, and the “traffic and safety” turned on, in the same car on the same route. I would do it, but then it would take me 3100km and 35 hours to just reach Dover…

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