While It’s not applicable to Australia yet, give it time, we’ll have it – Google has announced Google Maps | Navigation – Turn by Turn navigation just like your ‘tomtom’ or ‘navman’ sat nav system, except in your phone.
Or to be more precise, in your Android 2 Phone.
The Youtube introduction is below, and yes, it’s impressive. But – lets put this into perspective.
Android 2.0 is for the DROID phone – which is not even rumoured for Australia yet, though I have no doubt it will come soon. That is just ONE phone, and the majority of Smartphones are iPhones and Blackberry’s. Again, I have little doubt that once the dust settles a free downloadable app will become available for them too.
So why isn’t this the absolute best thing since sliced bread? I – Like you, hate the tought of paying to upgrade the maps on my navigation unit – so I’m happy to have them a little old, just like keeping an old Refedex (Street Directory) in the car.
Why do other Turn by turn apps for say the iPhone cost so much, while Googles could easily be free? – Because they don’t NEED your mobile internet connection – and thus, there is no required ongoing fee.
To even get started with Google Maps Navigation you must have the Internet available on the handset – of course with a Droid, and iPhone that’s common place, but the cost of data is soon spiralling out of control.
We need some urgent changes to the way data is sold on Mobile plans here in Australia before this will take off to the masses.
Exciting -Yes. Hype – Yes. Worth Trying – Yes. Worth daily monitoring your data use – Definitely.
Congrats to Google for blowing the lid on this one – Mapping upgrades are outrageously overpriced. This will serve to smash down prices on both upgrades and new units.
Once you watch below, you can also see how new navigation units in the future, if they want to compete in this space, are going to need better access to on route searching, live data, and traffic.
It’s an exciting space – I just continually worry about all the things we are having to pay to use in the future, and how dependent we become on our Mobile carriers. All telcos are going to have to do serious work on their backhaul capabilities if this is going to work on a mass scale.
Tell me what you think in the comments below…