Home PageFacebookRSS News Feed
SurfShark VPN for Streaming TV
Google unveils free turn-by-turn navigation for Android

Article by: Darren Griffin
Date: 28 Oct 2009

pocketgpsworld.comStory courtesy Engadget.

With recent news of Google dropping TeleAtlas in favour of their own map data in the US, now Google have unveiled 'Maps Navigation', a beta turn-by-turn navigation solution which will be available on all Android v2.0 devices.

The application, using Google map data (including the aerial view maps) offers all the traditional navigation application features, voice guidance and address search.

A free app that offers all the basic functionality will send a shiver down the spines of navigation product manufacturers everywhere.

Google also demonstrated a new user interface triggered when an Android device is hooked up to a car dock. The UI includes larger icons and voice control but it appears this feature will only be available on later designs that include the necessary hardware to trigger this.

More screen-shots and a video over at Engadget.

Posted by proctog on Wed Oct 28, 2009 9:18 pm Reply with quote

Looks very nice, but I assume it'll rely on a constnat data connection to display the maps. If they're going to be showing a StreetView-based representation as well, it'll need to be a fairly high bandwidth connection at that.


Posted by lbendlin on Wed Oct 28, 2009 11:26 pm Reply with quote

They will do some caching to account for the off-grid situation.

Interesting to see how this compares to XGPS on the iPhone...


Report Map Errors here:
TomTom/TeleAtlas NAVTEQ

Posted by Kar98 on Thu Oct 29, 2009 2:59 am Reply with quote

Yeah awesome! Google Maps doesn't even find my freaking STREET anymore. Used to be on there, now it's gone. It was bad enough when my house number didn't show up in any sat nav program or on Google. But now the entire street is gone! I guess that explains why Fedex was unable to find us the last couple of months.
Well, we were going to move anyway.

Posted by jonandmarkuk on Thu Oct 29, 2009 7:59 am Reply with quote

I can see mobile phone companies loving this, as even the ones which claim to give 'unlimited' data when you look at the small print they usually cap as 1gb or in the case of Orange a awfully low 500mb.
You are already likely to be making heavy use of the always on features in the Android phone, so before you know it could go over the cap.

I love the idea, however having the maps constantly download could end up being very costly. Confused

Navigon 8450 LIVE

Posted by SpeedCam on Thu Oct 29, 2009 10:27 am Reply with quote

This looks like a great move and hopefully us customers will benefit. Either Google will deliver a great free sat nav app or it will give companies like Garmin & TomTom a good kick up the backside. Maybe well start to see really nicely engineered devices that include all the live services as standard. We'll have to wait and see.


Model : HTC HD2, HTC Magic, iPhone 3g, GO 740, XL GO Live

Posted by MaFt on Thu Oct 29, 2009 11:59 am Reply with quote

looks like garmin and tomtom shares were affected pretty quickly...: http://www.talkandroid.com/1851-gps-shares-plunge-google-maps-navigation-software/

Posted by proctog on Thu Oct 29, 2009 12:32 pm Reply with quote

MaFt Wrote:
looks like garmin and tomtom shares were affected pretty quickly...: http://www.talkandroid.com/1851-gps-shares-plunge-google-maps-navigation-software/

I'm sure Google's announcement didn't help, but both companies announced worse-than expected quarterly results on the same day which I'd suggest is the main reason for the stock price tumble.


Posted by gatorguy6996 on Thu Oct 29, 2009 2:10 pm Reply with quote

I don't think Garmin announced their 3rd quarter results yet, but expect them next week.

FWIW, I personally think this impacts TomTom much worse than Garmin. TomTom's stated intentions earlier this year were to replace sagging PND income with well-designed mobile applications across various OS platforms. Sales of the TT iPhone app are already well under projections, with fewer than 100,000 copies sold to date in my estimation, slightly under 80,000 thru TomTom's 3rd quarter according to them. Knock off 30% of the gross revenue for Apple's cut and it's readily apparent the income doesn't make up for too many pnd's. They've given up (for now) on development for the Androids, as they probably should. Blackberry's may also be out of the question as well, as I expect them to offer their own app including live traffic within the next few months. Apple's between a rock and a hard place with deciding what to do with Google's turn-by-turn, but in the end I do expect them to relent and allow it in the iTunes store. In essence, three of the top five projected handset platforms will be impacted or out of TomTom's market, roughly 40% going by 2012 projections. They'd better be targeting Symbian. I bet Navigon is. Top that off with price reductions on the premium-priced mobile nav apps from TomTom and Navigon that are nearly guaranteed to be necessary if they are to remain players. There's already several worthy nav applications that are free or nearly so, and Google is now preparing to change the rest of the rules.

And here is where I see TomTom pummeled much harder than Garmin. Only $160 million of TomTom's 3rd quarter revenue came from non-pnd related sales. They have only one viable market right now where growth could have been realistically expected. . . mobile, altho they have made a few inroads into the dash-mounted/OEM market, but even that could be impacted by Google and/or new data delivery methods within a couple of years. I don't see any direction TomTom can turn to replace lost revenue if Google stays on course. In addition note that TomTom's debts are still quite high. Banks will want their money no matter where the market turns.

On the Garmin side I estimate approx. $300 million this quarter will come from non-pnd sales with Garmin's significant markets in aviation, marine, fitness and handhelds, plus their own partnerships in automotive OEM. Yes, even Garmin will need to replace the roughly 50% of their revenue coming from pnd's before much longer, but they did keep to their plan of developing related markets with limited competition rather than flip-flopping or changing direction in mid-stream. Instead of hanging their hat on the mobile tree, they took a much more conservative approach, catching flak from some analysts by not aggressively jumping in to a now very crowded and fluid market. Even with their nuviphone development (with an Android version expected soon), they took the safer path of partnering with Asus, spreading the risk. I'd agree whole-heartedly they were way too slow to roll out their phone line and may have missed out on an opportunity, but their overall slow and cautious entry into the mobile marketplace now doesn't look so dumb, at least to me.

Ready for the biggest advantage? Garmin has no debt. If fact they have a little more than $1.5 Billion in cash/securities they can put their hands on. That's leaves doors open for acquisitions in complementary technology companies, or investment in promising markets. At worst, a fair return for investors should they become a takeover target. TomTom doesn't have that luxury, and after Google's recent announcements, investors and loans are going to be near impossible to get IMHO. That puts TomTom in a very precarious position from where I stand, Garmin to a much lesser extent.

Garmin 1695 / 255 / 760 w/MSN - Droid w/Google nav + Navigon - Navigon 8100T - Dakota10 - GPSMap76C - GeoMate Jr.

Posted by proctog on Thu Oct 29, 2009 2:41 pm Reply with quote

Very interesting post gatorguy.

The other advantage Garmin has over TomTom is that they also have their outdoor hiking/fishing/flying GPS business where they're the dominant player in the market with not much competition, certainly nowhere near as much as the PND market, to which they're a comparatively recent entrant (if you discount the old StreetPilots etc).


Posted by lbendlin on Thu Oct 29, 2009 2:56 pm Reply with quote

It's rather ironic now - TomTom have abandoned the Symbian and WinMo market just to be forced back into it... Symbian will be the toughest what with Nokia owning Navteq...


Report Map Errors here:
TomTom/TeleAtlas NAVTEQ

Posted by darrengsaw on Sat Oct 31, 2009 5:12 pm Reply with quote

This will certainly set a challenge for the major standalone PND manufacturers.

I would think this will have a big impact on entry level devices. The casual user that would buy a low level TT or Garmin would certainly be attracted by a free fully specced Google product.

Click here to view more comments...
Reply to topic

CamerAlert Apps

iOS QR Code

Android QR Code

Terms & Privacy

GPS Shopping