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Older Android Phones Get Free Google Navigation

One of the coolest features that comes with the Motorola Droid is the new Google Maps Navigation application. It provides free, voice-guided navigation for the Android 2.0 platform. Google decided to spread the Maps Navigation love around a bit and recently made the app available to devices running Android 1.6.
One of the coolest features that comes with the Motorola Droid is the new Google Maps Navigation application. It provides free, voice-guided navigation for the Android 2.0 platform. Google decided to spread the Maps Navigation love around a bit and recently made the app available to devices running Android 1.6.Google Maps for Mobile has always supported driving directions. Using Mobile Maps, users can plot directions between points with ease. The problem is that Google Maps doesn't provide voice guidance -- you know, the "turn left in 500 feet" feature that many stand-alone GPS units have. That's what made the introduction of Google Maps Navigation on Android 2.0 so interesting.

Rather than pay for an expensive stand-alone unit (in addition to your smartphone) Google Maps Navigation brings voice-guidance and turn-by-turn directions to any Android 2.0 device. At first, that was just the Motorola Droid, but Google knows that its earlier adopters want in when it comes to features such as this.

Google has made Google Maps Navigation available to devices running Android 1.6 -- a.k.a "Donut". That means older devices such as the HTC G1 and myTouch 3G can access this new feature.

In addition to providing voice directions, Google Maps Navigation offers better support for various layers as well as traffic data, and satellite and Street View images.

One thing to note, not all of the features found on the Droid's version of Google Maps Navigation appear to be available just yet. One, for example, is the "navigate to" voice command that the Droid can do. The service is also still limited to use only in the U.S. Google hasn't said when Google Maps Navigation will become available in other countries.

In order to get it, users must download the application from the Android Market for free.

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Joao-Pierre S. Ruth, Senior Writer