Google Maps navigation for Android devices has been one of the biggest headaches for Garmin, TomTom and various other GPS companies who watched as their stocks tumbled upon the initial release of the software in the United States on October 2009, now Google has announced a more widespread launch of the program.
Under current capabilities voice-based turn-by-turn voice directions are now also available in the U.K and Ireland, most of mainland Europe and all of Canada.
The exact countries now supported according to Mobiflip.de are: Canada, France, Italy, Germany, Spain, Netherlands, Denmark, Austria, Switzerland and Belgium.
The best part? Google Maps is still 100% free for Android users and the program supports voice commands and voice search, along with traffic warnings, millions of POIs (Points Of Interest), step-by-step directions and street view capabilities.
Not convinced? Here’s a video of the program in action:
The feature should extend the reach of social networks who have begun to place more of an emphasis on location based services, giving Android users not only the ability to find their geo-tagged friends, but also to be led directly to those individuals once they have been found. The launch also coincides nicely with the launch of embeddable Google Maps which now supports map link embedding via Gmail and Google Buzz.
It may be a slow process, but Google is delivering us all the tools we need to have a fully functional “on the go” location based social network and their doing it with baby steps to ensure their programs are operating as planned…good for you Google.
Have you used Google Maps with voice based turn-by-turn directions, what do you think about the service? My review: LOVE IT!