Wyszdom

November 23, 2009

You may already own a free GPS navigation system

Filed under: Geek — By @ 10:22 pm
Do you have an Android phone? Then stop what you’re doing, install the new Google Maps application which features navigation, and head to your car.
I’m writing this quickly, so you can read more about the awesome features like the ability to search along your route on the official blog post, but here are my favorite attributes of the product:
- Since it’s on your phone, it’s always with you.
- Map data is always up-to-date, and updates are free
- You can search using your voice
That last bit is pretty important, and I hope you try it out. As you may have already seen, our voice search quality [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SuzjyVjQBXA] is getting amazingly good. In the car especially, you often don’t want to spend a lot of time typing. Before I started using Google Maps with Navigation, I would often first look up a business using [http://www.google.com/goog411/]GOOG-411, have it text me the address, and then enter that into my [http://wysz.com/wyszdom/2008/07/easily-amused/]Garmin GPS. Now, I can skip a few steps and say the destination directly to my phone, with no typing necessary. And remember that you don’t just have to search for a business name. If you’re entering a street address, just go ahead and say it. I’ve found that if you speak [number] + [street] + [city] + [state], it can work pretty well in many cases.
Keep your eyes on the road, and have fun!

Do you have an Android phone? Then stop what you’re doing, install the new Google Maps application which features Navigation (available in the Android Market), and head to your car.

You can read more about it on the official blog post, but here are my favorite attributes of the product, which runs just fine on my G1.

  • Since it’s on your phone, it’s always with you.
  • Map data is always up-to-date, and updates are free.
  • You can search using your voice.

That last bit is pretty important, and I hope you try it out. As you may have already seen, our voice search quality  is getting amazingly good. In the car especially, you often don’t want to spend a lot of time typing. Before I started using Google Maps Navigation, I would often first look up a business using GOOG-411, have it text me the address, and then enter that into my Garmin GPS. Now, I can skip a few steps and say the destination directly to my phone, with no typing necessary. And remember that you don’t just have to search for a business name. If you’re entering a street address, just go ahead and say it. I’ve found that if you speak [number] + [street] + [city] + [state], it can work pretty well in many cases.

I haven’t dumped my standalone GPS yet since I still travel to places like Colorado where I drive in areas without a data connection, but for my day-to-day navigation, Google Maps Navigation has proven to be extremely useful.

Keep your eyes on the road, and have fun!

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