On Wednesday, Google released a free GPS navigation system for smart phones. By releasing the free navigation system, Google intends to offer a free alternative to traditional, stand-alone navigation units such as those offered by Garmin.
Google’s navigation system offers many of the features from traditional navigational systems such as 3D map views and turn-by-turn voice guidance. The Internet-connected system “allows navigation using voice search in English, provides live traffic updates, includes satellite imagery from Google Maps and features ‘street view’ – real ground-level pictures of destinations.” You can also search along your route for things like gas stations, restaurants, and hotels.
This free navigation system is currently only available for cell phones running on Google’s Android operating systems such as T-Mobile’s “Google Phone,” the HTC “Hero,” and Motorola’s soon to be released “Droid.” Making the navigation system free for Android devices only is obviously a strategic move in order to gain ground on Android technology’s main competitors: Blackberry and the iPhone. If you don’t see yourself parting with your Blackberry or your iPhone any time soon, you’ll have to stick with your Garmin.