Chad Catacchio is a contributor writing on a variety of topics in tech. He has held management positions at a number of tech companies in th Chad Catacchio is a contributor writing on a variety of topics in tech. He has held management positions at a number of tech companies in the US and China. Check out his personal blog to connect with him or follow him on Twitter (if you dare).
Australia and New Zealand just joined the list of countries that have Google Maps Navigation on Android.
Google is rolling out turn-by-turn navigation for both driving and walking on Android headsets running Android 1.6 or later.
If you’re in Australia or New Zealand and haven’t used Google Maps Navigation before, here are some of the things that you can do according to the Google Australia Blog:
- Search instead of type. Maps Navigation is integrated with Google Search, as well as Google Voice Search. That means you don’t need to know your destination’s exact address, or even its name. You can search instead: try saying “art gallery sydney” instead of “Museum of Contemporary Art”
- See where you’re going. You don’t have to download imagery or data or store it on your phone. It’s always connected to the Internet, which means you can access satellite views of your route or preview your destination in Street View.
- Explore along the way. Once you’re on your route, you can search for anything along your route: petrol stations, restaurants, museums, hotels, parks, anything you can think of. Some common searches, like petrol stations, are built in as layers you can turn on and off. Because Google Maps Navigation is integrated with Google Search, you can search your surroundings just as easily as you search the Internet.
- Steer clear of traffic. Maps Navigation displays live traffic conditions on top of your route: red means heavy, yellow means slow, and green means clear sailing. If traffic is looking bad, you can find an alternate route. Road traffic is available in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Wollongong and Newcastle.
- Seamlessly in sync. Simply sign in to Google Maps on your desktop, click the star next to any result on maps.google.com.au and that place will automatically be starred on your phone, making it easy to remember (and navigate to!).
Navigation part of Google Maps, so all you have to do is download or update Google Maps through the Android Market to get the update.
Get the TNW newsletter
Get the most important tech news in your inbox each week.