Google has recently launched their turn-by-turn voice navigation system for Android phones in India that will allow users speak or type the destination to get detailed A-GPS service for free from the “Navigation” app. Besides the assisted GPS service, the search engine giant has also started offering real time traffic updates. However, it’s not clear how many cities in India will support the traffic service offered by Google.
Now, the voice navigation facility has been available in the USA and other developed countries for quite some time, but to India so far, Google had provided only passive route guidance. Nokia, one of the biggest competitors of Android, provides A-GPS service without charging users and their software is quite impeccable. So Google too, it seems, finally realized that they must offer voice GPS support to India, if not for nothing but to eat the market share of Nokia.
The introduction of free navigation may affect MapmyIndia and TomTom’s business as these companies charge premium rates for turn-by-turn voice navigation service. However, Nokia, MapmyIndia and TomTom still have an edge over Google Maps as they offer offline route guidance.
If you have an Android phone, activate GPS and click on the Navigation app. It will show different options to choose a destination. Click on any option and the app will ask your permission for an additional software installation for voice guidance. Click OK and install the software from Play Store and your phone will be ready to give turn-by-turn voice routing. You can get both “walk” and “drive” directions for any chosen destination.
This is certainly an intelligent and timely move by the search engine giant. Apple recently announced that they are building their own Map software and will not use Google Maps anymore. They will probably launch the routing service with iPhone 5, but India is a vast country and unlike USA or Europe, traffic routes are not organized here. Therefore, Apple may not be able to match the accuracy of its rival.