I’ve been saying for a while that I think Android will overtake iPhone in 2010, and recent news seems to be pointing that direction. First you have the impressive-looking Verizon Droid, which comes out in early November. By all accounts it will be an awesome device. It will be the first phone running the Android 2.0 operating system. Now Google has sweetened the deal even more.
Today they announced that Android 2.0 devices (starting with the Droid) will come with Google Maps Navigation. This is similar to TomTom and other devices, but with a few big advantages. The main one, of course, is that it’s free.
Not only that, but it has some cool features:
- POI and road data loaded on the fly. Always up-to-date, no need to run “updates”.
- Search in plain English. Don’t type the address (unless you want to). Just type the name of your destination and go.
- Search by voice
- Traffic view. They’ve integrated the traffic data, which makes obvious sense.
- Search along route. I’ve always wanted a feature like this on my Garmin. Very cool
- Satellite view. I’ve always wanted this, too. It’s weird on most GPS devices when you’re in a parking lot — it’s just like you’re in a field. This will help.
- Street View. This is slick. To get a preview of what your next turn looks like, just double-tap the map and it’ll zoom you in there to take a peek.
All in all, this sounds pretty sweet. Not only does it sound like possibly the best GPS software out there, it doesn’t cost a thing. Being Android-only will certainly hurt it in the short-term, but long-term it will provide a big boost.
Will they ever bring this software to the iPhone? I’m sure they’d love to, but I doubt Apple will allow it. Time will tell. Check out the video below for a bit more info: