Older Android Phones Get Google Maps Navigation

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Google Maps Navigation isn't just for Android 2.0 devices any longer. It will now work with older Android phones as well.

Google has provided Maps Navigation, albeit without the voice recognition feature, to users of all Android devices, including the original G1.

The turn-by-turn navigation app is virtually the same as the version available for phones such as Motorola's Droid, which uses the Android 2.0 operating system. Google Maps Navigation for earlier versions of Android provides the same topographical layers, voice guidance and automatic rerouting.

While the "navigate to" voice command feature is not offered, there are new features, including "Layers," which allows users to include articles and other content such as map overlays, "View My Maps," transit lines, and "about places."

The Maps Navigation software is available as a beta version through the Google market at no charge. Users of Android 1.6 (which includes phones like the T-Mobile myTouch 3G) can use the app in the United States. Those outside of the U.S. must wait until Google decides to extend its testing.

Observers anticipate that the Maps Navigation app will soon be released for other platforms, particularly the Blackberry OS and even Apple's iPhone OS. How long it might take to have the app approved by Apple's App Store is another question.

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