google_maps_nav_007Google announced the next evolution of their Google Maps for mobile today and it’s a game-changer.  It’s called Google Maps Navigation it’s an internet-connected GPS navigation system with voice guidance.  And it comes standard with Android 2.0.  Sounds fancy huh?  It is.  The key is in the internet connection.  Oh and being free never hurts.

The Official Google Blog has posted seven key reasons as to why their Maps Navigation is better than other GPS alternatives.  We’ve taken the liberty of pulling out and paraphrasing the stuff you’ll enjoy the most.

  1. Most Recent Map and Business Data – Your phone automatically gets the most up-to-date maps and business listings from the cloud known as Google Maps.  You can forget spending money on map upgrades or device updates.
  2. Search in Plain English – Don’t know the address you’re looking for, it’s alright.  Just type in the name of a business, landmark or whatever and Google gets it for you. After that, you press “Navigate” and you’re set!
  3. Search by Voice – What’s better than typing in a destination?  Speaking, silly.  Hold down the search button within the app, tell your phone what you want to do (Navigate to Pike Place in Seattle), and the rest is done for you.
  4. Traffic ViewThe app is fed live traffic data using the device’s internet connection.  The corner of your screen shows an indicator light that changes based on the current traffic conditions along your route.
  5. Search Along Route – Search for a specific businesses by name or by type  when you’re already mid-trip. Even cooler is the ability to add layers on top for  gas stations, restaurants or parking.
  6. Satellite View – The same satellite technology that makes Google Maps so cool on your desktop is found in Google Maps Navigation.  The satellite layer offers a high-res, 3D view of your route.
  7. Street View – Already one of the coolest features in Google Maps and on your mobile device, you can see your next turn overlaid on top of the map. You can also use the app to get a picture of your destination before you get to the end of the route. This way, you know what color that house is you’re supposed to be delivering flowers to.

Here’s a decent length video that shows off just how cool Google Maps Navigation can be. Now if we can only get some phones with Android 2.0 on them… WAIT!

For those of you who are into the whole pictures scene, here’s a few!

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