Google Maps Navigation could render traditional sat-navs worthless

29 October 2009

Google could have just blown a huge hole in the sat-nav industry with the launch of Google Maps Navigation for Android-powered mobile phones.

Maps Navigation matches other sat-navs stroke for stroke and, because it downloads maps as it goes, it won’t take up valuable memory space in your phone. Probably won’t work anywhere where there’s little or no 3G coverage though. Which is almost everywhere. Ah….

The beta of Maps Navigation has been launched in the States but Google aren’t saying when it’ll be launched in the UK. Don’t think we’ll be investing in any more of those old-school sat-navs from now on though. The BBC are reporting that Garmin's share price fell 18% today while TomTom dropped 13%. Eeek!

Here's a smug Google tit with a demonstration of the new app...

TOPICS:   Travel   Technology


  • Tom
    Can't wait for an ad to pop up on screen when I pass a certain place rending my view of the gps impossible so I take the wrong turn. Knowing google they will track where we are all going and what we are doing so they can sell out souls for us.
  • Gunn
    wont the screen be too small for use in a car.
  • Russ
    Id take my old school sat nav over this any day purely because they arent dependent on being connected to the internet whereas this clearly is. Whilst it may look pretty, I dont use a sat nav for that - I use it when I go somewhere unfamilliar, where I NEED to know how get to my destination or back home. Can just imagine being stuck in a place where there's no 3G signal and not having a clue. You'd always need a old school sat nav as back up because relying on mobile internet as a certainty is probably 5-10 years away IMHO.
  • rich
    i have sat nav on my iphone with copilot and its pretty similar to this google version
  • Lumoruk
    He looks stoned
  • james d.
    trouble is this appears to need a constant connection, applications like telmap seem better suited to this application as they just download the data they need all at once.
  • SimbaK2K
    @Russ/James - On another google post they explain that the maps are downloaded as you go, so if you were to temporarily loose connection the maps on your journey should already be downloaded to your phone. Its simple amazing what google are doing. They are pushing the boundaries of everything with the latest being voice and gps. Is there nothing these guys can do?
  • Mike
    yes it all looks fantastic but the reality im sure will be far from the view touted here by a google product manager. Reliance on the cloud gives a single point of failure. True, google are pioneers and this is the way the world is heading but we are only ever several days away from total collapse of the system. The banking crisis where we came 3 hours from ATM's with no cash shows how tenuous the modern globalized world can be. Would you want a fire engine on its way to rescue you from your burning home to be reliant on the cloud or to already have your address and location hard coded into its GPS. The Taliban are beating and will win the war against the worlds remaining superpower. They don’t have access to GPS, Google, satellite phones, fighter jets and smart missiles however they will win and send us scurrying back home to our google enabled homes.
  • Monkey_Boy
    @SimbaK2K Next they'll have a fairly decent functioning search engine, a new browser and perhaps even an online office package. Maybe we should persuade them to buy eBay.
  • Google B.
    [...] luck – you can download Google’s free sat-nav app, Google Maps Navigation. Although it was launched last Autumn it hasn’t been available to UK residents until today. The website says the app is only [...]
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