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  5. Free Google navigation lands on Android phones

Free Google navigation lands on Android phones

Free Google navigation lands on Android phones

Google has silently updated the Android platform in the UK to offer free turn-by-turn navigation via Google Maps Navigation.

Nokia's Ovi Maps had already broken the free navigation taboo for mobile phone users, but now Android-based smartphones can revel in Google's offering, which makes standalone sat navs seem more than a little obsolete.

As long as you have Android 1.6 or higher you can download the pre-release beta version of the new navigation app.

That means people with an HTC Desire, Google Nexus One or Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 can enjoy full navigation support.

Because Google's app downloads data from the internet each time a route is plotted, the mapping information will always be bang up to date.

This is fine if you are planning on using the service in the UK, but as soon as you head overseas you may be hit with hefty data charges for the downloads required.

Although traditional sat nav manufacturers such as TomTom and Garmin might seem to be threatened by navigation apps offered by Google and Nokia, it looks as though the stand-alone sat nav industry is remaining unshaken.

TomTom has said that so far the sales of its products have not dipped in America after Google Maps Navigation arrived.

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