UK Google Navigation now available


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  1. ianr

    ianr Well-Known Member This Topic's Starter

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    I was playing with google maps this morning when the Navigate button popped up, looks like the UK finally gets google navigation officially, I will try it in a bit then will remove the hacked version I've been playing with.
     

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    Soupdragon and MartinS like this.
  2. MartinS

    MartinS Well-Known Member

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    Excellent! Just search for directions as normal and the navigate button comes up under there. There is a warning confirming that you accept the process is in Beta but off we go!
     
  3. RellikZephyr

    RellikZephyr Well-Known Member

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    damn it!! where is Aus Navigation??

    CMON GOOGLE!!!

    congrats tho

    RellikZephyr
     
  4. MartinS

    MartinS Well-Known Member

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    One other thing. The voice is VERY loud. Showing that with the right settings the N1's speaker can do it.
     
  5. outoffocus

    outoffocus Well-Known Member

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    Cool. Any word on the rest of Europe?
     
  6. MartinS

    MartinS Well-Known Member

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    OK, so I've just made a short trip in a town which generally has good 3G signal and can say I'm very impressed with Google Navigation.

    If it works well enough on longer trips where I'm likely to have no signal at some points then I think I will ditch Copilot for this.

    The instructions are clear, integration with contacts and addresses (for instance I said O2 store, Rugby) through Google are great, the driving view is good.

    So early days but really promising.
     
  7. Teknologic

    Teknologic Well-Known Member

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    I was just trying to get navigation working yesterday.. Your post gave me a spark of hope! Sadly, other EU contries are still disabled it seems :'(
     
  8. Damo2k

    Damo2k New Member

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    Its working in Ireland also.
     
  9. Soupdragon

    Soupdragon Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the headsup - I used maps yesterday and hadn't even noticed the navigate button! :eek:

    Lol @ "traffic data is not real-time, and directions may be wrong, dangerous, prohibited or involve ferries" !!:eek:
     
  10. outoffocus

    outoffocus Well-Known Member

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    so what is the hold-up for the rest of Europe? anyone?
     
  11. theartfullodger

    theartfullodger Well-Known Member

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    Giant USofA corporation heading for world domination beginning to behave like all other previous Giant corporations heading for world domination and starting to do what it wants, when it wants, how it wants?? No, thought not, silly me...

    Sigh!

    Lodger
     
  12. Rusty

    Rusty Well-Known Member

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    Same as the hold up was for UK & Ireland I guess, Google doesn't have it's own base map data for the areas yet.
     
  13. kaotix

    kaotix Well-Known Member

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    Just tested navigation and I'm blown away.
    Remember, this is FREE!

    One thing no one mentioned (that's now available on TomTom devices) is that the google navigation reads out the street names for you unlike other devices that just tell you to turn left or right. Which I find to be an amazing feature of other devices such as my TomTom.

    Nav on my N1 is fast and accurate, even over 3G for the maps it loads fast. You can even do navigation on a street view mode which is pretty amazing. Not very good if you don't have 3G though.
     
  14. ianr

    ianr Well-Known Member This Topic's Starter

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    Right, I've played with it a bit and it's got good points and bad points, I'll go through a small number of more prominent ones here.

    The worst point for me right now is that the traffic data isn't taken into account in routing, which is a real let-down, it seems to decide the routes first, then adds the traffic time on afterwards. I tried plotting a route yesterday and previewed it, both the "quickest" route and the second alternative took me straight into the marked heavy traffic area despite there being plenty of roads around it, and the "quickest" route was predicted as taking the longest time out of the three suggested routes, so as I suggested above, it seems to plan the routes without taking traffic into account, then adds traffic time on afterwards. That's a shame as free traffic-aware routing would have been one of the very few advantages it would have had over the CoPilot Live I've already got.

    There is no "night" mode, it displays in bright colours even at night which is extremely distracting and makes using it at night rather painful and possibly dangerous, I've not tried it properly at night yet but I know from past satnav software with this issue that it's proven to be a major annoyance.

    It's a very simple app indeed, very far from CoPilot in terms of features, but then again quite a few of CoPilot's features (e.g. stop optimisation) are largely useless due to being poorly implemented so that's not such a bad thing. It's fairly intuitive but it's too easy to accidentally step out of it by pressing the "back" button, particularly on a Nexus One where the traffic preview button is just above the "back" button and it's easy to press the wrong one when traveling, one of the few advantages of the HTC Desire's hard buttons there (on the whole I prefer the Nexus One's buttons but here it's a minor annoyance). It is however responsive to button presses, unlike CoPilot which even on a Nexus One is extraordinarily irritating to use when on the move as getting it to respond to button presses is far harder than it should be.

    There are essentially no options for altering how the app works, no settings to tune it in any meaningful way, what you see when you first fire it up is what you'll get every time.

    Data coverage is only needed when planning a route, once you've done that, the route is stored and you can go outside of data coverage and still get the route displayed, although if you stray off that route you then need data coverage again to re-calculate the route. This means if you do stray off the route, it can take several minutes before it will recalculate if coverage is patchy.

    The voice synthesis is pretty good, my CoPilot Live still doesn't read out road names, roundabout names and road numbers, whereas Google Nav does all of them quite well. It even reads out prominent road signs, e.g. "turn left onto A303 signposted Exeter".

    Storing places can be annoying as you don't get to choose the name, you pick the place on Google Maps and it tries to approximate the address, and that's the name it gives the place and you don't get an option to change it. I've also found that when roads are close together, even if I pick a place in Google Maps and star it, when trying to navigate to it, navigation picks what it thinks is the closest road and sometimes gets it wrong so takes you to the other side of a row of houses for example, or stops you on a main road when the place is on a side road near the main road.

    If CoPilot was able to take places from Google Maps then Google Navigation would fare very poorly against it, but as it is, finding places in Google Maps is far superior to using CoPilot, and if you can then get Navigation to take you there then it becomes a good combination. I'd still recommend CoPilot if you want to use satnav a lot as it's cheap and pretty capable and doesn't need a data connection, but if you've got no sat nav right now then chances are you probably wouldn't bother getting it as Google Navigation is good enough right now for simple uses and costs nothing.

    So for a free app it's fine, could be a lot better, but it's early days and maybe they'll add more features as time passes, then again maybe they won't as it is a free app and there may be commercial pressures to prevent them from really competing with paid-for apps. I'm not sure which I'll use most, this or CoPilot, I've got some serious driving coming up so I'll play with it some more, so far I've really only used it on routes I know in order to test it out, soon I'll actually try using it on a long drive to get to somewhere I've never been before.
     
  15. ianr

    ianr Well-Known Member This Topic's Starter

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    OK tried it on a 3-hour drive, and it was very good. Much better than CoPilot for basic navigation, the voice synth is good although it does go on a bit, sometimes I just wanted it to shut up.

    The 3G signal wasn't an issue, I went off-route once or twice but it re-routed quickly, I think it had enough cached to mean it didn't need to go out to the net although not sure about that.

    Thankfully there weren't any roadblocks on the way, if there was I'd have sorely missed a "diversion" function, CoPilot has this but it's badly implemented so doesn't work that well. I didn't try selecting alternate routes while on the move in Google Nav, maybe that might do it.

    Overall using Google Nav on a long route through unfamiliar twisting country roads, motorways and towns was painless, much better than CoPilot. I will probably use Google Navigation in preference to CoPilot from now on, although I'd probably use CoPilot if I wanted to specify my own route (no facilities for that in GN from what I can see), and would also not be without CoPilot for those times when I have no signal but need a GPS-enabled map.
     
  16. Rusty

    Rusty Well-Known Member

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    Actually there is, Google added it a few versions back (and I've just fired up Navigation to find it working).
     
  17. ianr

    ianr Well-Known Member This Topic's Starter

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    Is there? It didn't work for me, did you have to enable anything?
     
  18. Rusty

    Rusty Well-Known Member

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    Nothing at all, I just fired it up and there it was.
     
  19. strictly86

    strictly86 Well-Known Member

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    its US only for night mode?
     
  20. Rusty

    Rusty Well-Known Member

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    Nope, I'm in the UK... as you may have guessed from the "Location: Pompey, UK" bit.
     
  21. strictly86

    strictly86 Well-Known Member

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    my bad, i answered in a rush so didnt check where you were from
     

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