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Google turn-by-turn coming to Moto Droid (the iDon't phone)

mvl 191 Points
edited November -1 in Smartphone Navigation
This got leaked on the moto spec site for a few days before it was pulled. Notice the list of google apps.

http://www.boygeniusreport.com/2009/10/22/motorola-droid-makes-appearance-on-motorolas-site/

I assume most of the other Android 2.0 phones will get this app, too.

My assumption is (like everything Google) that turn-by-turn will be free, as long as Google gets to track and record your every move onto its advertising server.

Nevertheless, a huge new entrant is entering the GPS space, and it is guaranteed to be a game changer.

Comments

  • Tabs 0 Points
    I think it looks amazing, real photos of the interchanges for lane guidance? That's totally awesome.

    My only concern is what happens when you're out of the cell data coverage area with this - I really hope it has some kind of mode that will cache the map data for your trip, downloading it while you have connectivity...

    Anyway, I'm due for a Verizon phone upgrade and I think I'll probably grab the Droid next month when it comes out.


  • This looks really interesting. And no longer do we need to update our maps/POIs. Wonder just how Garmin, TomTom, etc. will respond?
  • PND4ME 0 Points


    This looks really interesting. And no longer do we need to update our maps/POIs. Wonder just how Garmin, TomTom, etc. will respond?
    Like Tabs mentioned, works well if you are not out of coverage area or you are lost.
    In remote area with poor coverage, this could be an issue. Best to have a static onboard navigation software for back up and get the google one free, that way you have the best of both world.

    Remember you will need the unlimited data plan to utilize this type of service and I think they are like $150 a month or more for unlimited service, this makes this free phone like $3600. Wow. 2 year service contract required.

    Google's Android software is not free to Motorola. The maps are said to be "free" because they are not in the phone. The user must download the desired map segment by way of the internet browser in the phone. The user pays a monthly fee to Verizon for the internet data connection so that he can download the "free" maps. But you can't get to those "free" maps without paying the service data fee to Verizon.

    Garmin can say that their maps are "free" too as they are included in the PND at purchase. There is no need for a data connection to view the maps.

    Sometimes free is very expensive. LOL.
  • Tabs 0 Points
    I've pre-ordered a Droid - expect a review of the nav features this weekend!
  • Tim 1481 Points
    I've been too busy with a few other things in the past week to dig deep into the Droid... but this little tidbit caught my eye. There is only 256MB available for applications. Even though most things are "in the cloud", that doesn't seem like much room, especially for people coming from iPhones which have 128 times as much memory.

    In terms of navigation applications other than Google, TeleNav ought to have this nailed as they are used to the whole "off board" maps technology. But that would make things more difficult for TomTom and Navigon to attempt to get into as they currently only have on-board maps for their mobile phone applications. (From what I recall.)
  • mvl 191 Points
    There were a few posts on news sites that Google Maps will do on-device caching. But with 128mb for cache? That's nowhere near enough.

    Given the risk of losing signal (and thus your map) when driving in rural areas, this seems to be a huge disadvantage when compared to a pnd. Definitely a safety issue - I'd never go around with cloud-only mapping.
  • I believe it supports up to a 32GB micro SD card. Can't applications be installed on the card?
  • Tim 1481 Points
    No, at this time applications can't be installed on SD cards under Android.
  • Wow! That's kinda dumb. Google is positioning this against the i-Tunes app store. What good is an app store if there is no room for apps on your phone?
  • gatorguy 326 Points
    You'll see other Android based phones, some 2.x, released over the next 90-120 days. I suspect memory won't be an issue across the board. :)
  • Are we sure they aren't talking about available RAM rather than "Storage" type memory? I think the iphone only gives apps 128mb ram to work with. Although I'm not sure on that.
  • Tim 1481 Points
    Yes, the storage (not RAM) available for apps is only 256 MB. However.... an app can store various resources (like documents/graphics it creates) on SD card. That of course would require that a user have a SD card. It is unclear (to me) if a developer could make an app that is small enough to fit in memory and then installs additional (required) files on SD card... assuming the user has one.
  • Tim 1481 Points
    The Motorola Droid will be the most powerful Android phone to date when it launches on November 6, 2009. However, the device still features the same shortcomings of all other Android phones. The Droid ships with a 512 MB ROM which contains only 256 MB available for app storage.

    Google does not support installing apps to the SD card (and likely never will), so developers are limited in what they can create.
  • No, at this time applications can't be installed on SD cards under Android.
    Unless a person that has an android phone decides to "root" their phone. Then the sky's the limit with what you can do. I have a G1 that I'm thinking about rooting. Then I can get 2.0 for my phone which means I'll be able to get the google navigation software on my phone. Then I can get rid of my Navigon and go with something that will actually get updates!
  • gatorguy 326 Points
    As for whether Android apps could use SD cards to cache data, this snippet from a Google nav app review:

    "Another issue is Maps Caching and mobile connectivity. I went into my MicroSD card and noticed that maps and voice directions were definitely saved to my SD card, presumably so the application could utilize them even if a mobile connection was lost."
    No, at this time applications can't be installed on SD cards under Android.
    I thought Co-Pilot for the Android's was on SD, but I could be mistaken. Wouldn't be the first time. Haven't been able to absolutely confirm that right now.
  • Boyd 1985 Points
    I read a review of the Droid (in the wall st journal I think) which also mentioned the 256 MB app limit. They pointed out that this is a feature of the Android operating system itself, and that in fact the Droid was an improvement over earlier Android phones which only had 128MB available for apps.
  • It would be nice if Apple decides to allow Google navigation application on the app store. I would think having the ability to download it and use it as a back up would be a nice add on feature to my iPhone.

    Just wondering if the iPhone is able to handle the server base satellite maps mode since it does a very poor job on the standard Apple maps.
  • Boyd 1985 Points
    Seems unlikely that AT&T would want to allow the Google app since they sell their own AT&T Navigator service for $10/month... http://www.gpsreview.net/att-navigator-for-iphone/
  • Seems unlikely that AT&T would want to allow the Google app since they sell their own AT&T Navigator service for $10/month... http://www.gpsreview.net/att-navigator-for-iphone/
    And this brings up the topic of jailbreaking iPhones.........

    No, I do not mean copying Apple files or otherwise "stealing" trademarked or copyrighted software. I mean simply opening up the phone to 3rd party software, such as GPS apps.

    I realize I am treading a thin line here folks, but please indulge me for a sec. :)
  • Tim 1481 Points
    Seems unlikely that AT&T would want to allow the Google app since they sell their own AT&T Navigator service for $10/month... http://www.gpsreview.net/att-navigator-for-iphone/
    Then why allow the other GPS apps? I believe we will see the Google Navigation app on the iPhone.
  • Boyd 1985 Points
    No doubt you are right.... the whole thing seems really puzzling to me! :?
  • Tim 1481 Points
    Yes.... interesting times.
  • Yes.... interesting times.

    I been using GPS app's on my iPhone and feel it is so much more convenient and performs the same as my PND, why carrying around extra PND, camera etc when you can have a working all in one product like the iPhone. Sad to say I see the PND business switching to app's more and more. Sell accessories for these app's better than the PND and they can make more from doing so.
  • I agree PND. There are apps for my Nokia, but the internal GPS is incredibly underpowered. aGPS adds to the data bill. If one of the nav companies adds an external cradle with an antenna to the package I might consider it, or at least something to boost reception for pedestrian mode. Actually, that is all I really want it for....
  • gatorguy 326 Points
    I don't see the free Google App as an immediate threat to the better paid apps. More of a curiosity right now with several issues still to be worked out. What it probably will stifle (assuming it appears on the iPhone) are some of the lower end apps that are being purchased by some users just to have navigation/location available. Those specifically looking for a high-end navigation app would not be satisfied with Google for now, IMHO. But those same users might be likely to download the free Google version just as a comparison, or to check out some of the photo/aerial maps. As Google improves, as they will, there's going to be a lot of owners paying attention. If the TomToms and Navigon's of the iTunes Store stumble or fail to continue rolling out new features/maps/options, then Google will be right there to grab up a few spots. The pressure is on the traditional players.
  • Tim 1481 Points
    Well said, gatorguy.
  • Google Nav app on the Droid seems to be pretty full-featured to me (including voice control, TTS, street view, live traffic). What does it lack?
  • gatorguy 326 Points
    It's a very good first effort. But it's just that, with lots of room for improvement. First off, some menu options don't do what you think they would. For instance, Google Search should give you navigable destinations, right? Well, users are reporting that you're just as likely to have a website show up in the search. Not very helpful if you'd like to stop by and shop.
    Incoming calls are another issue. Your navigation screen is completely taken over by incoming call information. Cant's browse poi's, no multi-stop trips, and is there even a "Go Home" option? Assume all those issues are addressed in a single application update a month from now. All well and good. . . until you have to deal with the mapping. The complaints of map quality lagging are way too numerous. I lost count of the number of users mentioning being routed to non-existent roads, or the wrong way down a one-way. Of course these are all issues that can be fixed. I expect there will be a lot of map improvement pretty quickly and the application itself only needs some refinement and a few feature additions. So yes, they may soon be a serious worry, particularly to the two big mappers, Navteq and TeleAtlas, who are watching the value of their maps dropping with every Google improvement. But there's still time to adjust to the Strange New Mobile World. Google's not ready to take over just yet.
  • I have noticed more map errors even on the PC version of Google Maps, especially in locating street addresses. Dropping NavTeq was not a good thing for Google, in the short run. In the long run, it means Google will be able to give way PND for free, without the licensing restrictions from map providers.

    There was an interesting article today in NYT on how the public is volunteering to improve the map data for Google.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/17/technology/internet/17maps.html?_r=1&ref=technology
  • Tim 1481 Points
    I have noticed more map errors even on the PC version of Google Maps, especially in locating street addresses. Dropping NavTeq was not a good thing for Google, in the short run.
    Google actually dropped Tele Atlas, not Navteq. :)
  • gatorguy 326 Points
    Well, technically they dropped Navteq before they dropped TeleAtlas. :lol:
  • I had a very bad experience with the only GPS I have owned & sent it back after a month. While looking for a brand other than the one I had, I stumbled on the Droid angle. With multi vehicles, it would seem that an even less than perfect GPS system on a device that you already always carry with you might be the answer for the CASUAL user that will never give up his paper map. In simple terms for this non-Techy, what are the major drawbacks of just using the Droid? Thanks!
  • If one of the nav companies adds an external cradle with an antenna to the package I might consider it, or at least something to boost reception for pedestrian mode. Actually, that is all I really want it for....
    TomTom and Magellan, and Navigon soon, do or will have cradles for iphones for GPS in the car. It is only a matter of time for this to apply to all smart phones out there.
  • Tim 1481 Points
    Google Maps Navigation is now available for free to Android 1.6 devices.
  • Remember you will need the unlimited data plan to utilize this type of service and I think they are like $150 a month or more for unlimited service, this makes this free phone like $3600. Wow. 2 year service contract required.
    FYI - Current unlimited data is $30/mo. This is for the large carriers (AT&T, Verizon).
  • Remember you will need the unlimited data plan to utilize this type of service and I think they are like $150 a month or more for unlimited service, this makes this free phone like $3600. Wow. 2 year service contract required.


    FYI - Current unlimited data is $30/mo. This is for the large carriers (AT&T, Verizon).
    Plus??? Can you just get unlimited data without any other service?
  • Remember you will need the unlimited data plan to utilize this type of service and I think they are like $150 a month or more for unlimited service, this makes this free phone like $3600. Wow. 2 year service contract required.


    FYI - Current unlimited data is $30/mo. This is for the large carriers (AT&T, Verizon).


    Plus??? Can you just get unlimited data without any other service?
    Depends on what you want for airtime of course. Your statement referred to data which does not use your minutes of airtime.

    Example - I pay $100/mo for unlimited data and 700 shared minutes for 2 phones. I use a LOT of data but have never gone over the minutes. I always have a roll-over amount that increases.

  • My assumption is (like everything Google) that turn-by-turn will be free, as long as Google gets to track and record your every move onto its advertising server.
    Google tracking where everyone is could be a good thing in one respect. They could form a large database of where people using the app are and how fast they are moving. Essentially creating a database of realtime traffic info. I believe one company (sprint?) is already testing a similar idea in California.

    The streetview images in particular are an attractive feature for me. Although I don't imagine it would be easy to pay attention to the road while looking at them.

    FYI to those wondering Verizon offers a plan with 450 minutes and unlimited data for $70/month.
  • mvl 191 Points
    google already uses verizon cell phones for traffic. tomtoms been using vodafone for traffic for a few years now. at least they are anonymous. google maps will get, store, and sell your location to advertisers. thats how they earn money for all their free services
  • gatorguy 326 Points
    Indications are that Apple may intend to dump Google maps altogether in the next-gen iPhone. It looks like they're getting serious about their own map development. One clue? Apple's got a few "help wanted" ads out. :wink:
  • Tim 1481 Points
    Apple is also well known for putting out fake job openings and inviting reporters in for a "secret look" at products they know will never be released-- all to throw people off.
  • Anyone have an updated review?
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