Google Maps has offered free turn-by-turn directions for some time, but extended the service to include audio navigation instructions and a traditional Sat Nav map view last year. However, it was only available for users in the United States.
Now it has been switched on for UK and Ireland, with the ability to get a range of views – from satellite view to street view. Users can also search along a route, and find destinations from doing an ordinary Google search (e.g. ‘italian restaurant’). The service continues to be offered completely free of charge, with the exception of data charges for route planning and download map images.
Realtime traffic information is also available, with an on-screen indicator glowing green, yellow or red, depending on the severity of the traffic ahead.
Handsets with a car dock mode can also get easier access to the service. This includes the Milestone (with Android 2.1 update) and the Nexus One.
If you cannot access the new navigation feature on your current Android handset, check you have the latest version by visiting Android Market and updating as necessary.