Google announces free sat nav on Android phones in UK

Google Maps Navigation announced for UK
Google Maps Navigation announced for UK

Google has finally announced it will be making Google Maps Navigation available for Android phones in the UK and Ireland.

For so long (OK, a few months, but it feels like an age) only the US has been able to have free GPS sat nav on Android mobile phones.

The new service will be available for all phones running Android 1.6 and above, meaning the HTC Magic users (with Vodafone branding) will be out of luck.

Driving through the clouds

The data for the mapping services will be streamed from the cloud over 3G, and can use both a vector view and via StreetView mapping as well, making it easy to navigate your way around the UK.

Just like in the US, voice search is included too, and searches along the route to tell you where things like hotels, petrol stations and restaurants are along the route.

Car dock mode is also part of the new release, meaning that you can access a very 'arm's length friendly' mode, making it easy to access the Google Maps for Navigation from your car seat.

Available from the Android Market today, now users can access free mapping from both Google and Nokia (which offers the services via Ovi Maps).

UPDATE: It seems a number of users are struggling to find Google Maps Navigation - but don't worry, it is in there. Simply search for Google Maps in the Android Market and install the upgrade.

It's odd there's no more fanfare about the fact Navigation is now included, but at least it's there.

Gareth Beavis
Formerly Global Editor in Chief

Gareth has been part of the consumer technology world in a career spanning three decades. He started life as a staff writer on the fledgling TechRadar, and has grown with the site (primarily as phones, tablets and wearables editor) until becoming Global Editor in Chief in 2018. Gareth has written over 4,000 articles for TechRadar, has contributed expert insight to a number of other publications, chaired panels on zeitgeist technologies, presented at the Gadget Show Live as well as representing the brand on TV and radio for multiple channels including Sky, BBC, ITV and Al-Jazeera. Passionate about fitness, he can bore anyone rigid about stress management, sleep tracking, heart rate variance as well as bemoaning something about the latest iPhone, Galaxy or OLED TV.