Google Maps Navigation Finally Released In The UK

21st April 2010

At last! Google Maps Navigation has been released today (at least in Beta) onto Android handsets in the UK! It's been live in the US for ages now and finally we can officially have free Google Navigation in the UK.

Previously this was only available on Android 2.0 handsets, such as the Droid in the US, but is now available on Android 1.6 Donut and above, which includes almost all Android handsets. To give this a go, make sure you have the latest version of Google Maps by searching the Android market for it, and have a play!

Exciting news for us Android users in the UK, but will this be the end of the road for other Android sat nav apps? Probably not, but it certainly will quickly take a big market share.

Google Navigation

Google Maps Navigation is a Free sat nav app, which supports fuzzy seaarching by voice or text input, and being Internet based, can display live traffic information, and sattelite overlays. You can even view Street View scenes of junctions along the way! Superb app.

I won't go into all the detail here, you can read a full review of Google Maps Navigation app if you're not able to try it for yourself just yet.

Happy days!


18 comments so far (post your own)

Very keen to try this... updated Google maps on my HTC Desire, but the menu/directions link doesn't seem as full featured as the app as described on the google link. Is ther a sepeate app or widget to install on the android phone to launch the menu with voice etc., and with the layers option for example?

Posted by Jan Szafranski on Wednesday, 21/04/10 @ 18:14pm | #209


If the voice search is missing from your HTC Desire, follow the instructions to install it here:

If you do have the voice search feature on your phone, you can install "Nav Launcher" from the market to start Navigation easier.

As for the layers, press Menu, Layers. Simple as that. Is that missing?

Posted by Jack Frost on Wednesday, 21/04/10 @ 18:34pm | #210

Also keen to try this - awaiting delivery of HTC Desire, and would be great to have this app for occasional use.

Question - any idea how much data is used per minute of connection to the service?

Posted by Benchimus on Tuesday, 25/05/10 @ 10:59am | #272


Obviously this service is free, it is your network that will charge for the data transferred, and the cost will depend on what network you're connected to.

These days, data is normally charged per Kb transferred. If you're paying on that basis, I'd recommend an offline sat nav solution such as Navigon, Sygic or NDrive. Take a look at those here:

T-Mobile have a maximum charge of a pound per day in the UK though, so if it's just occasional use, perhaps that would be OK? Depends what network you're on.

Posted by Jack Frost on Wednesday, 26/05/10 @ 12:23pm | #277

I will have 500Mb/month data included (Orange).

I was hoping you might know how many Kb/minute is used whilst using Google Navigation - does the software indicate how much data has been used?

Will look at those offline sat nav solutions you mentioned, thanks.

Posted by Benchimus on Thursday, 27/05/10 @ 14:06pm | #295


Hmm, I don't know how much the navigation would use exactly, but I shouldn't have thought much. I'm guessing it downloads its route once at the start of your journey, and as long as you don't deviate from that, wouldn't need to re-download a new route. Having said that, it does display the street view of your journey's end as you arrive.

I doubt it's much because route calculation and navigation is still fast in non-3G areas.

Anyway, it'd be easy to find out exactly how much data it uses as there are plenty of apps in the Android Market to do that, and seeing as it's free, give it go.

Posted by Jack Frost on Thursday, 27/05/10 @ 14:17pm | #296

Hi Jack
I have just bought HTC Legend in hope that i could enjoy Google's Free Navigation on this top quality handset. It has latest google maps installed but no voice navigation. Can you guide me how i can make it work on my legend device?

Posted by Ali on Thursday, 10/06/10 @ 10:00am | #317


First make doubly sure you have the most up-to-date version of Google Maps. Should be version 4.2.0. If you've just got this brand new, it might not have it. Just go into the Android Market and search for it and you might see that there's an update available.

Are you sure it's not there? Get some driving directions to somewhere and there should be "Navigate" at the top of the list of directions.

Oh, and you ARE in the UK aren't you?

Posted by Jack Frost on Thursday, 10/06/10 @ 11:23am | #318

Will the Google app need to take data from the internet to work ? I like the idea of a standalone sat nav app as then I do not have to worry further about data charges if I go over my allowance for the month - does Google work alone or does it need access to live servers to work out routes etc ?

Posted by Steve on Sunday, 20/06/10 @ 20:45pm | #337


Yes it does use data though not much. I am going to research that more but if you're worried about data usage have a look through some of the standalone Sat Nav apps available. Search "sat nav" in the search box in the top left.

Posted by Jack Frost on Sunday, 20/06/10 @ 20:51pm | #338

Apologies read the article and now understand it is a "live" updatable sat nav service - I guess really what I need to know is what are the average data rates for an average journey so I can work out how much data is being used on a journey - sorry to have troubled you - Steve

Posted by Steve on Sunday, 20/06/10 @ 21:30pm | #339


No problem. I think it would be interesting to research a bit on the data usage of Google maps nav. Will look into this.

Posted by Jack Frost on Sunday, 20/06/10 @ 21:35pm | #340


I was wondering if there are any plans to lunch a safety Camera update?

Thanks in advance,


Posted by Ray on Monday, 9/08/10 @ 17:56pm | #414


I don't think there are, no. Your best bet is to use a background program like Radardroid or Trapster. I've not tried this though.

Posted by Jack Frost on Tuesday, 10/08/10 @ 19:27pm | #418

Unfortunatly, google does not allow us to download maps to our device. It is only for online use and therefore to expencive to use abroad due to roaming costs.

So untill that is solved, be carefull when you travel in other countries. You may get a bill of approx. 50 (which is the approx. limit EU allow the telecom companies to charge you per month for roaming).

Posted by Knut on Wednesday, 15/09/10 @ 08:12am | #474

I am just about to buy an HTC Wildfire and one of the reasons is that I like the idea of being able to use google maps navigation. I am off to France next week and have been told by the T-mobile salesman in the shop that I can use my new phone to navigate. Is this true or will it cost me a fortune in roaming charges?

Posted by Paul on Sunday, 19/09/10 @ 10:29am | #482


It'll work but probably cost you a fortune. Phone 150 and ask them what your contract includes, if you don't know. You might want to get an offline say nav app which doesn't use the Internet. Look at the Sat Nav Apps page on this site for more details.

Posted by Jack Frost on Sunday, 19/09/10 @ 10:39am | #483

With regard to data usage I have had an Xperia X8 for 10 days now and have been using the SatNav daily. for a few hours. I use WiFi to download stuff so this amount is mainly satnav.
My data monitor for the last 10 days is showing approx 80Mb total and I have an inclusive 500Mb UK usage which looks to be more than adequate.

Posted by Paul on Thursday, 25/11/10 @ 22:05pm | #675

Comments offline. Sorry, too many spams.