Monday, 15 November 2010 11:24

Go ogle new Aussie Google Maps Navigation (Beta) - from Nov 17

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Google is finally bringing its 'Google Maps Navigation' to Australians at last on the 17th of November, but which mobile users and phones will be able to take advantage, and will it replace your GPS?

For some time now, many Android users in the US have been able to enjoy using Google's Maps Navigation software, turning an Android smartphone into a personal GPS turn-by-turn satnav without charge.

Coupled with Google's ability to let you speak your search query, users in the US are able to state their destination, have it transcribed by Google's servers and sent back to the device, which is then supposed to guide you to your destination in a manner similar to other GPS devices.

While it has been possible to 'hack' your Android phone to allow the software's use in Australia, regular users who don't hack their phones have simply had to wait, either using someone else's GPS software, getting a dedicated GPS device, using a map or relying on one's own sense of direction, sign reading abilities and memory.

So, the software's introduction into the Australian market has been long awaited by those who know how it is supposed to work, and it looks like we'll finally get to start playing with it in just a couple of days!

Google's invite is, as you'd imagine, light on too many details, clearly seeing as they'd like to keep the surprises as fresh as possible for launch day itself.

Still, the invite shares some information, stating: 'What happens when your personal navigation device is powered by Google? We'd like to invite you to the launch of an exciting mobile update - Google Maps Navigation (Beta).

'Google Product Manager for Maps, Andrew Foster, will present the key features of Google Maps Navigation (beta), which will be followed by a Q&A session.'

The demonstration will go for 40 minutes and will be followed by a 20 minute Q&A session.

And for now, that's it. I've RSVP'd for the event and will have more information for you on Wednesday, possibly as-it-happens from 10am in a live blog.

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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

One of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.

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