Get from A to B with Google Maps
Managing your way through the urban jungle or any other type of landscape with a satnav and a mobile phone in your possession can lead to gadget overload, but thanks to the new navigation options in Google Maps we’re now at a stage where the satnav can be left at home – or at least in the glove compartment – while you use your Android phone to get from A to B.
Just to reiterate: Google are giving you free satnav, complete with voice guidance.
You don’t even have to be driving, either; options for Directions (available via the menu button) include road, public transport and walking. We’ve all been lost in a strange city, so the transit and walking directions are extremely valuable. You can also tap the menu button and select Reverse Start & End to quickly get directions for a return journey.
However, it is with the satnav-replacing Navigation option that Google Maps is particularly impressive. This is accessed via the menu when viewing directions, and Google Maps Navigation usefully offers a warning message when you select this option to ensure that the user understands that he or she shouldn’t attempt to manipulate or interact with the app while driving.
In the Google Maps Navigation app, you can switch between a text-based set of instructions and the satnav-style display, while the menu button will allow you to view various items of additional information. Also via the menu button you can Mute the voice instructions or Exit Navigation, as well as view an overall summary of the route you will take in Route Info. If other routes are available, you can tap to select one of these in the Route Info screen and information about the difference in distance and time taken is displayed at the top of the screen; tapping the arrow button in the lower left corner will instruct the app to use the chosen route. Also available in the Route Info screen are Route Options; these allow you to instruct the app to Avoid main roads and Avoid tolls.