Android points the way with new sat nav system

Sat navs may soon be a thing of the past given the advances in smartphone technology.
The Android platform is the latest operating system to make use of Google’s maps and provide drivers with a step-by-step guide to their route.
Android provides a free download from the Google Maps market which is easy to download.

Then, by clicking ‘Navigate’, the phone downloads the entire route you wish to take (so having a signal is not necessary during your trip).
Previously only available in the United States of America, Google Maps can now be accessed by Android users in the United Kingdom and Ireland.
Owners of HTC Desire, Nexus One or Motorola Milestone phones with version 1.6 of the Android operating system or above can make use of the maps technology, though it is still only in Beta.

Probably the biggest advance is a compatibility with Google Street view which allows you to actually see the street you should be driving down as you look for the turning. You can then use real pictures of buildings or landmarks as a reference. Google Street view can be brought up with a simple double tap on the screen.
Utilising both touch-screen technology and the latest in voice-recognition, the Android can find exactly which address, shop or business you are looking for.
As the system is web-based the latest maps are always available, unless you have signalling problems. There could also be high costs for people using their Androids abroad.

Also, if you enter a generic term such as ‘hotel’ it will come up with advertised hotels nearby. This could disrupt the advertising revenue streams currently employed by sat nav companies.
The phone system can also deliver live traffic updates using a colour-coded system to tell you whether certain roads are jammed.