Free Google turn-by-turn GPS coming to iPhone | iLounge News


Free Google turn-by-turn GPS coming to iPhone

Google has revealed details of its upcoming free turn-by-turn Google Maps Navigation, and has said it plans to bring the app to the iPhone. The new application will offer common Google Maps features, including the ability to search by name of business and traffic data, as well as new features like voice-assisted turn-by-turn navigation, integration with Satellite and Street View, and the ability to search along the selected route for upcoming points of interest like gas stations and restaurants.

The application will launch with Android 2.0 on the Motorola Droid, which will be available on Verizon on November 6, and will be featured on other upcoming GPS-capable Android 2.0 devices. Google’s Vice President of Engineering, Vic Gundotra, also confirmed that the company is currently working with Apple to bring the application to the iPhone, but noted that the process is different than the normal App Store submission process, because Maps is a built-in iPhone application. No preliminary launch date was mentioned for the iPhone version.

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Well, that’s about that. So long ridiculously expensive GPS apps. Thanks for playing.

Posted by ort on October 28, 2009 at 11:23 AM (CDT)


You will need a data connection for this to work properly, form my understanding.

Posted by Steve on October 28, 2009 at 11:54 AM (CDT)



The app also caches your route on the phone in case there is a drop out in connection.  That’s better than just straight streaming of the maps.

Posted by Adam on October 28, 2009 at 12:40 PM (CDT)


requiring a data connection makes this a no-go for me. i’m often without so much as EDGE in some of the areas i’m traveling to. ah well.

Posted by Toxic Boy on October 28, 2009 at 12:54 PM (CDT)


yeah, while this is awesome, I’m not sure it’s a complete replacement for a stand-alone 1.3gb gps app…but it will definitely remove a large portion of the market for the existing apps.

hopefully the navigon and tomtom find a way to compete and differentiate themselves.

Posted by shawn on October 28, 2009 at 12:57 PM (CDT)


Finally some good competition with excellent features for some of the other overpriced gps stuff. (TomTom)

Glad it’s coming to iPhone too, thanks google.

Android shaping up nicely, a little competition for apple is good. Force them to roll out some real updates, instead of holding back.

Posted by Xing on October 28, 2009 at 1:05 PM (CDT)


I’m am so THANKFUL that I did not drop $80 on any of the navigation apps. This is exactly what I have been waiting for.

Posted by Jonathan on October 28, 2009 at 1:11 PM (CDT)


I agree with most other people who have written here: I am SO glad I didn’t drop a bunch of money on a turn-by-turn GPS application that cost $80+. Hopefully the above post is right, that the app downloads the route onto your phone so a data connection is not required.

The lack of consistent data from AT&T in the U.S. brings up an another point: how soon can we get a 4G iPhone on a reliable Verizon netowrk so I don’t have to worry about a data connection?

Posted by Dave on October 28, 2009 at 1:50 PM (CDT)


TomTom and Navigon can still compete - the ability to use it offline is a compelling feature.  It’s just not compelling enough to spend $100.  I’ll wait for this to come out to make my final judgement, but if TomTom released theirs for $39.99, I’d probably bite.

Posted by Ron on October 28, 2009 at 2:03 PM (CDT)


I will be happy once this actually get APPROVED by AT&T and Apple… I see another battle heating up…

Posted by Kevin on October 28, 2009 at 2:52 PM (CDT)


My experience:  I now own the Navigon app after using with the ATT app where you must have a signal, and all I can say is, even in Los Angeles there are many very long “moments” where the GPS signal was dropped and the ATT service was useless if you had to get somewhere on a schedule. It worked flawlessly most of the time, but not always.

Since I bought the Navigon app ($69 at the time), it has never, not once, made an error and often times chooses a better route even when I know the area. It is astounding in its performance. I think the Google app looks fabulous, but I would worry if I were in areas where the signal is questionable at times even with some of the info cached. This said, it may be more an issue on ATT than on Verizon!

Posted by Robert on October 28, 2009 at 3:17 PM (CDT)


Surely a data/phone connection is only required if it is downloading the map data in real time (as when you launch the standard Maps app)

But if Google will let you download a full map to permanently store on the iPhone, no signal is required during the journey - just the GPS signal.

How much space will the maps take? Well the UK only maps for Tom Tom fit on a 128mb memory card, so could Google do the same? with regular map updates when you sync?

Posted by Pitmonster on October 28, 2009 at 6:49 PM (CDT)


I’m shocked that Google is even considering bringing any cutting edge app to the iPhone with all the drama happening between them and Apple.

Not that I’m complaining.  Thanks Google! 

Of course, they could just be saying it knowing Apple’s going to reject it anyways…

Posted by Amazed on October 28, 2009 at 6:50 PM (CDT)


WooW! ... I’ve read this news two days ago and was shocked and did not believe it. Now I read it on iLounge and I’m just woowww,.. it must be true. and free too??? TomTom and all the others are probably pissed, lol. goog job google! and thanks… thanks two those two guys who started google in a garage ..

Posted by dennis on October 28, 2009 at 9:33 PM (CDT)


Wow, the other GPS vendors are so f’ed.

I like my other GPS devices even.  I’ve got a built-in one in my car, I’ve got the Navigon app on my iPhone, and my wife has a Tom Tom.  But I can already see just from the preview video on Google’s website that this is better than any of them in very significant ways.  And this is just v1.  And its FREE!

Most GPS units make it difficult for you to find things you’re looking for.  Want to find a 7-11?  Well, first you have to know what category to look for 7-11’s in.  Is it Shopping?  Or Convenience Store.  Some 7-11’s are listed under both, so you have to guess which category the one you’re looking for is listed under.  Then of course you have to know that it’s actually 7-ELEVEN.  It won’t correct you.  You just won’t find anything.  Then of course it won’t show you things that are near your route, you just have to guess, maybe by looking at the destination map to see if its anywhere near the highway you’re on.

In the future this will change everything.  We’ll finally get the connected GPS stuff that the Dash tried to be.  Everybody will be using this, and all their speed and location data will be aggregated by Google in real time.  And instead of the crappy hours inaccurate traffic data by that 511 service (“speeds are between zero and fourty miles per hour”) you’ll actually get good traffic data.  Oh my god that would be worth real money!

I’ll download this for the iPhone the minute its available and try it out.  If its as good or better than the Navigon unit, I’ll punt that like a hot potato despite the fact that I paid for it.  Goodbye stale POI data (Hertz lot near San Diego airport moved two years ago Navigon!).  Hello Google Maps!

Posted by Fanfoot on October 29, 2009 at 12:20 AM (CDT)


it looks like google turn by turn will be the perfect complement to tom tom.  While I definitely prefer tom tom for its local storage maps, I can definitely see google maps as a viable alternative if all I’m trying to do is to find an address downtown and never leave the 3G coverage area, and leave the tom tom for routes that require going through areas with little to no cell signal…

and besides, don’t we all like to “punish” the 3G network by making it work when we don’t have to?  I like downloading music/podcasts/apps off of 3G just so I can feel like I’ve got my money’s worth for the $30/month I spend on data…

and I don’t know what people are complaining about 3G coverage.  I used to get no 3G in my house, and now, I get consistent 5 bars 3G in my house 95% of the time.  I don’t think I’ve seen the Edge symbol in ages…

Posted by bn on October 29, 2009 at 12:27 AM (CDT)


To “bn”. I agree that the 3G service got better. .. I’m suprised that Verizon showes a outdated old map on their anit- iPhone carrier add…

Posted by dennis on October 29, 2009 at 9:27 AM (CDT)


Who cares about the Droid phone? All I want is a Droid car!

Posted by jiji on October 29, 2009 at 7:49 PM (CDT)


Iphone users should be charged a fee when google nav app comes to iphone.  What is google thinking?

Posted by Blah on January 6, 2010 at 10:17 PM (CST)


“the process is different than the normal App Store submission process, because Maps is a built-in iPhone application.”

Why don’t they just shoot you with a tranquilizer gun, tag your ear and release you?

Posted by Michael Skvortsov on March 2, 2011 at 1:02 AM (CST)

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