As mentioned, geography is still a pretty big bottleneck for Android. While the whole world shares the same Android market, we don’t have any paid apps north of the border, nor any of the voice control options that have been coming out recently, nor has the Google fleet done their Street View thing for Canada yet, although after seeing a few GoogMobiles in Ottawa and Toronto, it’s surely in the way. That’s really what it boils down to – it’s all on the way, it’s just a matter of being willing to wait for the improvements, and to be fair, it’s not just only improving on what’s already there, but bringing new offers to the table; official apps from Google like the Barcode Scanner, My Tracks, Sky Map, and My Maps Editor are all outstandingly fresh additions to the Market and really flex Google’s creative muscle.
Transit directions in Maps was a perfect example of the need for improvements. Google Maps for BlackBerry had walking and transit directions, which worked in Ottawa just fine for a long time now. Lo and behold, when I booted up Maps on the Magic, neither of these options existed. I tweeted up a storm on the matter, but a whole two days later, Google Maps for Android gets an update with transit and walking directions. How convenient… I do have a feeling Google is trying to ramp up their Canadian support in light of the launch, but there are doubtlessly other areas around the world that are experiencing similar limitations. Before you start thinking it’s just Canada getting the short end of the stick, remember that the Rogers version of the Magic plays nice with Exchange, while T-Mobile opted to go “with Google”, and so won’t support ActiveSync.