Google is always working overtime to bring their Android users services and features that make their lives easier, and they continue to do so with some fresh updates to Google Navigation and mobile search. The update introduced to us today includes a new feature that catapults Navigation to the level of SD-based navigation systems. There are also some tweaks to the mobile search site to make launching queries easier.
When announced, Navigation brought companies like TomTom and Garmin to their knees. These companies saw an instant drop in stock shares, but luckily, with the edge of offline routing, they still had one major advantage. Yesterday, Google announced that they would make the offline routing ability available to every Android user. While Maps is far from perfect, it’s certainly getting there with all these updates. This feature could come in handy when traveling on a long trip and you’re not sure if your phone will have 3G the whole way. The updated Navigation app would be able to save the possible routes on your phone or SD card’s memory and make rerouting without an internet connection possible.
This feature is one of the only things that companies like Garmin, CoPilot, and other offline SD-based navigation companies could claim against Google’s alternative. With this and other improvements, there’s no doubt why Android smartphones are starting to replace those expensive GPS systems and causing them to lose sales.
While we’re waiting for offline navigation to go live, Google has launched some new web search functions. The site now shows better Places search results with a marker placed on the exact location on a map relative to you. The front page also has shortcuts to categories of Places, making it easy to find what’s nearby without having to type in anything. These features are demoed in the videos below.
Google does a lot, and with all these features being brought to the palm of your hand, it’s quite amazing that little Android robots from your pocket controlled by Google isn’t taking over the world – Google Nation anyone?
[via AndroidCentral, Google Mobile blog]