As well as SEO I’m also quite a big fan of Android. My Phone (Galaxy Nexus) recently updated to the new Jellybean OS which is a nice upgrade and really improves the phone. One of the features I was really interested in though was the siri-like Google Now. And within its funtunality I really wanted to try out the navigation system.
A simple “Navigate to Home” or “Navigate to Cask and Glass Pub” is actually enough to bring up the directions you need. I already own a TomTom Device although its a couple of models behind. So for a week I just used the Google Navigation that came with the phone to get where I needed to go.
Where it excels:
Place names/Voice commands:This is really one of its best features in my opinion. “Navigate to 123 street name” works very very well, and when it comes up with the wrong location a simple “Navigate to 123 street name, town” corrects the mistake. Its also great if you don’t know the address of the place and just have the name of the location such as a pub name or location in a town. This far excels the TomTom I used, even using the exact postcode my TomTom was one or two streets away, by saying the place name Google found the location on Google Places/Maps and got the exact location.
The directions it gives are spot on, often it will give the exact route as my TomTom, and since the maps are up to date its actually a little better in some cases (My Tomtom maps aren’t updated as often as I should). This is another reason I wanted to use the built in features.
For free its amazing, but its still lacking some very basic and essential features in my opinion.
Where it falls short
No speed camera database – and no way of adding it to the maps. This is a must here in the UK and seems so standard on every other navigation option out there. I tried running trapster in the background but often that didn’t beep at the right times, I couldn’t see the speed the camera was set to or where it was, I just got a beep which indicated one was coming up at some point. Google Navigation needs this before it can become my default driving tool.
Glitchy GPS: I was using the galaxy nexus, the GPS was good but not perfect and often when sitting still the navigation will jump around and change where it thinks I am, leading to a few missed turns or early turns. Not great and I would expect better to be honest.
Volume Bug: The voice is WAY too quiet. Unless you can hook the voice up to your in car system you will not be able to hear the directions. I’ve read that this is a bug, but its still not been fixed and its dangerous until it does get fixed. If I roughly know the way its not so bad, but on routes that are new it makes it almost unusable.
“Head North”:I am not a human compass, I don’t know where north is. “turn left” or “continue forward” would be a lot more helpful.
Its so so close to perfect. If they fixed the volume of the voice and added speeds cameras and a current speed and speed limit readout I would get rid of my TomTom. As it stands I’m switching between the two options and waiting for the Android TomTom app to see if it brings the features that are desperatly lacking with the navigation.