Free Google Maps Navigation App Coming to iPhone

Google working on bringing free nav app to other platforms than Android

Smartphones are highly converged devices that offer users the ability to surf the web, talk, text, and take pictures. One of the more popular uses for smartphones today is as GPS navigation devices. Most platforms have GPS applications that require the user to purchase the app or pay a monthly fee.

Google unveiled a free GPS navigation platform for its Android devices in October of 2009 that provided free GPS navigation services in America. The platform recently landed in Europe for free as well. Along with the move into Europe, Google has announced that it intends to extend its free Google Maps Navigation service to other platforms.

Those other platforms include the iPhone. Getting its free GPS navigation platform onto the iPhone would be huge for users. TomTom, Navigon, and other providers on the iPhone right now charge $60 or more for GPS applications and some like AT&T charge a monthly fee for GPS navigation.

The launch of Google Maps Navigation in Europe is a big deal; Europe was left out of the launch last year. UK users can get Google Maps Navigation on their Android device as a free update to Google Maps.

“Google Maps pre-caches the entire route,” said Mobile Maps product manager, Steve Lee. “It needs a data connection when you ask for navigation. But while driving to your destination, if you intermittently lose the connection, it will still carry on. As long as you stay on the route.”

The free GPS service will undoubtedly hurt paid offerings from companies like Garmin and TomTom in the UK. Google simply says that other providers had become stale and its offering will force them to innovate in the GPS market.

[via Daily Tech]

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