Google India has finally launched the much awaited turn-by-turn voice navigation in India. The service went live in the country sometime last evening, but we are still waiting for the official announcement, which is expected any time now (update: It is official now).
Google India had also made a video demo of service prematurely live yesterday on YouTube (originally spotted by Techwhack), which is currently private and should be made public after the official launch (update: it is live now, thanks Anuj).
We and several other users have personally tested the service and found it perfectly working. Along with the free turn-by-turn voice navigation, company has also made the real-time traffic details available in the country. It is not sure that in how many cities, Google will be supporting the traffic service. Apart from traffic availability in the maps, these traffic details are now also available as a part of Google Now traffic updates cards (which were first introduced in Jelly Bean) to your workplace, home or any other important place.
Originally launched on October 28, 2009, the service was initially available only for United States users, but was later launched in other countries too.
- Add starred places for one-click access
- One click navigation to your contacts
- Voice input for destination
- One click navigation for home, office
- Traffic details
Thanks everyone who sent this in
From Google India blog:
Navigation and traffic data come to Google Maps in India
More than a billion people rely on Google Maps every month to get the most accurate and reliable directions from point A to point B. We on the Google Maps team, however, know that simply calculating a route is just the beginning when it comes to helping people find their way across town or across the continent. That’s why we have worked to improve the comprehensiveness and usefulness of Google Maps through advanced features like voice-guided turn-by-turn navigation and live traffic updates.
We’re excited today to announce that both of these features are now available for Google Maps users in India — one of the most dynamic and fastest-growing markets for online map services worldwide. Google Maps Navigation (Beta) is free and accessible to any smartphone user running Android 2.2 or later, and live traffic information is visible on both the mobile and desktop versions of Google Maps.
Google Maps Navigation takes advantage of your mobile Internet connection and Google’s comprehensive map data to help you plan your journeys with confidence. In India, you’ll have access to information about any of the thousands of cities, towns, roads, and points of interest that have been mapped by users in Google Map Maker. In other words, whether you’re heading to the Bengaluru airport for a business trip or visiting Agra’s world-famous Taj Mahal for a weekend of sightseeing with friends, Google Maps Navigation has you covered. Your phone will announce upcoming directions to you as you move along your route — and it will even use a friendly and familiar Indian accent if you’ve selected the Indian English locale on in your phone settings.
Of course, Google Maps Navigation is also incredibly easy to use. There is no separate app — it’s already available directly in the Android app launcher and in the Google Maps interface for users who have Google Maps for Mobile installed on their Android smartphone. (Just keep an eye out for the blue arrow, which will always point you toward navigation.) Also Google Maps Navigation takes advantage of Google’s unparalleled search expertise to find the places you care about. You can type (or even speak) the name or address of your favorite destination into the app and trust that Google will correct your spelling and get you the right result. Finally, since your Android smartphone always has access to Google’s most up-to-date map data, there’s never a need for you to work through a cumbersome manual upgrade process.
To complement the launch of Google Maps Navigation in India, Google Maps will also begin to offer live traffic information for major roads in six large Indian cities and their surrounding suburbs: Bengaluru, Mumbai, New Delhi, Chennai, Pune and Hyderabad. As in other countries, Google’s traffic data is shown in a simple and readable color scheme — red for significant congestion, yellow for minor slow-downs, and green for free-flowing traffic — to help you analyze the traffic on your route with just a quick glance. You can view live traffic by enabling the traffic layer on maps.google.co.in or in the Google Maps app on your smartphone, or simply by visiting google.co.in and entering a query like ‘traffic in hyderabad’. (If you’re using maps.google.co.in in a desktop browser, Google Maps even allows you to check “typical” traffic conditions for a particular day and time, based on our wealth of historical data.) Finally, in places where traffic data is available, Google Maps Navigation will take congestion into account to ensure that you’re always given the directions most appropriate to current conditions.
We hope that the many Google Maps users in India will enjoy these new ways to take advantage of Google’s extensive map data. The next time you’re on the subcontinent, just check the traffic, tap the blue arrow, and drive safely!
Note: While the Google Maps app itself is a free download from Google Play and Google doesn’t charge users for access to Navigation, the Google Maps app does require an Internet connection and users are responsible for any mobile data charges they incur while using the app.