Google just put another nail in the coffin of dedicated GPS units and paid mobile apps. Google Maps Navigation now offers users the ability to route them around traffic jams. Until today, Navigation would simply calculate the most efficient route and send you on your merry way without checking traffic conditions. The new version, however, will look at both current and historical traffic data to calculate the best route to take. According to Google, Navigation users now use the app to drive more than 35 million miles per day.
Google Maps Navigation is only available for Android phones.
With this move, Google makes it even harder for dedicated GPS units and paid apps from providers like Navigon, TomTom and others to compete with its free offerings (though they still have some advantages, especially when it comes to working offline). On the iPhone, of course, Google provides the basic functionality for the Maps application, but doesn’t offer any turn-by-turn navigation there. It doesn’t look like this will change with the upcoming iOS 4.3 release. There have been persistent rumors that Apple could introduce its own navigation app in a future version of iOS, however, and that Google could bring Navigation to the iPhone as well.