Thursday, 29 April 2010

Voice Directions Now On HTC Desire Google Maps In UK

For UK users of Google maps on their Android phones, like my HTC Desire, we've been missing out on voice guidance when it comes to directions.

Fret no more, because in the last few days Google has turned this feature on in Maps. When asking for directions, there's a new option - "navigate". Simply tap this and the first time you'll be asked to install the voice simulator, then you've got a fully featured gps Sat Nav to rival Garmin or Tom Tom!

I used the Navigate option on a local journey and was pleasantly surprised with the quality of the voice instructions and the way it displays the map in pseudo 3d. It's a bit quiet, but I could hear it above the engine noise, and I'd recommend some sort of windsceen mount and car charger for longer journeys.

The simulated voice is more than passable, it will say things like "take the third exit onto Southampton Road", which is better than my old Garmin 200. Sometimes the pronunciation and words used are a bit odd - being asked to "slide right" was off-putting, but overall this is very usable.

I haven't had a chance to test the app on a long journey where it would be more than likely that you would drive through areas with no 3g coverage, but I have to say that if I was the CEO of Garmin or TomTom I'd be very worried about this FREE app!

Cheers, Rob.


  1. Hi rob,
    Firstly I'd like to thank you for all the videos you put out for the HTC desire on you tube so (thank you). Now I've had my desire for 1 month now and I think it is one of the best phones I've ever used in my life. I need some help if you can regarding the googlesatnav on my phone because previously when I used it it drained all my data package in just 2 days, will this happen again if I use the voice nav with the new Google upgrade. You can contact me on thanks and keep up the good work.

  2. Hi,

    Great question. I guess the nav with the voice search will use up even more bandwidth. If I were you I'd check with your phone provider to see if you could get on an unlimited plan.

    Cheers, Rob.

  3. Don't use it too much, (so maybe it was never there) but went to use it today (5Sep2010) and there was no sign of the Navigation option.
    I am on version 4.4.0
    Has it been removed, or do I need to turn it on?

  4. Its live and kicking on my 4.4.0, go to the marketplace and see if there's an update. (Check the downloads tab).