The Google turn-by-turn voice navigation update to its Maps application became available to me last night as I was getting ready to leave work. I decided to pull the update and then try it out on my drive home… here is my experience:
Application download: 2.5 MB
I thought an application, including a voice, is quite compact at 2.5 MB. It turns out the voice libraries are not included on this download. When the download completed I started the app, went and entered my destination (home), then hit “Go.” It was here I was prompted to download the voice pack.
Voice Application Addon: 4.x MB
What?! Jeeze, in the G1 we only get 75 MB or so of application space… this was looking to be a real pain in the ass. Fortunately, the installer dumps the whole set of voice data to the SD card and then removed itself from the device. Clean, sweet, not 100% intuitive. For the less tech savvy phone owners, they may be stuck wondering where their application went, or why they can’t find it. A few instructions on the app or downloader MIGHT help these people out.
It is to be mentioned that my drive home is only about 20 minutes, 5 turns total, and relatively non-freeway heavy. The default route the app chooses for me takes me off my normal path, so I decide to go my own way. I am not more than 10 seconds into my new path when the application updates my new route seamlessly and takes the route I am more familiar with. No bitching, no complaining, it just works… that is how a tool should be.
I also decided to pick up dinner on my way, the app made two route corrections during my winging about the lanes to get to my chosen dining take-out spot. When I got out of the lot, it had my route for that spot onward. Again, seamlessly, the app took my actions and translated them to my desired results.
I can say I am impressed with this application thus far and I haven’t even used a majority of its capabilities. I can’t wait to see what additional things may make it in before it leaves beta. Good job Google Apps folks.