Free GPS: Google Announces Free Voice Guided Navigation

In sync with Verizon Wireless' Motorola DROID announcement this morning, Google announced its new Google Maps Navigation (Beta) application.

Google Maps Navigation provides voice guided turn-by-turn directions for Android 2.0 devices, which for now, only includes the Motorola DROID. To search, simply tell the device (in plain English) where you want to go.

Earlier this morning we said, "Navigate to Starbucks," and Google Maps Navigation provided a list of nearby Starbucks locations. We clicked one, and it began navigating.

The app also provides information like traffic along the route, also has a satellite view option, and includes the street view we've been accustomed to from the Google Maps application.  A "car dock" mode is said to make the phone easier to use at arm's length, although we haven't had a chance to check out that feature yet.

Google Maps Navigation is going to stir up the voice-guided navigation marke, especially if there are plans to branch into other operating systems. Sprint and T-Mobile currently offer a Telenav solution on their handsets which costs $9.99 per month (which is also included in Sprint's simply everything plan).