Google Maps 4.2 steers Navigation to Europe, Canada

Google expands two popular mobile features to Canada and to some European countries: voice navigation and voice search.

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Google Maps 4.2
Voice guided turn-by-turn navigation in Spain? Claro que si! Google

I've definitely come to rely on Google's turn-by-turn voice navigation to guide me through some twists and turns of California's coastline. Starting Wednesday, Canadians and some Europeans will similarly be able to ditch their satnav systems and fire up their Android phones instead.

Google Maps 4.2 with Navigation will pop into the Android Market apps in Canada, and in Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, and Switzerland--as long as your smartphone runs 1.6 of the Android operating system or higher.

That's not all the localization love Google has in store. Those who speak French, German, Italian, and Spanish will likewise get a chance to try out a beta version of Google Search that's activated by your voice. However, Google warns that its localizations are limited to one-country language models, so the app's digital ears may falter in interpreting Mexican-inflected Spanish, Swiss-German, and Caribbean French, for instance.

Voice search that recognizes Spanish, Italian, German, and French is now available for Android, iPhone, BlackBerry, and Nokia Series 60 smartphones.