Google Maps Navigation arrives for Android 1.6

Google expands the availability of its Google Maps Navigation app to Android 1.6 smartphones, including the T-Mobile G1 and MyTouch 3G.

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Bonnie Cha was a former chief correspondent for CNET Crave, covering every kind of tech toy imaginable (with a special obsession for robots and Star Wars-related stuff). When she's not scoping out stories, you can find her checking out live music or surfing in the chilly waters of Northern California.
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One of the highlights of Android 2.0 has been the Google Maps Navigation app that delivers voice-guided turn-by-turn navigation on your phone for free. Until now, only Motorola Droid owners could take advantage of this sweet perk, but times they are a-changing.

On Monday, Google announced that its navigation app is now available for devices running Android 1.6 and higher, including the T-Mobile G1 and T-Mobile MyTouch 3G. While still in beta, the app provides voice-guided directions between two points, traffic information, and business searches.

This release also includes a new Layers feature that lets you overlay more information on the map, such as transit lines and Wikipedia articles about places, but it does not support the "Navigate to" voice command feature found on Android 2.0, so you'll have to input all your destinations using your phone's keyboard.

Google Maps Navigation for Android 1.6 is now available for download from the Android Market. Unlike other navigation apps or location-based services from the likes of TomTom, Garmin, and TeleNav, you don't have to pay a one-time fee or monthly subscription to use Google Maps Navigation. All you need is a data connection and you're good to go.