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Motorola Droid  (Source: Motorola)

Google Maps Navigation  (Source: Gizmodo)
Motorola unveils DROID smartphone and Google Maps Navigation ships with the handset

The smartphone market is hot right now with smartphones growing rapidly while other segments of the mobile phone market shrink. Among the hottest smartphones are those running the Google open source OS Android.

Android is quickly becoming the OS of choice for many mobile phone makers and after much mudslinging at the iPhone in a series of ad campaigns, Motorola and Verizon have gone official with the DROID. The handset is set to hit on November 6 on Verizon for $199 with a new contract after a $100 mail-in rebate.

DROID will run Android 2.0, which has been widely anticipated for a while. Other features of the handset include Visual Voicemail, a 3.7-inch 854 x 480 resolution display, 5-megapixel camera with dual-LED flash, and a 16GB memory card bundled in the box. The handset will also ship with a beta version of Google Maps Navigation. The DROID has a slide-out QWERTY keyboard, WiFi, voice-activated search, and Amazon MP3 download capability over-the-air.

Google Maps Navigation turns GPS smartphones into full turn-by-turn navigation systems. Gizmodo offers more details on the free Google Maps Navigation app that Google is offering on the DROID. The app has street and satellite view and voice controls for search. The app will work with Android 2.0 only for now.

Addresses can be entered by typing or by voice commands. The app can also reportedly work with soft commands like "that museum that has the king tut exhibit" reports Gizmodo. The Maps are cached along the way so if you lose connectivity you can keep navigating. Street View images are also featured to give you a look at the actual street on which you are driving.



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By DLeRium on 10/29/2009 3:05:32 PM , Rating: 2
Seriously? Have you guys been out of touch?

HTC Touch HD1, now HD2? Samsung Omnia II? Samsung Omnia i8910? Acer's whatever that thing is called? Toshiba G01?

Come on. There's tons of phones that have features similar. But to the American consumer there's only one phone that comes to mind. The iPhone.

3.7" Screen - Well the HD2 has a 4.2" screen? Omnia II has a 3.7" and so does the i8910. Big deal.

Cortex A8 processor - Well all new phones have this anyway? The iPhone was the one that pasted it in everyone's face with the 3G[b]S[/b]. But it's not like the rest of the world doesn't have Cortex A8 phones. I guess the US is really behind.

5MP Camera with Dual LED Flash - You mean something the N95 had in 2007? Big whoop dee do. I guess iPhone users are like OMG 3MP => 5MP is a huge jump. Meanwhile the Sony Satio gets booed for being so late on its 12MP cameraphone + XENON flash. It's like the US is celebrating the arrival of Windows XP whereas the rest of the world is celebrating Windows 7.

[b]NAVIGATION[/b]

THIS IS THE BIGGIE. Where have you guys been? Google maps only? AT&T or Verizon's navigation crap?

Navigation by itself is not a COSTLY service. It SHOULD be free and is free in the rest of the world. In the US, people are dumb enough to pay ATT $10 a month which adds up quickly for navigation service. Why? Because you don't get all the maps at once.

Garmin Mobile XT and Tom Tom Mobile have been out for ages. You can use your phones like your Garmin GPSes already. Plus, Navteq is really better than Tele Atlas especially in the US. This is why Garmin wins in the US while TomTom rules Europe. Google Maps unfortunately uses Tele Atlas, but we can't doubt the ease of use Google Maps provides us.

So everyone is shocked Google is providing free turn by turn. Nothing special. It's the maps you have to pay for anyway, but it's easy to make it free because Google Maps is already a free service out there. So yeah I guess it's semi revolutionary but many phones come with GPSes already. Well I guess not in the US, and even if they do, it's bundled with AT&T and Verizon's service so you get screwed and have to pay up the ASS.

Great work Google. Free turn by turn is great. Makes you wonder why $99 Garmin is worth it, but this isn't the end of all GPSes. Phones have cameras and MP3 players while iPod touch sales are through the roof. Canon's still making money and if anything has expanded its SD### camera lineup since the inception of cameraphones.

Meanwhile I'll stick to Garmin Mobile XT. I get the same quality of navigation as any Garmin device right now. Ok, I miss out on that lane merge feature but everything else is still there.




“So far we have not seen a single Android device that does not infringe on our patents." -- Microsoft General Counsel Brad Smith











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