Google Maps brings voice-guided cycling navigation to Android

Alex Masters

google maps cycling 300x154 Google Maps brings voice guided cycling navigation to AndroidFollowing the recent addition of cycling directions in Google Maps across Australia and selected European countries, Google have now brought that same detailed cycling information to their official Google Maps mobile app. As of right now you can access comprehensive cycling directions, including voice-guided, turn-by-turn navigation, right from your Android handset.

It’s worth noting that Google Maps Navigation still bears the infamous ‘beta’ suffix, so you may come across the odd software hiccup or questionable set of directions at some point during your travels. However, as a regular user of Google Navigation on Android, I can safely say that the service is extremely accurate and far more reliable than your average sat-nav. Especially considering that smartphones can often accurately triangulate your position at times when satellite connections are few and far between. A feature that has served me well in the past, after other, more expensive, sat-navs had all but given up.

The current countries that support cycling navigation are the United States, Canada, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland and the UK. Sadly there is still no news as to which countries will be next to receive cycle directions.

Google Maps Navigation is not yet available for iOS devices, although many have speculated that an official Google Maps app will arrive in the App Store shortly after Apple replaces Google Maps with its own native mapping application in iOS 6 later this year. Even if we do see Google Maps on iOS, it doesn’t necessarily mean the navigation features will be included. Google will naturally want to entice customers to its own platform, so they may save the best features exclusively for Android.

If you’ve had the chance to take the Google’s cycling navigation for a spin, please share your experiences (good or bad) in the comments below.

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  • mikwag

    Agree that Google maps is developing fast, but I’ve tried the cycle routes, and they totally ignore canal towpaths. There is a route near me that can be done totally on quiet towpaths – Google cycling directions take me on very busy roads. I sent them this information, and they emailed me saying they are updating cycle routing, and they will email me again when it is updated accordingly. Not sure if this is just for the route I sent them, or all towpath routes (won’t be much help if they only update the stretch I sent them, given the number of towpaths countrywide). If they include all towpaths you can cycle on, then it will be really good.

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