Google Gives A Slightly Crippled Maps Navigation To All Android Users

google-maps-navigation-layersA few weeks ago there was a lot of excitement surrounding the launch of Google Maps Navigation. Unfortunately, it only worked with Android 2.0 and up, which means only the newest devices right now, like the Droid. But today Google has given an early holiday present to its other Android users: Maps Navigation to anyone running at least Android 1.6 (Donut).

Yes, that means anyone with an Android device can now use this awesome new feature. This even includes users with the original Android phone, the G1. But apparently not all of the features found in Maps Navigation for Android 2.0 will work in the 1.6 version. The one example Google gives is that you can’t use the “navigate to” voice command.

This new version of Maps Navigation also includes a new feature included called “Layers” which allows you to put various information such as Wikipedia articles on top of your map as an overaly.

The update is available in the Android Market today, obviously for free. Sadly, the service is still U.S.-only, and Google warns that it’s still in beta, something which we’ve come to ignore the meaning of thanks to Google’s own Gmail.