Reactions to Google Maps Navigation

Much of the reaction to Google Maps Navigation for Android devices (previously) focuses on its impact on the GPS industry. The Washington Post’s Rob Pegoraro sees the Google Maps Navigation announcement in the context of whether Google is becoming the next Microsoft. Lauren Weinstein argues that this doesn’t mean the end of standalone GPS units (via Slashdot). Maybe they shouldn’t worry: Gizmodo actually reviews the product and finds that it’s “far from perfect” and has some “surprisingly bad” points — but it’s free. “Still,” says Wilson Rothman,

if this was built in to the iPhone’s Google Maps, or offered as a free download at the App Store, damn would it steal customers like a mofo. You might still see the occasional sale of a Navigon or a CoPilot, because of particular necessary features and because of the onboard map databases (which people who go off-grid prefer), but really, this thing would — and probably will — swallow the GPS app market alive.

An iPhone version is reportedly in the works; even so, TechCrunch’s Erick Schonfeld thinks this is “a big middle finger” in Apple’s direction. Somehow I think Google’s more mature than that.

On a more productive note — i.e., not spending time trying to figure out which company will get fucked over the most by Google’s announcement — O’Reilly’s Brady Forrest has some interesting thoughts on what happens when you mix all the data available through Google Maps with turn-by-turn navigation.

Previously: Google Maps Navigation: Free Turn-by-Turn Directions for Android Phones.