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Rediff.com  » Business » Google Navigation works well but isn't foolproof

Google Navigation works well but isn't foolproof

September 17, 2012 10:14 IST

GoogleGoogle launched the navigation feature and Android phone users in India also got a taste of it.

It works very well on a number of counts, but fails miserably on one.

Let's find out.

Where Google Navigation scores is the traffic update feature.

In Mumbai, all I can see are the red marks over roads, which means heavy traffic.

Now, what Google tried with this is to give us an estimated 'delay' to reach the destination, based on traffic conditions.

This is where the problem begins.

We know that once stuck in a traffic in Mumbai means a lot of precious time getting shaved off.

But Google Navigation is a wee bit more optimistic and will show you a delay of a few minutes.

I tried to use Google Navigation to go from my office in Worli, Mumbai, to meet my friends in suburbs of Bandra.

The under-10-km journey will easily take an hour or half an hour, depending upon the traffic.

But Google tells me that it will take 18 minutes with a delay of two minutes even when red marks are all over the roads.

This puts me off.

Google needs to work out the delay in reaching the destination with respect to the traffic updates.

Otherwise, the feature is just not plausible.

Google Maps is very accurate.

I tried finding small tucked away restaurants in bylanes, and found them with ease.

It understands Indian addresses well and there were no problems or delays whatsoever in understanding addresses/lanes/roads by far.

Navigation also brings in voice support.

The lady with a sweet voice will guide you to your destination with turn-by-turn navigation.

This works well and you don't really need to keep looking at the phone to see where you are going.

The only downside is that English is the standard and only language option on Google Navigation.

This is where Nokia scores.

It gives you an option to download the maps and many languages are supported, including Hindi.

Nokia and Google Maps are accurate and evenly-matched.

I would prefer Nokia Maps any day over Google Maps and Navigation.

Nokia offers offline maps and one can download them over the phone so that one doesn't need internet connection every time you want to search for a place.

Also, for the multiple-language support.

Google Maps, too, are available offline but is no match for Nokia Maps.

In Google, you can only pinch and zoom out over a particular area or a city to make it offline.

And if the area gets too large it will ask you to zoom in.

Nokia, on the other hand, gives you the option to download maps of specific cities or countries and use them offline.

I downloaded the Hindi voice navigation of Nokia Maps on my Lumia 800 and loved it.

Apart from the beautiful and super-easy Windows Phone software, Nokia Maps is something to buy the phone for.

Priyanka Joshi in New Delhi
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