These days, many phones support GPS services. If you are lucky enough to have an Android phone, these services are free, assuming you are running version 1.6 or higher (the GPS navigation has even more features for 2.0 or higher).
Ensure that you have the latest version of Google Maps on your Android phone. This can be downloaded from the Android Marketplace. Then, select the “Google Maps” icon to start the application. To set up free step-by-step GPS navigation for the first time, press the “Menu” button and select “Directions.” Select the “End Point” text field and input a location. Click “Go.” The phone will display “Getting driving direction.” When done, click “Navigate.” You will be prompted to install voice features for Google Navigation, unless you have already installed it.
Note: if you are not prompted, after clicking “Navigate,” you will be presented with the step-by-step voice driving instructions.
You will be provided with a link to the Android Marketplace to download the free “SpeechSynthesis Data Installer.” This will allow the phone to speak the step-by-step instructions. At the time of this writing, this feature is still in BETA and there is only one voice available. This is likely to change in the near future.
Once the download has completed, return to Google Maps, where you may need to click “Navigate” again. At this point, Google Maps Navigation will start.
Additional Free Features of Google Maps Navigation on Android
While in Google Maps Navigation on Android, press the “Menu” button to see more tools that can help you better navigate or hone your search preferences.
Search – Search allows you to look for a new, specific address or type of location (such as restaurants, ATMs or gas stations).
Route Info – Route info will display a trip summary in map form, including the remaining time and mileage, the option to view and select alternate routes and detailed, step-by-step text instructions.
Layers – Layers will allow you to have specific types of commercial locations displayed on the GPS map at all times, such as restaurants, banks and parking garages.These locations will be represented on your map with clickable icons, which can provide more information about each location.
Mute – Mute disables the voice portion of the step-by-step GPS navigation driving directions.
Exit Navigation – Exit navigation will close Google Maps Navigation and clear your driving instructions. Only use this when you have reached your destination or no longer need that address.
More – More offers directions lists, choose destination and help for further utilizing Google Maps Navigation.