Using Your Phone for GPS Navigation

If you have a phone with maps, wouldn't it be nice if you didn't also need a car GPS? As it happens, you can indeed use your phone as a GPS. If you don't have the latest version of Google Maps, you should download it from the Android Market to be sure you have Google Maps Navigation installed.

When you get driving directions, choose the Navigate option. This works best if you have a phone with a speaker phone option. Otherwise, you'll need to use a Bluetooth headset.

As you near your destination, Navigation will show you Street View, so you can glance (or better yet, have a passenger glance) to see where you're headed.

Many phones, like the DROID and Nexus One, have special car mounts for charging your phone while using it to navigate. The Nexus One mount defaults to using the Car Home app when the phone is docked.

Garmin introduced its own Android phone that offers Garmin's navigation software and a car mount accessory. It also includes Garmin Voice Studio to let you record your own voice for navigation directions. The big advantage of Garmin's phone is that the maps are downloaded and stored on the phone. This takes up significant storage space, but it means your phone is not dependent on a data connection for giving directions.

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