It is difficult to imagine what our life was like without a smartphone. It hasn’t been that long, but the phone solves so many tasks for us on a day-to-day basis and is such a good companion for gaming, entertainment, photography and even work, that we forget that it wasn’t always like that.
In fact, smartphones themselves have evolved a lot in a short time and functions that we believe have been there forever, were not present from the beginning of each of the operating systems. Today we are going to focus on the best feature of Google Maps that, curiously, did not arrive at the beginning of the application. And if, we mean Google Navigation.
There are very curious cases of software that is not ready to accompany software or functions that should have been launched in an application, but were not. One of the most extreme examples is the iPhone App Store.since Steve Jobs introduced the phone without the app store, the solution was for users to use the webapps, hackers ended up launching a store and, for the following year, they already prepared the App Store.
In Android we had store since the first version with Android 1.0 (it was not called Play Store, but Android Market), and what also came with that first version of Android was Google Maps. The legendary HTC Dream came with applications like Gmail, YouTube or Maps, but… Did you know that 2008 Maps had no navigation option?
“Simply” (in quotes because, even so, it was an achievement at that time), it allowed us to see maps and data such as our GPS location, but something as everyday as asking for the route from point A to point B, it was not starting.
In 2008 and 2009, navigators like the TomTom were still very popular, but mobile phones began to eat up ground thanks to the launch of Google Navigation. With the launch of Android 2.0, Google Maps 3.1.2 arrived with different improvements, but also the aforementioned Google Navigation.
What we leave you below is a thirteen-year-old video in which Google itself showed what the Google Maps Navigation beta was like:
It was not as smooth a navigation as the one we currently have, but It was a very important step for the popularization of mobile phones as substitutes for autonomous GPS. In addition, Google Maps Navigation added 3D views, voice directions, voice search, and data such as traffic or interest data.
The company in those years had an affair with Motorola (two years later, Google ended up buying Motorola for 12.5 billion dollars to sell it soon after to Lenovo for 2,910 million) and on his blog, Google advertisement that the first mobile with this new application would be the Motorola Android.
The service started in the United States, but made the leap to the rest of the world and soon became a phenomenon. As we say, it did a lot of damage to the GPS navigator industry because, apart from having Google behind it photographing every corner of the planet, the use of Google Maps Navigation was totally free: we didn’t have to buy software or pay for updates.
The rest is history: little by little Maps has become huge, so much so that Google itself had to divide the application into two for phones with Android Go and, currently, Google Maps is one of the most popular applications for moving both around the city as from one city to another in our vehicles.
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