Google Maps Navigation Hits the G1, MyTouch, All Other 1.6 Handsets

Google Maps Navigation, even if it's not perfect, was one of the juiciest features of Android 2.0. Today, Google's finally set it free: It's now available for any phone with Android 1.6 Donut, including the G1 and MyTouch 3G.

The download is live in the App Market—just grab the newest version of Maps, and Nav is included—and Google's free turn-by-turn navigation software is mostly identical to the version found on the Droid. Mostly:

Some features of Android 2.0 are not available on Android 1.6, for example, the ability to use the "navigate to" voice command as shown in our demo video. However, you can still create a shortcut that will allow you to launch Navigation and start getting directions to a specific place from your current location with just a single touch from your home screen. For example, you can create a "Home" shortcut to quickly navigate home, no matter where you are. Just use the "Add" menu item from the home screen, then choose "Shortcuts", then "Directions." Please visit our forum to give us feedback, or our Help Center to get help using Google Maps Navigation.

Still though, free turn-by-turn for all, unless you have a Hero or one of Samsung's ditties, for which you are permitted to make one (1) extremely sad face. Let us know how it works in the comments. [Google]