Google Maps was once just another mapping service on the Internet, but it has quickly become an essential part of everyday life for many people. With additions like navigation, live traffic information, accident reports, etc. it has rapidly evolved to become better than most other options, even expensive car-mounted GPS units.
Navigation in particular has shaken up the industry by giving fast, accurate and free voice-guided turn-by-turn directions to anyone with an Android device. It was one of the selling features for Android for a while, and recently came to iOS with the new Google Maps app.
But as helpful as Navigation is, it still isn’t available to everyone around the world. There are very complicated data licensing agreements for map data and Google often can’t offer navigation until they own the map data. For some parts of the world, that’s simply not possible. But Google has taken a big step today by giving Navigation to 25 more countries.
The new countries are primarily in Africa, but there are others in Europe, Asia, and even the Caribbean. The decision for which countries made the list probably have more to do with Google’s map data or data agreements with whoever owns the data. So if your country isn’t on the list yet, it’s probably one that Google is still working on getting. Here’s the full list of new countries that can use Navigation:
Central African Republic
Republic of Congo
These new countries are only available in the Android version of Google Maps for now. There’s no mention of when they might show up for iOS users, but for now, none of the new countries added today are on the list of countries available for iOS. Also note that these new additions cover turn-by-turn navigation only. Traffic or incident data is not available in all of these countries.
So if you live in one of these countries and have been waiting to use turn-by-turn navigation, today is your day! And if you plan to travel to any of these countries in the future, you can rest easy knowing that Navigation is waiting for you.