Why the Motorola Milestone does not have Google Navigation

by Volker Weber


What you see here is a Motorola Droid. And this is not the same thing as a Milestone. Apart from differences in the radio, there are supposed to be two major changes: the Milestone will have multitouch, but it won't have Google Navigation. I believe the multitouch thing has to do with Apple IP, but the missing navigation is due to the fact, that Google simply does not have the necessary maps for Europe. For Darmstadt, Google says the maps are copyright TeleAtlas. For San Francisco it says they are copyright Google. Google can set the terms for their own maps, but not for those owned by TeleAtlas, a TomTom company.

And this means, you will have to wait quite a while until you see Google Navigation on any Android phone this side of the pond.


The more interesting question: Will it receive the editor-wont-give-it-back award? Is is better/harder/faster/stronger than the iPhone?

Dirk Steins, 2009-11-03 07:58

Gibt es irgendwo eine Übersicht, für welche Karten Google das Copyright hat, oder kommt die Info direkt von Google?

Mario Schaper, 2009-11-03 09:06

Just open Google Maps, search for different places and note the copyright in the bottom line.

Ole Saalmann, 2009-11-03 09:59

Or in any phone, as long, as it's based on google maps.

Johannes Matzke, 2009-11-03 10:04

Dirk, I don't think it will.

Volker Weber, 2009-11-03 10:14

But if it's related to the map license, wouldn't that mean that the difference is not between the phones but between where you are and need to navigate?

I mean, if the owner of a Droid (bought in the US with Google's navigation) comes to Europe, Google still would need to use the European maps and thus wouldn't be able to offer navigation, right? And vice versa, if the owner of a European Milestone goes to the US, he could navigate using Google (if the app can be installed on that phone), right?

Ragnar Schierholz, 2009-11-03 10:16

Since that is not how you explain your products, Motorola has two: the Droid and the Milestone. One with and one without Google Navigation. And like all the PND it won't give you turn-by-turn instructions everywhere in the world.

Volker Weber, 2009-11-03 10:25

@vowe: what are the concerns regarding the "editor-wont-give-it-back award" - the size?

Daniel Bott, 2009-11-03 11:00

Motorola has never sent me anything.

Volker Weber, 2009-11-03 11:03

The Milestone is shiping with an application/service called MOTONAV which provides spoken turn-by-turn directions.

Jeff Gilfelt, 2009-11-03 12:22

Jeff, indeed. But only limited to 60 days. Then you have to pay up. I have never seen MOTONAV. It may be quite good. It might as well be not.

Volker Weber, 2009-11-03 12:33

just a speculation: since the real war is not about the PND market, but about the local-search market, Googles turn-by-turn navigation is squarely aimed at Nokia - TomTom and Garmin will end up as collateral road kill, maybe Garmin staying alive in outdoor niche market. TomTom? I think its not unlikely that Google will buy the company - if only to get hold of TeleAtlas' Map IP.

Henning Grote, 2009-11-03 12:50

Interesting theory. But I don't think that Google attempts to buy TeleAtlas. They are aggressively building their own map data, including street view.

Volker Weber, 2009-11-03 12:55

Ich dachte, die Google-eigene Navigationsapp basiert auf den Daten von Streetview?

Google hat für DE bereits eine Menge Streetview gesammelt, aber das ist alles noch nicht öffentlich.

Kann man sich da auf der Karte ansehen: http://maps.google.de/help/maps/streetview/

Wo kein blauer Öddel ist, gibt es auch keine Google-Navigationssoftware. Zumindest hatte ich das so verstanden.

Sven Dietrich , 2009-11-03 14:05

So will Tomtom make it's product available on Android ?

Joel Demay, 2009-11-03 15:26

@Joel: very unlikely, if you ask me. TomTom has refused to update their Windows mobile product to an even level as their PNAs. And Android is - very much like Windows mobile - tending into the same direction as Windows Mobile: different hardware, different look&feel from vendor to vendor. TomTom is treating the Smartphone market as secondary - maybe the iphone is an exception as it is easier to maintain.

Axel Koerv, 2009-11-03 15:48

Wether Google will buy TomTom/TeleAtlas or not will be just a business decision. If Google thinks it can build its own map data fast enough, then they won't. The definition of "fast enough" depends entirely on how Google views the development of the local-search market - in the US and abroad (from their PoV). If Google thinks it can build up its own Map Data fast enough, then they won't bother with akquisitions. But it is also true, that Google has a tradition of not doing things traditionally - so it might just be, that their own data will be precise enough for their needs. And given Google history, their data probably cost a lot less, than their competitors - which again will give Google an competitive edge. Isotopp has some very intersting things to say about that: http://blog.koehntopp.de/archives/2665-Das-Google-Missverstaendnis.html#extended

Henning Grote, 2009-11-08 23:14

Motonav is not just for European Milestones. Telus in Canada is announcing that they will have the Milestone for sale in February... with Motonav. The cynic in me suspects that they are doing this only because they think they can charge extra for the navigation feature if it's from Motorola rather than Google.

Stewart Midwinter, 2009-11-10 21:06

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vowe.net is a personal website published by Volker Weber a.k.a. vowe. I am an author, consultant and systems architect based in Darmstadt, Germany.

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