If you’re an avid use of Google Maps on your mobile device, you’ll be happy to know that turn-by-turn navigation is already available for the country. It’s still in beta though so don’t expect accurate and up-to-date navigation just yet.
This turn-by-turn navigation feature has been officially announced for Android devices brought by the localization efforts by Google for Philippines. If you’re on Android, updating your Google Maps should give you this feature.
No word yet for Google Maps for the iOS as the app has been removed from the local App Store when iOS 6 came out along with Apple Maps. However, if you have Google Maps installed in your iOS device, the turn-by-turn local navigation will already be a part of the app.
I tried it out earlier heading to the office from home and for the most part, navigation is good with fast rerouting if you choose not to follow it. There are also voice overs which include street names (Pa-Sei-Yow Dei Rowk-sas anyone?) so that’s a plus compared to your regular GPS devices and local navigation apps. Clicking the Car icon will show you available routes you can choose from.
It wasn’t able to recognize the shortcut roads Waze taught me but one-way street recognition seem to work here in Makati. It did instruct me to turn left on a “no left turn” street though so just ignore obvious violations and let the app reroute you. Oh, and it didn’t recognize which side of the building I should approach unlike with Waze, it directed me at the back where the parking entrance and lobby are located.
Still, Google Maps local navigation feature looks already polished for a beta release and it’s just a matter of time for Google map-makers to make it more accurate.