How to get Google Maps turn-by-turn navigation for the HTC Desire

Google Maps LogoFor reasons best known to Google, their turn-by-turn navigation is currently not available for beta testing in the UK.

This means you actually have to pay for CoPilot or actually, heaven forbid, read a map!

Thankfully though, there is a way round this by installing a slightly modified version of the Maps application…I found the details on how to do this on the Nimbu Blog. I have tried it out and it works a treat so here are my even simpler instructions on how to get it to work:

  1. Load the Internet app on your Desire (use the default browser for ease)
  2. Click on this link to download the modified app
  3. Once downloaded, pull down your Notification Bar and press on the downloaded file and choose the Application Installer to open the file.

Hey presto! Now load Maps [brut] from your applications list.

*NB When I first loaded it up, I had a confirmation dialog box which didn’t appear in the foreground – in fact, it appeared behind Maps but did luckily show in the Notifications Bar so I pulled that down and allowed the application access to log into Google with my Gmail details.

Full credit to the the excellent Nimbu Blog for this tip which I slightly re-worded to make a bit easier/quicker for people.


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18 Responses to “How to get Google Maps turn-by-turn navigation for the HTC Desire”

  1. Si Says:

    I did wonder why it wouldn’t tell me where it was going… I thought this was sorted out a long time ago?

    Not that I want streaming maps (data wise and wasting battery).

    I’d use Google maps if it had a way to dump a full UK cache, sadly their images are not vectored (multiple “images” as it’s one per zoom level). At least with the Nokia App you could pre-cache entire countries. I can’t imagine how big the google data would be for the whole of UK inc all zoom levels.

    Considering all the extra and “proper” satnav extras (lane guidance, speed notification, traffic granted Google has this but not so much coverage) I am kind of tempted to lump out for the Β£26.99 for UK+Ireland (although it does say windows mobile only, whereas Europe and others say android and windows mobile, not paying Β£57 for Europe).

    Though, I’m bit of a collector so I would want all the maps regardless 😦 (also I hate having to pay for the same maps for different devices/programmes over and over).

    • Jon Says:

      Yeah it’s a bit ridiculous to be honest.

      I tried out the navigation a bit earlier tonight and to be honest, it’s pretty poor in comparison to Ovi Maps – granted the calculating of the route is perfect but the voice guidance is extremely poor. Obviously it’s still only in Beta so will improve over time but I can’t help but think we need a “proper” GPS navigation app like TomTom which, like you say, would have maps installed on the SD card.

      • Si Says:

        I wouldn’t call TomTom proper imo, TT are not the be all and end all and it took a while to get their products up to scratch, problem is most people assume if the UI isn’t laid out like a TomTom, that it’s poor, I don’t remember many that are worse, most are better.

        And if someone calls my “SatNav” a TomTom, they will have to endure this Rant.

        TomTom started from software, but was totally disinterested in their biggest supporters after they went for the stand alone units, N95 with TT? but no internal GPS? TT YOU ARE TAKING THE PEE PEE.

        I could just pirate it – but for Β£27, I wouldn’t mind the ease of use and the live updated cameras/traffic/etc so long as map updates are at least free for some period. Even if I don’t use GPS much which is usually the argument for “piracy” when there isn’t a decent free alternative (even if it isn’t that brilliant), before that was Ovi Maps without the turn by turn.

      • Jon Says:

        Si, I feel your pain. I know what you mean about TomTom. In all honesty, I’ve never found a navigation application that has worked without problems. I’ve have found however that it seems to have less problems than Garmin, Nav4All (possibly gone for good now) and others.

        I also remember the days before TomTom went mainstream, I had it running on an old Hiatchi PPC and a bluetooth GPS. I even had it running on my N95 with the internal GPS after a few tweaks πŸ˜‰

        What are you buying for Β£27? Google Maps?

  2. thegadgetdude Says:

    I found this today, after downloading the “Nav Launcher” app and then accidentally stumbling upon it. I best go find a car dock! I saw someone using a iphone cardock with the desire in a post somewhere on here, think I’ll get that.

    • Jon Says:

      I’ve tried the Nav Launcher and it’s no really as good as the [brut] Maps because it doesn’t link up with your starred items etc. Glad you’ve got a working system now though πŸ˜‰

      I think there are quite a few docks for the Nexus One now so these /should/ fit the Desire in theory…

      • thegadgetdude Says:

        Yeah the Nav launcher app seem like a decent little launcher into the Maps [brut] app as it saves the previous address you went to and can save favourites. Something I’m sure the google navigation will do once its officially out here you would think.

        I like the street view option, not sure if you can download the images before the journey.

      • Jon Says:

        @thegadgetdude Have you managed to have Street View working throughout a whole journey? I can switch to it and it loads up one street and then just goes back to the overhead view…

      • Dale Says:

        I haven’t tried google maps yet as i need a dock for the car, i ordered the phone case you reviewed, do you have a dock that will hold the desire with the case on? (or do you just use a universal dock?)

      • Jon Says:

        No I don’t. The holder I’ve got only just holds the Desire without the case on so I’d really have to wedge it in if I wanted it in with the case on….

  3. Jaggy Says:

    Cool, works a treat on my desire so far after one test run.

  4. dave Says:

    There might be a lot of data in the UK at all zoom levels, but I’ve got a 4gb card in my Desire and 9 time out of ten I’m looking at map data for 20 miles around my house. Even at all zoom levels, I can’t see that being more than a few tens of megs. It would be nice if my Desire could cache that more or less permanently on my sd card, at least while it was looking for fresh data. You know, in case any new roads are built while i’m offline…

  5. Sally Says:

    Theres a program in the Marketplace called “Maps (-)” which allows you to cache from Google Maps

  6. Dale Says:

    Might wana do a blog post on this, seems the work around has prompted google to finally enable it through the maps app in the uk:

  7. google images hd Says:

    google images hd…

    How to get Google Maps turn-by-turn navigation for the HTC Desire « HTC Desire Fanatics…

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