Google has finally enabled or lifted their server side checks to allow Google Navigation use in Singapore. It’s a good Deepavali present for us techie Singaporeans.
Google Maps Navigation is one of the best turn by turn navigation GPS tool, although it does require an always on data connection. It offers you GPS with satellite view, turn by turn navigation, street view of all your destinations as you arrive, live traffic updates, destinations which you can search by postal code, approximate names and the ability to search for terms like cafe or chinese restaurant and it will highlight those closest to you.
Previously, this could only be enabled with ROOT access. While not too difficult a process, I know some people who are apprehensive about rooting their phone. In fact, with my new S3, I have not yet rooted the phone either. In part, I am worried about the flash counter on the S3 and the triangle away issue and may sell this phone once I get my Nexus 4. Many Samsung devices store a flash counter that keeps track of how many times you have flashed *custom* firmwares to your device. On some devices, a yellow triangle or other sort of visual warning is also displayed during boot if you are running a *custom* firmware. There’s a workaround, but does still require additional steps.
Android version 2.2 and above is supported. So for users of Huawei Honor phones (still on Gingerbread), Google Navigation is still available for you. Go to Play Store and update the Maps and Street View App. The last update dates are Oct 29, 2012 and Oct 9, 2012 respectively.
And that’s it! However, a question comes to mind on what if you want to visit a country that is not on the enabled list, with the unpatched app, you would still lose functionality in the host country. And this scenario might indeed manifest with data access now being easily available and also, Google Navigation does work offline in a scaled down way. While Google has been actively pushing navigation availability this year, with Hong Kong, India and Singapore as three key areas, however, Malaysia access has not been enabled yet. So, the option to root and install the world navigation unlock app is still viable.