Google Maps Navigation hits Android 1.6

Google Maps NavigationGoogle Maps Navigation is, without question, one of the killer features of Android 2.0 (Eclair). Google is aware of this and as it could be some time before manufacturers move over to the Eclair update, it has decided to update Android 1.6 (Donut) to include Google Maps Navigation.

The Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 is due to launch with Android 1.6, so this is good news for those looking to purchase the handset in the US (the only region it works in currently). There will be a few features missing in the Android 1.6 update though, this includes the ability to use the “navigate to” voice command.

This release also includes the new Layers feature, which lets you overlay geographical information on the map. View My Maps, transit lines, Wikipedia articles about places, and more. It’s unknown whether this will be pre-loaded on the handset on launch, but if not, you will be able to download an updated version of Google Maps from Android Market.