Categories: How Tos Extra   Tags: , ,

Google Maps NavigationGoogle Maps Navigation works in the UK, as we showed you earlier today. Balking at the price of satnav apps on the Android Market? Fancy getting turn by turn free? Here’s our tutorial to show you how it’s done.

This method will let you install Google Maps Navigation on a mobile running Android version 1.6. It doesn’t require any rooting around in code, or even any major modding, so even newbies to the modding scene will be able to pull this one off. Although we’ve had no hiccups installing Google Maps Navigation on our HTC Magic, the steps outlined below are taken at your own risk, but be sure to let us know which phones and networks you manage to get this running on. Happy driving, and thanks again to Electricpig reader Matt for the heads-up!

What you’ll need

  • 1 Android 1.6 phone (We prefer the HTC Magic)
  • 1 microSD card
  • 1 microSD card reader or USB cable


  • If it’s not updated, install the 1.6 Donut upgrade for your Android phone. The device should prompt you to do this itself, once it’s online.
  • Download the ApkInstaller app from the Android Market (Search for “apk”).

Google Maps NavigationMethod

  • You’ll need to download a specially modified version of Google Maps onto your PC, which can be found here [Thanks to partypas for getting it working]. It’s a mere 2MB download so will take just seconds.
  • Connect your phone via a micro USB cable, or slip the micro SD card into a reader and plug it into your PC. Copy across the file.
  • Disconnect your Android phone from the USB cable, or insert the micro SD card.
  • Install the modded Maps by firing up ApkInstaller and opening the file you copied across to the micro SD card.
  • You might be prompted to give the phone the OK to install non-Android Market apps if you haven’t already. Do so.
  • You’ll now have two Maps icons in your menu screen (See screenshot). Open the second one, and input your directions in Google Maps as you normally would.
  • You’ll be given the option to “Show on map”, or “Navigate”. Press the Navigate option and, bingo, you’ve got Google Maps Navigation.
  • Finally, download Nav Launcher from the Android Market to quickly jump to the Navigation feature in Maps.
  • And that’s it: you’ve now got a free satnav app on your Android phone. Enjoy Google Maps Navigation in the UK!
  • Anonymous

    Doesn’t work on a G1 Device, APKInstaller refuses to install it.

    • James Holland

      Which version of Android are you using? We’ve only got it working with 1.6 so far.

    • Ben Sillis

      Thanks for the tip – there are videos showing a G1 running Maps Navigation so it’s at least possible with some mods. Perhaps not this one though.

    • Anon

      It worked for me on T-mobile UK G1 with android 1.6

  • Rod

    Or as I did, buy a US t-mobile pre-pay SIM online (ebay) and then just put the US sim in and install the latest google MAPS via the market.
    Navigation only works for US routes, if you use a UK route then no navigation.

  • Scrapz

    It seams like to me that it is going to take personal information from our phones!!! Read what it ways just before you confirm the install, it says Read and write contact data??? Read Instant Messages, why would it need to do such a thing?

    • James Holland

      As we say Scrapz – use it at your own risk! If you’re at all worried, then our advice is not to try it. We didn’t create up the tweaked version of Google Maps, just this tutorial to help you find it and install it on your phone. We can’t vouch for its safety at all – That’s down to the guys at the XDA Developers Forum.

      Sorry to pour cold water on your plans, but if you’re uneasy then best to hold out for the official Google release in the UK. For our part, we installed it on a freshly formatted HTC Magic just incase it screwed anything up, but it seems to work fine.

  • BDCul

    Got it working quite well on my Vodaphone Magic here in Australia. I’m running 1.6 and had no issues installing.
    Thanks :)

  • Shermozle

    Seems to be working in Australia under CyanogenMod-4.2.5 on ADP. Yay! Haven’t actually gone driving with it yet, but it looks right for now.

  • mapperz

    Read and write contact data?
    this is so you can add gps coordinates to contacts and navigate to their location.
    like tomtom has navigate to home – great for car thieves!
    [if worried stealing data from your phone - don't use it] – so what if you lose the phone? all your useful data. sell it on maybe or, then someone might be kind and return it….
    works both ways


    • Duncan

      Not gps coordinates although it can get those from Latitude. Any street addresses in your contacts are offered as completion when entering an address.

  • Dave

    Works in austria and germany too with a rooted UK tmobile G1 running Cyanogen Mod 4.26? (the latest one), Cheers!

    • Ben Sillis

      A successful T-Mobile G1 installation? Excellent!

  • Tim

    Works great, thanks. I run Cyanogen and was looking for this for a while.

  • Ian

    Works great on my UK Vodafone Magic 32B, Cyanogen 4.2.6. Thanks!
    If you don’t want to mess around with downloading separately to your SD card, you can just visit from your phone. (That takes you to the XDADev post).

  • nojodastronco

    Hi, I got it working in a Magic in Spain, including Spanish voice indications :-)
    But I can’t make Street View layer work (as in your first pic). There is not even an option to do it. Is there any further step?


    • James Holland

      Hey nojodastronco! No extra steps – it just worked for us.

  • systemtak

    this is very nice ..


  • Rahil Sondhi

    Has anyone successfully done this in Canada on the Rogers network?

  • Beth

    Doesn’t seem to work on non-rooted UK Orange HTC Hero running firmware update from a few months back (i believe android version 1.6 is on the phone?)

    Maybe this is only available on some networks?

    • Ben Sillis

      HTC Heroes still have 1.5 on at the moment I believe Beth. Don’t worry, HTC should put you right back in the game with a big update soon – in fact, XDA has already put out a Hero Android 2.1 leaked ROM (At your own risk of course).

  • Frederick

    works nicely on a Motorola Dext….great application…easy to use.

    • Ben Sillis

      That’s great news! We don’t have a DEXT to hand, but figured it might be a tough nut to crack thanks to Motoblur sitting on top.

  • droidnoob

    doesn’t work on HTC magic with 1.5. anyone know if i’ll get a 1.6 update?

    • Ben Sillis

      Your HTC Magic should prompt you to download 1.6 if you leave it on for a while. Otherwise, install a 1.6 ROM from XDA and you’ll be laughing – although do so at your own risk, needless to say.

  • Boberta Jones

    Was working but now doesn’t with new google maps update which was on marketplace… has this broken it?!

    • anon

      Was working great until I updated nav launcher, if you have it working don’t change anything!

  • VMan

    Looks like it should work on my G1, but keeps coming up with “no route found. Navigation to your destination is not available.” If anyone knows why – HELP!

    • Ben Sillis

      Google appears to have blocked international navigation in the last day – when did you try to install?

  • Mani

    Can anyone got it working in vodafone HTCmagic UK .. I cannot make it working.. I always get Navigation to your destination is not available . Can anyone help me

    • Ben Sillis

      It sounds like Google has called time on international navigation with some network/server side updates to Maps. It’s down for the count for now, but we’ll let you know as soon as XDA find a workaround.

  • Kryton

    I have installed this on a HTC Magic in the UK running software version 1.6. Everying installed fine however a couple of things are causing me problems.

    1. I am only getting one copy of maps and not two as shown above
    2. When I look up a route its shows my location correctly and shows my route on the map fine. However when I select navigate it says “navigation to your destination not available”

    I am just wondering if the two issues above are related.


    Can anyone suggest

  • Tim

    I installed it without any problems on my Motorola Milestone but I am in France and when I try to “Navigate” the app loads but then says “No route found. Navigation to your destination is not available”.
    Anyone have any ideas what might be going wrong?

  • jamie

    Nexus One – has anyone got it working on the N1 in the UK? I get the following response: “No route found” – navigation not available – any ideas??


    • Ben Sillis

      You’ve got one in the UK? Nice work! Unfortunately, Google’s done some server side dark magic and stopped Navigation from working in the UK on any Android phone, for now.

      • Gib21

        Installed sucessfully on HTC Magic on Vodafone in the UK, but won’t Navigate. Bit dissapointed. Have to wait for the official release.!!!

  • emi

    Installed on a HTC Tattoo,Android 1.6 on the roads of central Italy all work fine!!! thank you very much!!!!

  • Ahmed Masoud

    Hi, I am in the U.K. I did the tutorial above on my nexus one and managed to do all the downlaod…etc, but it is still doesn’t navigate. Once a route is entered and I click navigate, a message pops up saying navigation is not available. Have I missed anything?

    • Matthew Thompson

      Hello there. Ahmed, the linked version of the googlemaps was banend By Google. If you look on the internet or the XDA forums, you’ll be able to find the latest version which works.

      Ideally, go to the android market on your device, and search “nav launcher”. This program will remove your old version of Googlemaps and Install the latest, proven to work, cracked version which will allow you to use turn by turn navigation within the U.K ; and anywhere else for that matter.

      The only issue with this version is that it sometimes does not show the Street Name at the top of the phone, But that isn’t really important as its shown elsewhere.

      • Rik

        Hi Matthew,

        Thanks for the great advice, it worked a treat!


      • Ahmed Masoud

        Thanks Matthew, this really works – I am so impressed! Keep up the great work guys!

  • Graham Haynes

    Slightly off-topic, but what is the data useage like on google maps navigation? i’m getting the htc desire on vodafone unlimited internet (512mb per month – not exactly my idea of unlimited lol) and am slightly concerned this type of “online” satnav solution could be painful come billing time at the end of the month. Great article by the way.

  • dave

    Graham- what are you paying for the phone/contract? I’m looking for Desire deals but because only Vodafone have the device at the mo it limits my choices somewhat. They seem an expensive company which wants to tie you into a 2 year contract. Best I’ve seen so far is t-mobile doing a 30 day contract for £10, with unlimited data and 100 mins/texts. You’d have to buy the phone yourself, tho (£440 from Amazon). They do a £15 one if you want more mins. Is vodafone cheaper than this?

    • Graham Haynes

      Hi Dave,

      the vodafone deal i have is £25 per month inc 75 mins talk, 250 txts and unlimited internet: it is a 2 year contract but the first 6 months are half price (£12.50) – this should be by redemption but if you contact vodafone directly they will happily let you do it with them directly and they will simply reduce your bill by £12.50 per month for 6 months. this works out cheaper per month than any other deal *i* could find.

      To be honest the way i am looking at it is it will take about that 2 years for 4g networks to be viable (my own opinion so dont flame :P ) and that is the only real point i will need to upgrade from the Desire.

      Hope this helps :)

      • dave

        thanks but I’ve found a cheaper one!
        18 months at £20, plus £129 for the phone = £489 overall, and that’s for unlimited (3gb) data, 300 texts, 300 mins, and free unlimited landline calls (or unlimited texts, or a few other choices). So that’s probably what i’ll go for in a few months when my contract is up.

        • Graham Haynes

          Nice one!

          I have literally just unboxed my desire and one of the first things i did was to folow the above posters instructions on getting google maps nav to work…and work it does, very well indeed (thx!)…i will try it out properly and note the data useage.

          Awsome phone btw :)

          • Ben Sillis

            It’s working in the UK again you say? Excellent, might have to test it out.

  • Cliff

    I followed the instructions in Matthew’s reply above, and this works like a charm! You’ve just saved me £25 for CoPilot, thank you!

    • http://El Guy

      May sound ‘dumb’ but where’s the APKinstaller on the market. When i type in APK all i find is APK Manager, or eoeAppinstaller. I’m really confused.

      Help because I so want to try this app.

      I have the Desire phone.

  • Andy

    Fantastic – That’ll teach Google to mess with us Brits! Thanks to the people with the IT skills who have managed to make Google Navigation work. By the way, with regard to the t-mobile contract vs Vodafone, one of the reasons that t-mobile is “more competitively priced” is because the signal is no where near as good as Vodafone. In my opinion it would be better to stick with Vodafone and pay a little more or risk getting a lot more signal issues around the country. (NOTE this is only my opinion – no animals were maltreated in making this comment)

  • Raid Recovery

    Nice tutorial , it helps me to set google maps on my cellphone.

  • Car DVD GPS

    Google Maps Navigation supports voice search, satellite view, 3D view, traffic information, automatic rerouting, among many other features you would find on premium GPS devices.

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