Saturday, November 14, 2009

Android This Week: Google Maps Nav on the Droid; Saygus Who?

A new Android phone was popping up all over the web this week, one that looks like a chubby Droid. The V1 has all of the standard features you’d expect in an Android smartphone plus the promise of a unique video calling function, and is due to be launched next year, according to the company bringing it to market, Saygus. Never heard of Saygus? Neither had we.

In the meantime, the Droid is the only phone currently available with Android 2.0, which means it’s the only one running the new Google Maps Navigation, the search giant’s (s goog) free foray into the turn-by-turn navigation world. It’s only logical to assume that future phones running Android 2.0 will also be running the navigation software from Google, but as is usually the case, hackers have decided they won’t wait. A cooked OS version (ROM) has already appeared for the original Android phone, the G1, and it has a functional version of Google Maps Navigation onboard.

I’ve been using a loaner Droid for a while now, and offer my continuing impressions of the new phone from Verizon (s vz), that network’s best phone by far — although some would argue that’s not saying much.

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