Google should, therefore, look at its rivals and steal some of their ideas, especially because its objective is to build the best navigation app on the planet. Google can't always be the first to come up with brilliant ideas, and HERE has just demonstrated it with a recent update.
Version 4.10, which debuted not long ago, comes with a clever option to let users get repeated instructions while driving.
Why it's such a great feature
The route guidance is offered in two ways. On the one hand, the sat-nav software displays next-turn information on the screen, so you can figure out which way you must go by just glancing at the screen. On the other hand, most navigation apps also speak the instructions, so you don't have to take your eyes off the road to follow the suggested route.
When you drive on an unfamiliar route, you might be focused on the road, therefore missing the instructions provided by the navigation app. If you miss a turn, the software must re-route, adding more time to the journey. For example, if you miss a highway exit, you might have to drive 30 extra minutes to reach the next exit and then return to the original route.
As a result, HERE's new feature allows you to stay up-to-date with next-turn information even if you miss the original instruction.
How it works
Obviously, the process involves taking your eyes off the road for a second, but it's the most convenient way to repeat the instructions if you miss the original guidance.
All navigation apps need it
Following Waze's guidance is often challenging, especially when using these narrow roads with multiple turns. Missing one instruction could cause the driver to go off route, eventually forcing the application to look for a new route but also potentially guiding users into a major traffic jam.
Repeating the instruction could also come in handy when the driver doesn't understand the provided information. The engine noise, the music playing in the car, or the passengers speaking in the cabin could make it harder to understand the turn-by-turn guidance, so a driver must have an easy way to repeat the instructions to follow the suggested route more conveniently.
However, there's room for improvement, mainly because the driver shouldn't take their eyes off the road to request the navigation app to repeat the guidance. One easy way to achieve this is to integrate voice command support, as users can request the application to speak the guidance again by sending a command.
Meanwhile, navigation experts like HERE, TomTom and Sygic continue to invest in more advanced capabilities, providing Google Maps and Waze users with solid alternatives to common navigation software. The only shortcoming is that some of their most advanced features are not available free of charge, so customers must get a subscription, eventually making the sat-nav an expensive investment.
HERE offers the aforementioned option free of charge as part of HERE WeGo, a navigation solution available on Android and iPhone (and Android Auto and CarPlay) with the essential feature package. Like Google Maps, it also comes with offline map integration, so you can navigate to a desired address without an Internet connection. Google Maps also offers such capabilities, but on the other hand, Waze lacks support for navigating offline because its crowdsourcing engine requires a permanent Internet connection to download and upload traffic reports. Apple Maps also received offline map support with the release of iOS 17, now available for the iPhone XS and newer.