Google has been rolling out a lot of updates to its Maps app on Android. After the recent launch of Navigation in India, Google has now enabled its Navigation app to be used in nine MENA countries according to UnleashThePhone. Along with this, Navigation now has support for Arabic. The countries include Egypt, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, Lebanon, Bahrain, Jordan and Algeria. Google has also released a video that shows the Navigation app being used in Arabic.

Google Maps Navigation takes advantage of long-standing features of Google Maps for mobile. These features include powerful Google search and voice search capabilities, which allow users to find local destinations by typing or speaking an address or business name. Google’s search tools go a distance in assisting the user. For instance, ambiguous queries and words that are misspelled are corrected and clarified without requiring the user to enter an exact address, and the optimal route from origin to destination is quickly calculated.

Google Maps Navigation, an Internet-connected GPS navigation system, offers users turn-by-turn voice-guided driving directions and it has been a free feature of Google Maps for mobile on smartphones running Android version 2.2 or later. As part of the Google Maps for mobile application, Google Maps Navigation accesses the latest information about roads and points of interest from Google’s online mapping services automatically, without the need for any manual data updates.

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Google launches Navigation in MENA countries

Importantly here, although Google Maps app itself is a free download from Google Play and the access to navigation isn’t charged for either, the Google Maps app does require an Internet connection and users are responsible for any mobile data charges they incur while using the app.

Speaking at the launch of these services, Darren Baker, Product Manager for Google Maps, said: “Our goal in developing Google Maps is to provide users with the most comprehensive and accurate online maps in every country, and to share the features and benefits of Google Maps as widely as we can.”

Earlier, Google had also launched Live Traffic updates for its users in India. Check Google Maps on your Android mobile or your desktop now and you will notice a new layer called Traffic. Enable that and specify your location. You will be able to see what the road traffic is like in that city. At the bottom left of the map, users can see a legend depicting the nature of the traffic at the time – ranging from slow to fast. Again, to view the traffic conditions more keenly, users can zoom in to the location, and with the Live Traffic layer turned on, they even get to know the state of the traffic at that location. The colour-coded legend lines depicted on the map explain the nature of the traffic at that place.

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