Navigation activated on UK Android phones

UK Android owners - get out the bunting. It appears that overnight the turn-by-turn navigation feature so beloved of US users has been enabled for Brits running the 4.1.1 Google Maps beta.

We've got it running on a Nexus One in the UK, and Engadget claims to have tested an HTC Desire, too. The niftiest bit on the Nexus One is the way you can just hit the universal search bar on your homescreen, say "Navigate to Dungeness", and it'll instantly start telling you where to drive.

You can view a list of directions, fire up Street View or satellite view, see traffic along the route, search for places to eat and view search layers too. However, the app is only available on Android devices running version 1.6 or above. That's going to leave a rather bitter taste in the mouths of HTC Hero owners, who are stuck running 1.5 with an update repeatedly postponed by HTC.