When Google brought its sat nav product to Android phones, and more recently, Android 1.6 phones, many were disappointed that it didn't work outside of the USA. However, an XDA developer has hacked the software into an app that'll allow you to display navigational data for any location in the world.

If you know what you're doing with Android software installs, or have a rooted phone, you can grab the apk file direct from the Nav Launcher forum, or it's in the Android Marketplace. It doesn't seem like your phone needs to be rooted, but if you run on a non-rooted phone you'll end up with two installations of Google Maps - one hacked, one not.

For those who are a little more confused about the process, then Electric Pig is promising a full step-by-step guide shortly, but if you fancy giving it a try on your Android 1.6 phone before that, then the basic steps are:

  1. Search the marketplace for "Nav Launcher" and install it
  2. Follow the dialogues on the screen - you might be prompted to install more recent versions of the official Google Maps application.
  3. When installed, it won't work by default - you need a few more bits. Firstly, the SpeechSynthesis Data. Go to the market and search for SpeechSynthesis Data Installer - install it.
  4. Grab the hacked maps set from this link or this link, and stick the file on your phone.
  5. Make sure that "Unknown sources" is checked under Settings > Applications, then go to the file manager and run the apk file you just downloaded.
  6. Run Google Maps and you should have a working "Navigate" option.

If it doesn't work, try uninstalling everything map-related from your handset and then follow the instructions from scratch. If it appears as an option, but you get a "Navigation to your destination is not available", then you haven't got the hacked maps set. Try doing that again.

We'll admit that we don't have a 1.6 Android handset to hand, so we haven't been able to personally test this fully. If we've got anything wrong in the steps above, let us know in the comments and we'll correct it.

Oh, and all this is obviously entirely at your own risk. If you're not comfortable with installing apps off some forum, then don't - wait for Google to unlock navigation to the rest of the world instead. At the time of writing, there's no confirmation as to when that will be.