Google itself is the “Killer App” for mobiles
Currently the smartphone manufacturers are competing with Apps as well as device features. The fact that Google's new technology is featured first on the Android platform means that it's not a single App that's the key selling point, it's everything Google does as a developer.
Anyone with a compatible Android phone will be able to download the new Google Sat Nav App. This free app is astounding for 2 main reasons:
1) Street View on a Sat Nav device
What a cool feature - actually see the streets on your Sat Nav device as you drive down them. Stuart and I were blown away when I randomly hit buttons on his new HTC Desire and street view popped up. It's an obvious feature when you think about it but no less impressive. Isn't this where Sat Nav technology has been heading all this time? Google has just leap-frogged several generations of TomTom devices.
Street View and Google Maps Navigation is technology that only Google can provide - who else has the resources and inclination to photograph a huge amount of streets around the world and then and give that data away for free?
2) Voice commands
Voice recognition has been around for a while and lots of manufacturers have this technology. But Google has coupled this with their search engine, arguably still the best, and the business location data they have with Google Maps. This means that you can say "navigate to Gravitywell" and you'll be directed from your current location straight to our office. Furthermore, you could ask for directions to an art exhibit - even if you don't know which museum it's in!
There is one problem as far as we can see: you'll need a decent internet connection to get Google Maps Navigation working as reliably as your current in-car Sat Nav. As anyone with a 3G phone in the UK (that doesnt live in London) will agree, that could make the experience a a little frustrating sometimes. Of course this situation will only improve in the future.
Yes, we need to keep an eye on the sort of power and control that Google is evolving. But ignoring that for a second - I feel that Google will be the one that continues to revolutionise mobile devices in the near future.