The Google navigation experience

The Navigation SDK provides different ways to integrate a navigation experience into your app. This page explains what the Google navigation experience is and how it differs from other navigation experiences that are available in the Navigation SDK.

What is the Google navigation experience?

The Google navigation experience refers to using the Navigation SDK to embed a turn-by-turn navigation experience that uses Google-provided UI elements and visuals, which are similar to the navigation experience within the Google Maps apps. When you embed the Google navigation experience in your app, you don't need to build the navigation experience from scratch, but you can still modify parts of the experience. As an alternative, if you need more customization than is available with the Google navigation experience, you can request a turn-by-turn navigation feed from the Navigation SDK and then provide and manage your own UI elements. For more information, see Custom navigation experience.

When you use Google navigation experience, your app calls the Navigation SDK to start, run, and stop navigation, using the following flow:

  1. Start navigation. To start navigation, your app creates a navigator instance. From there, it sets the destination for the navigator and initializes a map. Finally, the app initiates the turn-by-turn guidance. This app flow can be presented to the user in a variety of ways depending on your use case. For example, the app might have a store locator with its own UI elements that users can use to begin navigation to the store. Or, your app might begin active navigation with a predefined destination when a driver accepts a delivery task.

  2. Active navigation. Once your app enters active navigation, it uses the device location to maintain active guidance. You configure event listeners that are meaningful to your use case, such as for route changes and remaining time to the destination. During active navigation, the Navigation SDK provides UI components, which are similar to those in the Google Maps apps. For example, the navigation experience shows a standard Google maps layer, with visuals like turn guidance cards, traffic layers, alternate routes, and speed limits.

  3. Stop navigation. Your app terminates the navigation session in the way that best works for your use case, such as with an arrival listener that triggers when the user reaches the destination.

How can you modify the Google navigation experience?

In general, you can modify the Google navigation experience to have different color schemes, camera views, extra turn guidance, and event response triggers. The following list describes some of the adjustments you can make. This list is not exhaustive.

Modification Details
Modified navigation guidance: show/hide headers, colors and fonts, directions, alternate routes, and trip progress Map UI controls
Navigation header and footer
Navigation header accessory view
Display directions list
Hide alternate routes
Display trip progress
Adjust traffic information and speed limit information Display the speedometer
Adjust speedometer alerts
Enable traffic lights and stop signs
Change the map experience UI and adjust the camera. Position UI elements
Adjust the camera