Navigation SDK overview

The Navigation SDK lets you seamlessly integrate the Google Maps turn-by-turn navigation experience directly into your mobile applications. The SDK offers UI customization for brand look and feel and advanced route configuration. Providing customizable, in-app navigation experiences helps you enhance operational efficiency, improve user engagement, and gain valuable data-driven insights.

Why use the Navigation SDK?

Integrating navigation into your app lets you provide a superior experience for your users, while applying your own branding and leveraging trip data:

  • Control the end-to-end experience and increase engagement by keeping users within your app during navigation, eliminating the need to switch between apps.
  • Personalize the navigation experience to match your brand's look and feel with customizable UI elements.
  • Optimize the route experience by managing routing preferences, destinations, and waypoints.
  • Utilize location and event data from trip routing for analytics, optimizations, customer communications, and real-time monitoring.

What can you do with the Navigation SDK?

The Navigation SDK lets you create a comprehensive in-app navigation experience:

  • Provide your users with a seamless and reliable turn-by-turn navigation experience powered by Google Maps.
  • Support various modes of transportation, including driving, walking, cycling, and two-wheel vehicles.
  • Implement custom markers, overlays, and UI elements to highlight key navigation information and to personalize the navigation experience to match your brand.
  • Access trip data to analyze trends, identify areas for improvement, and optimize operations.

How the Navigation SDK works

You can use the Navigation SDK to incorporate both maps and navigation features into your app. The two main components of the Navigation SDK are:

  • Map Layer: Begin with a map layer, including map view, styling, UI controls, camera, and interaction behavior. The Navigation SDK includes the map functionality from the Maps SDK, and apps that include the Navigation SDK cannot include the Maps SDK. If your app uses the Maps SDK, you need to remove it in order to use the Navigation SDK. However, the maps API is nearly identical in the Navigation SDK, so you typically don't need to update your implementation, other than removing the Maps SDK. For information on the maps API and functionality differences between the Maps SDK and the Navigation SDK, see the Overview page in the Reference section
  • Navigation Experience: Add the navigation experience using the, which includes the turn-by-turn navigation overlay, turn cards, and additional UI elements. You can either use the Google Navigation experience or build your own custom navigation experience.

How to use the Navigation SDK

The steps below cover a typical use case scenario for using the Navigation SDK:

1 Get set up Create a Google Cloud project, add the Navigation SDK to your API key, and set up your Android Studio project. For more information, see Set up your project.
2 Navigate to your first route Plot a route within your app to a single destination. For more information, see Navigate a single-destination route.
3 Modify the navigation UI Customize the navigation experience and visual appearance by modifying the built-in UI controls and elements appear on the map. For more information, see Modify the navigation UI.
4 Adjust routing details Modify routing preferences and manage waypoints. For more information, see Route experience.

For more information about the Navigation SDK features, see Reference, or Try the demo.