While we still wait for newer products like Play Movies or Play Books to reach a wider audience, Google's been hard at work bringing a slightly more useful product to additional countries: Google Maps with Navigation. After bringing voice navigation to India, nine more new countries are being added to the supported list for the Navigation beta. Including the following:

  • Egypt
  • United Arab Emirates
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Qatar
  • Kuwait
  • Lebanon
  • Bahrain
  • Jordan
  • Algeria

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Unfortunately, the service will require Android 4.0 or higher. This is likely due to Arabic script API incompatibilities with older versions. Though, it's a little unclear on just when all the necessary features would've been added (for example, bi-directional text was only added in Jelly Bean). Either way, you'll need to be running at least a mostly-fresh version of Android to get in on this action.

While it's true that a lot of Google services start out as US-only, or only launch in a few select markets, it's nice to see that one of the products Google is most aggressive about getting into as many markets as possible is a practical one, instead of just entertainment.

Update: Official Google source.

Source: Vodafone Egypt, AME Info, Google

Thanks, Karim!