Google Navigation broken, but not on this deviceGoogle Navigation, part of Google Maps and one of the most useful applications on the HTC EVO 4G LTE, has been broken for many (myself included) for about five and a half months now. This happened since the first Jelly Bean update, with no official word from Sprint or HTC about plans to fix.

Meanwhile, the new flagship HTC product – the HTC One – along with many other HTC devices are working fine, and some people who own the EVO 4G LTE (both rooted and not) are working properly with it, too.

Speculation has run fairly rampant about it being the fault of release-day phones, certain batches of the EVO 4G LTE interacting badly with Google Navigation, or root/unrooted/ROM status, but there is still no official word on what’s happening.

The issue seems to affect devices at random, and other manufacturers’ flagship phones that went from ICS to Jelly Bean, so it’s not just HTC for once.

Various methods of working around the issue include viewing the navigation map in 2D mode as opposed to the overhead 3D, performing a full factory reset, locking the orientation of the phone, uninstalling and reinstalling Maps, and throwing salt at witches. For some these seem to work, and for others it’s just a wild goose chase.

The problem even persists for some between AOSP and Sense-based ROMs, although some users report that switching seems to fix the issue – at least for a bit.

There’s no solid reason ever given as to why it works on some phones and not on others. HTC’s not offered any reasons, and people calling in to Sprint generally get told both that this is a known issue and that it’s not a known issue and to bring the phone in to a repair center.

Unfortunately, replacing the phone seems to be the only way to get it to work, which is a pretty drastic thing to do considering other navigation apps work perfectly, if not as seamlessly.

In my circle of EVO 4G LTE owners whom I know personally, half have the problem, and half do not. None were launch day phones or the first batches, and none have anything user-related in common.

So, if you’re having navigation issues, it’s not you – it’s your phone. Unfortunately there’s no solution that can be offered at the moment, other than to complain to your carrier and get a replacement, and keep doing that until you get one that works. But in case you’ve found something else that works, though, please let us know.

Update – Due to baby brain (ie screaming newborn) I forgot to include the actual description of the problem: When Google Navigation crashes the screen will go back to the home screen, the navigation icon may or may not stay up, and you’ll still be given the voice directions for a while. After some indeterminate time the voice navigation will stop without warning.

Alternately the nav screen will freeze, and the voice will stop.