December 1, 2009
Navigon announced that they are updating their iPhone App with a new version 1.4 that will be a free update to owners of the previous version. They just recently released the update that offers in-app purchase of traffic services fed by Inrix, and now are adding several cool enhancements.
Google Local Search - adds the ability to find local businesses and great new places to spend money and time.
Coordinate Navigation - Plug in your Lat/Lon coordinates and navigate there. Seems basic - a GPS system navigating to a latitude and longitude, but not all do. I like this feature to drive to a trailhead or campsite.
Pedestrian Navigation - You can now navigate as a "Pedestrian" in an enhanced mode to help you find your way along busy one way streets or through pedestrian only areas. If you have the iPhone 3GS, it will use the built in electronic compass.
In the cool department you will be able to email your own current location to others.
Look for approval in a week or so from Apple and then it will be available in the App store.
November 3, 2009
INRIX and ALK Technologies, announced that INRIX will power real-time traffic data in ALK Technologies popular CoPilot® Live™ v8 GPS navigation app for Apple iPhone, Google Android and Windows phones in North America. CoPilot is one of the Top Grossing Apps
at the iTunes App store in the US at the pretty amazing price of $35.
This release also represents a milestone in that it will be powered by the in application purchase ability - allowing you to buy the App, then add-on the traffic option from within the application itself. The price for traffic service is $19.99 a year at the Co-Pilot site, and I would imagine that would also apply for in-app purchases. That's pretty cheap for some best in class traffic coverage and capabilities.
More on the news release below after the jump.
More info at ALK - Co-Pilot
Continue reading: "Inrix Traffic on ALK Co-Pilot for iPhone"
October 28, 2009
In what could be a death blow to those $50+ mobile phone navigation applications, the NYT reported that Google is launching a turn by turn navigation application for free. Google plans on launching the application to mobile phones with an ad supported model. The convenience of the application that may be pre-loaded onto smart phones could make the millions of smart phone users owners of a pretty solid mobile navigation application. Recently I reviewed the TomTom application for the iPhone and thought that the overall user experience was pretty good on my iPhone. The convenience of having the application in your pocket, ready to go at any time is pretty good. I firmly believe that free and already on my phone can beat $150 stand alone GPS and in my other car. Granted not everyone has a smart phone right now, but many do.
Gauging from the fact that Google is creating their own maps, and that their traffic data is pretty impressive in the road coverage, Google may in fact be prepping an impressive offering. Google is offering the beta application for Android phones already. With the application, you can give the device voice commands, and see the route in satellite view - viewing the road ahead with a satellite picture of the world around you. With the Street View option, you can get a look at the street ahead, what lane to be in and the view of your building when you arrive. Pretty amazing. We'll see if the package really delivers the user experience that they promise.
More at NYT and at Google
October 23, 2009
October 19, 2009
The TomTom App for the iPhone
was one of the early Apps for the iPhone from a major GPS manufacturer and easily emulates their standalone models in functionality and quality. Navigating with the iPhone has been an unmet promise since the iPhone launched with its teaser GPS capability, which until its update this summer would not allow turn by turn direction Apps on the device.
TomTom's iPhone App is a straight forward navigator, not really utilizing the extensive connectivity to perform back flips in the navigation world, but instead elects to put its energy into making a high quality experience for users in a simple interface. This sometimes limiting simplicity offers entry level capabilities in a trustworthy wrapper that I think is surprisingly good. What I cannot capture properly in words is the simple convenience of having a capable navigation device in your pocket wherever you go. There is no wondering if you left your GPS in the other car, no wondering if you left it at home while on a business trip (happened to me recently and it was a miserable experience - tried to navigate with built in Google maps while someone else drove; never again), and no wondering if you will get to your destination; your GPS is already in your pocket.
Continue reading: "TomTom iPhone App Full Review"
October 7, 2009
NDrive launched their iPhone application today for most of Europe and Canada; no word on a US launch. The application takes a few nice steps to add other features: 3-D buildings where available, integration with iPod for listening to iPod while navigating, the use of gesture control to zoom and pan - a nice natural addition that iPhone users are use to.
Best routing and maps
Turn by turn spoken navigation
Very quick routing calculation algorithms
Route demo or map of route when trip planning
Alternative route selection options
Adventure mode for off-road, air or at sea use
Thousands of important buildings represented in 3D
Publish and share location based information with other users directly from your device
Usability and personalization
User interface fully optimized with iPhone, rotate iPhone and map will adjust.
Innovative Multi-touch gesture recognition for zoom, tilt and rotate that allows you to control and interact with the map. Kinetic scrolling.
Call, SMS or visit websites of POIs directly from NDrive's interface
User interface available in 28 languages
Other country maps are also available, including: Colombia, Belgium/Netherlands/Luxembourg, Portugal, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Poland/Czech Republic/Slovakia, Hungary/Austria/Croatia and Hong Kong/Macau. Map providers and prices vary by region
Canada is available for $45 - an intro price good for a limited time.
More at iTunes (iTunes link), and the NDrive website.
October 1, 2009
Navigon has been selling well in the iPhone store, and they are pondering the idea of a more substantial mounting kit, similar to TomTom's kit that adds capabilities beyond sitting there and looking pretty. TomTom's kit will power the phone, offer a speaker and amplify the GPS signal all for about $120 when it hits the streets.
Navigon has already teamed up with Kensignton to create an iPhone mount that amplifies the sound coming out of the unit, without draining the iPhone battery. Teh acoustic amplification would be a welcome addition to anyone using a navigation application; it would be priced at $39.
September 25, 2009
We've been seeing quite a few navigation games using your iPhone GPS. Waze Inc. has come out with a totally free GPS game—and it even turns the driving experience into a fun time. In a nutshell, Waze maps are entirely user generated. Users can also relay a heads up to others about accidents and other hazardous driving conditions. It even plays a Pac-Man type of game with drivers who are exploring uncharted territory. Since the content is user generated - it does make the app rely on people actually mapping and using it - however - it's free and expect it to work in larger areas.
Via Gizmodo at Waze
September 9, 2009
This week in his column, Walt takes a look at the GPS applications available for the iPhone. He took a look at Navigon, TomTom, AT&T's from TeleNav and MotionX. The column is worth a read, but his video is not great. See for yourself that the video is relatively low value, but is a decent companion to the column out this week where he offers a lot more details on the products. Classic Walt finds that GPS units are dumber than your average local for finding decent shortcuts.... don't know what to say about that one; is that really the threshold that people measure a GPS by? I will say that I was crawling through Wiscasset Maine the other weekend on RT1 with people backed up at the bridge and due to folks stopping by Red's Eats for a lobsta roll, and tapped the GPS for a detour. Bam, found a new shortcut through the neighborhood (Down Lee St, left on High St) cutting off 5-10 minutes of wait time. Seems like good intel to me for a tourist.
ReadMore from Walt on the four iPhone Navigation APPs at All Things D
: The Boston Globe
also looks at the TomTom iPhone App, its strengths and opportunities comparing it to over the air services too. A decent read if you want a high level point of view on the new TomTom application.
September 8, 2009
Accrossair is an iPhone development firm in the UK that is setting the direction of what may be the future of the GPS. When a connected GPS has broadband connection speeds, and an electronic compass, this type of functionality may just be on the roadmap for development on a GPS coming to you. TomTom already has a patent for showing a realistic representation of the road in front of you right on your GPS, including buildings and turn indications. This would amp up the capabilities and potentially the usefulness at select times when you use the GPS.
The overlay of important destination and location information right on the screen can offer users a better sense of where they are, and where they need to go to get what they want. It's almost like having Superman-esque X-Ray vision as you look around for things that you are looking for.
There are a couple of applications coming out for the iPhone that will launch in the coming days when the iPhone OS 3.1 comes out. Because the program uses the onboard electronic compass, only the iPhone 3GS will be able to run the software. Expect a NYC Subway App, a London Tube App, and the Accrossair Browser that offers a view into all kinds of information.