Navigon with a Glympse icon showing in the lower right; note the countdown clock showing on the icon that tells you how much longer your location sharing lasts before shutting off.
Garmin has teamed up with Glypmse, the temporary location sharing App that allows you to transmit your location on the way to a destination. It's a great way to send your location to someone you're traveling to see, whether it's a night out, or a weekend trip. Don't worry, the location sharing is temporary, and you set that up before you send the notification. Glypmse is one of my favorite location based Apps, and it's good to see them team up with Garmin.
This new feature is available on the Garmin StreetPilot Onboard App (the one with the maps resident on your mobile device), and Navigon's mobile Apps.
Right now, Garmin is also offering a 25% off sale through the iTunes store and Android Marketplace. Prices for these Apps vary from about $25 - $45 depending on map coverage needed (East/West US to All North America)
More information and Press Release after the jump......
Navigon is adding a street view capability to its iPhone App, letting users get a view of exactly where they are going for many of the medium to larger cities that are covered by Google's Street view capability. While the whole street view feature in the Google ecosphere has created a bit of controversy over its privacy concerns of a truck driving by, catching people doing things they don't want you to see, the feature should prove useful to wayward navigators who need help recognizing where they want to go. The new feature will be available later this Spring.
On the Android side, Navigon users will be able to access Active Lane Assist capabilities, offering an animated view of the upcoming turns. They will also be able to use a Navigon widget that allows them to see turn by turn instructions right from the home screen. The widget allows you to ignore the map and just see the turning instructions, a kind of advanced, and concise level of navigation (see below).
Navigon, a long time GPS maker (now owned by Garmin), and longtime navigation App producer is moving into their 2.0 version with an updated Map Management. The changes clean up the interface (a bit) and makes it more "Map Centric" which is a good thing. While I loved the Navigon flexibility, it bowed under the weight of all of that flexibility; I think that the change is a good thing.
Map Management - download the App, then download your maps by state separately. Some might not like this, or be surprised by it, but let's face it, you don't need all of the states, and if you eventually go there, you can simply get a connection and download the maps. A full set of maps is about 1.7 GB of space, so the state by state idea can save valuable space on your phone.
When you start up the new Navigon 2.0 app, it brings you right to the map management screen, and gives you the option to download maps. I downloaded a total of about 194MB for states I usually visit (Mainly in the Northeast), and saved about 1.5GB on my phone; definitely a big help. The 194MB of map files downloaded over my WiFi in a couple of minutes.
If you hurry, you can get $25 off the regular price through November 30, 2011. The Navigon 2.0 upgrade is free for current users.
NAVIGON for iPhone North America: $39.99 instead of $59.99
NAVIGON for iPhone USA: $29.99 instead of $49.99
NAVIGON for iPhone Canada: $29.99 instead of $49.99
NAVIGON for iPhone East, Central or West: $19.99 instead of $29.99
In App Purchases
North America: $14.99 instead of $19.99
USA (upgrades to maps of North America): $19.99 instead of $39.99
Canada (upgrades to maps of North America): $19.99 instead of $39.99
MyRegion (upgrades to maps of North America): $24.99 instead of $49.99
So Garmin has gobbled up Navigon, adding some real strength in the Euro-zone to the Kansas maker of GPS devices. The financial terms were not disclosed. A couple of comments mark the occasion, and there is no doubt that this will add some depth to the offerings from both brands. So while they are keeping the same brand names (I assume for now), I might re-name the hero in Garmin's old Superbowl Monster - NaviGarmiGon, the do-gooder who slays evil maps..... heh, heh.
From the short press release..........
“We are pleased to have the Navigon team join the Garmin family,” said Cliff Pemble, chairman and COO of Garmin Ltd. “We are looking forward to expanding our ability to serve our collective customers going forward.”
“We are excited to be a part of Garmin and we look forward to turning our efforts toward integration and the opportunities ahead,” said Egon Minar, Navigon’s board member . “Navigon has an innovative new product lineup that we’re excited to bring to market in time for the holiday 2011 season and beyond.”
A few thoughts about the marriage.......
Interface - Personally, I like the Garmin interface better than the Euro-styled Navigon interface, which for me makes a huge difference. While the Garmin interface has been criticized for being to cartoon-like, it's darn easy to use and to understand.
Feature-Rich - I would argue that Navigon both suffers and profits from its flexibility and its features. They continue to offer options galore on their PND's (the last ones I saw), and offer a feature-rich iPhone application (Inrix-based traffic feeds anyone?). With options comes some interface issues, but I like the flexibility and trust the traffic flow from Inrix; Hey daily Inrix users spend one less day a year in traffic.
App - Navigon moved into the App world a lot faster than Garmin and continues to have a pretty good lead on them feature-wise. Garmin is running a close second to TomTom in terms of Top Grossing Apps according to the iTunes store on my last check, but I think that's driven by brand name recognition and not Application performance. Is anyone else having subtle issues with routing on the Garmin StreetPilot App? I am.
Product Design - Garmin has always led here in my mind with simple designs and effective mounts. The physical look, feel and functionality award definitely goes to Garmin. While Navigon pushed the design envelope early, they fell down on simple things like the tactile feedback of the power button - "Did it just go on or not?"
Big news today from the Navigon camp, they are launching their Android based navigation App. No it's not just a re-tread of the iPhone App, as it offers the industry-first Reality Scanner, a virtual reality view of your surroundings with Points of Interest (POI) superimposed on the camera view. With the NAVTEQ maps loaded onboard, you won't be stuck if you lose reception on the way to that important meeting.
Navigon Reality Scanner and More
Using the camera view, the Reality scanner offers views of POI around you with details about POI to give you a quick read of important information. Live traffic is included at no additional cost, and the App also offers Reality View of key intersections that allow you to see exactly what lane to be in and which way to go. They have also added the MyRoutes feature which analyzes your driving habits, patterns, location, time of day and provides up to three routes with ETA's for you to choose from. I think this offers you the ability to override the GPS as it sometimes might not understand the nuances of your local area.
It is available now in the Android Market for $39.99 - a two week special promotion. After that time, the price goes up to $59.99.
Wireless week has a review of the Navigon MobileNavigator for the iPhone and has come to the conclusion that companies with expertise in the area are well suited to commanding higher prices over the current crop of free navigation out there. The Navigon MobileNavigator is one of the more advanced iPhone Apps out there with available ($25/yr) realtime traffic provided by Inrix, and available 3-D contour maps. These aren't exactly TOPO maps like you have on you handheld GPS, but instead maps that offer a little bit of texture to see some, hills, dips and valleys.
Check out the Wireless Week Review - not deep on details, but a good opinion piece on what's important about the Navigon App and a reasonable "outsider's" point of view on the GPS space.
Navigon has announced a new way to get their iPhone navigation - Mobile Navigator with regional maps. Don't need the whole US? Why pay for it is the idea. The limited mapset comes at a limited price - Navigon Mobile Navigator with MyRegion for $25; additional regions are $13. The US is divided up into three regions: Eastern, Central and Western - and they all download to the iPhone upon purchase, but you only get access to the region you bought. Need another region - buy it in the App, and get access immediately.
Navigon MyRegion is a full featured application with turn-by-turn directions, Google local Search, Reality view of the road ahead, and optional Traffic-live, an add-on that grabs some pretty sophisticated traffic feeds and renders a very accurate traffic picture for you.
U.S. East map: AL, CT, DE, FL, GA, IN, KY, MA, ME, MD, MI, NH, NJ, NY, NC, OH, PA, RI, SC, TN, VT, VA, WV
U.S. Central map: AL, AR, CO, IL, IN, IA, KS, KY, LA, MI, MN, MO, MS, MT, NE, NM, ND, OH, OK, SD, TN, TX, WI, WY
U.S. West map: AZ, CA, CO, ID, MT, NV, NM, OR, UT, WA, WY
Navigon continues to innovate in rapid fire fashion with some big enhancements to their iPhone platforms announced today. Some may shrug off the social networking thing, others will love it if you use Facebook or Twitter. The big innovation here is the move to start customizing routes based on outside factors, like your driving habits, patters and time of day. The MyRoutes feature starts down the pathway of some very sophisticated planning of routes that go way beyond "Fastest", or "Avoid Toll Roads".
Connection to Facebook and Twitter: A simple icon tap posts users current position, destination, and ETA without navigation interruption.
Panorama View 3D: True 3D in-map views obtained from NASA's height and terrain data enable intuitive orientation of surrounding environment, and what lies ahead with digital landscape elevations, shadows, and geographic images. Panorama View 3D is integrated in-map, independent from the phone's data connection. The Panorama View 3D feature will be available via an In App Purchase.
NAVIGON MyRoutes: Analyzes driving habits, patterns, location, time/day and provides up to three routes clearly displayed in-map with ETA, distance and driving times for each.
Navigon, an early mover on the iPhone App platform, and the market share leader for on-board persistent navigation Apss, has announced that they are going to be launching a Navigation App for the Android and Windows Mobile platform. The very full featured program will include a lot of the key attributes to make up a serious offering in the product including: Pre-loaded on, board maps, text to speech (says road names), Reality View and Lane Assist to help in navigating complex intersections, 2D and 3D views, automatic Day to Night brightness settings, auto Portrait/Landscape switch, and more.
I have to say that just as Navigon exited the US market for stand alone GPS devices, their interface was starting to roll, eliminating some of the real rough spots. While they still maintain an overseas business for standalone navigation devices, their approach to the iPhone App market has been ferocious with upgrade after upgrade, and strong price moves to keep them well positioned in the market. Should be interesting to see how they move in the up and coming Android market. The Android product will be available this Spring, while the Windows product is available now at a special $69 price at PocketGear.
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.
Navigon has released their traffic capability for their iPhone navigator application adding another feature to their already high end iPhone application. The traffic capability will cost an extra $25 per year, on special for the first few weeks at $20. With increased bandwidth, the traffic information quality will be much better than the over the air FM based TMC systems, offering finer slices of each roadway's actual traffic situation instead of a broad average across long stretches. The purchase can be made in the App itself.
"By including real-time speed data from drivers on the road, we are adding a next generation traffic service to our app that goes beyond traditional traffic functions which work with radio transmitted messages only. This is clearly raising the bar for iPhone GPS applications," said Gerhard Mayr, Vice-President Worldwide Mobile Phones & New Markets at NAVIGON. "Providing the driver instantaneous traffic conditions, and offering efficient, alternative routes to the congestion, saves time, fuel and money. The ability to know and navigate around gridlock is a crucial function and we are thrilled to be the first major GPS company to announce this critical, and sought after service for an iPhone navigation app at a flat fee."
The App will be using a crowd sourced + probe traffic gathering solution that has about 1.3 million probes out in the market. The App is also designed to monitor traffic data and send back anonymous reports from your traffic conditions too.
Users receive immediate on-screen alerts via iconic warnings indicating
accidents, construction and other incidents that can cause congestion along
the current route.
Provides detailed information regarding the severity of the incident and
the speed of traffic flow.
Based on the real-time traffic warnings and the excellent mapping
functionality the user can determine an efficient, alternative route or stay
on the course.
The software automatically adjusts estimated time of arrival.
Among the Top Grossing Apps at the iTunes store are games, utilities and three Navigations Apps for your iPhone 3G or iPhone 3GS.
#3 - Navigon App for North America- They were a first mover and are now pretty high on the list coming in at $89. They continue to add features and are readying a subscription traffic feature for the software later this year.
#7 - Motion X Drive - The low cost solution delivers a navigation solution that needs to be connected to pull down the map set. Other solutions include the maps in the download, while this solution pulls them down live over the air. Lose your connection and lose the ability to pull down new maps. Priced at $2.99 makes it pretty popular to be able to hit the 10 grossing applications
#33 - TomTom US and Canada - This application offers a lot of capability but not all of the capabilities that one might find in a higher end unit. Very solid navigation from this App - Read my full review of the TomTom App that I posted earlier this week. Available for $99.
#90 - Co Pilot Live - at $35 this is a pretty amazing price for the features - they are delivering monthly Highway map updates to you for this price. Quarterly updates to North America helps keep the rest of the roads up to date.
Navigon has launched their $70 Navigator for the iPhone in the US, with map coverage of the US and Canada. There have been a few stories posted with feedback on the performance; bottom line is that it works well, when compared to a basic navigation device standard. At this writing, it's #2 in the paid Applications list for navigation at iTunes.
Assuming that it needed to strip features for price or for size of the application, Navigon did not include Text to Speech capability, or phone numbers in the database. They may have just run out of time; there is a free update on it's way to help you out with new features including: Phone Numbers of POI's, Navigon's Advanced Route Planning feature, Additional map view options, and something that they are referring to as optimized volume control when using the iPod function and the navigation device at the same time.
I know that you would need to shut off the auto-dimming capabilities for the iPhone in the settings area to keep the device lit up while using it. Trust me, this will be a battery sucking device if you are driving around with the backlight and the GPS blazing away - not unique to the Navigon MobileNavigator though.
One commenter here at GPSLodge also noted that the phone got pretty warm while crunching away on all of that work navigating him around.
CNet has a quick article posted about the Navigon capabilities which is worth reading. I'll continue to add more as I see good ones pop up.
Navigon is about 2 weeks away from launching their full US iPhone Application and as a little teaser, they have launched a LITE version to let you see how the full version will work.
To be clear this FREE lite version is not a fully working GPS navigation software Application; it is a demo that let's you see how the interface works, the map quality and what the overall system can do for you. Don't download the thing thinking that you are going to navigate to grandma's house for dinner. At 1.3GB, the application is pretty substantial, and you probably want to do it down to your computer and then sync it. I pulled it down over WiFi directly to the phone and it took quite a while.
In order to use something like this, you'll want to go and change the "Auto-Lock" feature to "Never" so that the screen won't go blank when navigating. Settings--> General--> Auto-Lock.
Navigon feels that the price in Europe of about $99 worked rather well to drive volume, according to TWICE. I would expect a similar price for the US. The concern twist will come when TomTom announces their application and hardware suite pricing this Fall, giving Navigon some well-known brand name competition. The price for these two applications will be paid upfront while TeleNav's solution through AT&T uses a monthly fee structure for their fees.