We recently had a chance to speak with TeleNav’s Communications Manager and self-proclaimed "best publicist in the world," MaryBeth Lowell. The conversation moved from TeleNav’s software (and it’s rapidly expanding features) to their plans to support the iPhone.
Additionally it seems that the have added a Quasi-Helio Buddy Beacon feature that enables users to broadcast their location to friends and even supply directions on how to get there. Our big question was in regards to the BlackBerry 8820 GPS locking and if TeleNav played a role in that. TeleNav agreed to give us (5) 3-month licenses for any device for 5 of our lucky readers, so if you would like to be included just leave a comment on which feature you would like included in a future version of TeleNav and we’ll pick the 5 people with the best ideas. Hit the jump for some highlights of our conversation!
- Did TeleNav know that the BlackBerry 8820 would be GPS-locked to only TeleNav ? We were advised to contact AT&T, which we did, but for the most part, TeleNav had no knowledge of this.
- They’ve added a new feature that allows users to broadcast their location to friends and provide directions as on how to get there as well.
- TeleNav is making a big push to bolster and create additional features instead of just straight real-time GPS navigation. One such feature is Biz Finder which provides a search feature to find nearby restaurants, movie theatres and more. The "Reviews" feature is one of the coolest components of the technology….Say you’re in Los Angeles and search for "sushi". When the results come back with the nearest restaurants, you will have access to reviews for the specified restaurant, and can even add a review right there from your phone.
- We asked TeleNav what they thought of InfoSpace’s FindIt! program. We were told the difference is that FindIt! doesn’t provide turn-by-turn directions and real-time navigation. (They do, however, provide turn-by-turn directions by voice)
- TeleNav would love to support the iPhone, but obviously at this time there is no internal GPS, and an external Bluetooth device won’t work either. They’re hoping an upcoming iPhone will sport internal GPS and therefore make compatibility and integration more feasible.
- TeleNav offers software on every national wireless carrier in North America except for Verizon (due to Verizon’s notorious stranglehold on GPS and other features). However, strangely enough TeleNav does function on some BlackBerry devices on Verizon as long as you buy the software directly from TeleNav.
Want to get your real-time GPS on? Hit us with some ideas to improve TeleNav, and we’ll pick 5 winners!