Oh Google Maps, is there anything you can’t do? Via a blog post just moments ago, Google announced an incremental update to its Maps application for Android. The update, which is still technically in beta, brings real-time traffic routing right to your smartphone. “You don’t have to do anything to be routed around traffic; just start Navigation like you normally would, either from the Navigation app or from within Google Maps,” reads the announcement. “Before today, Navigation would choose whichever route was fastest, without taking current traffic conditions into account.” The software will work in both North America and Europe, and is waiting for you in the Android Market. Enjoy. More →
So you just read our Nexus S review and are feeling a bit jealous of the new device, it’s understandable. Your current Android handset may not have all the computational prowess of the latest and greatest “pure Google” offering, but rest assured knowing that you can get your hands on some of the software goodies the device runs (no, not Android 2.3… yet). Google has just dropped Maps 5.0 into the Android Market for your downloading pleasure. The new bits include 3D mapping, vector-based mapping, offline rerouting and navigating, as well as offline map storage. It all looks so sexy. Hit the jump to check out a quick promo video from Google then be sure to download the new goodies from the market. Enjoy! More →
Today, via a press release, German-based navigation company NAVIGON announced the release of its MobileNavigator product on the Android platform. Touting the software as the “first on-board navigation app from a major navigation company,” the company is hoping that some of the software’s extras — on-device maps, live traffic, real traffic-sign displays and red light camera locations — will help it to compete with the free Google Maps Navigation option. One leg-up MobileNavigator does have on said alternative is that it will run on devices running Android 1.5 or higher — Google Maps Navigation has a baseline of Android 2.0. The software requires 1.5GB of storage space and, after a free 30-day trial period, it will be priced at $39.99 for the next two weeks, or $59.99 thereafter. MobileNavigator is available in the Android Market starting today. More →
Garmin to offer navigation software exclusively on ASUS for Android; coming soon to BlackBerry, iOS [Updated]
Hot on the heels of the public break-up between GPS giant Garmin and handset maker ASUS, the navigation company has announced that it will still work with the Taiwanese handset providing its GPS software and some location-based service applications on select ASUS, Android handsets. The exact verbiage of the statement looks like this:
ASUS will design and manufacture new models of ASUS-branded mobile phones, some of which will include preloaded Garmin navigation and Location Based Service (LBS) applications. Garmin will expand its mobile handset application development and plans to offer navigation and other applications through certain consumer application stores.
DigiTimes is reporting that the deal between Garmin and ASUS is exclusive on the Android platform; DT also notes that Garmin will be offering “software on Apple’s App Store and RIM’s BlackBerry App World for free download.” The blog cites Asustek as the source of its information.
UPDATE: Garmin contacted BGR this morning to let us know about a few inaccuracies in DigiTimes’ report. Here’s Garmin’s statement:
It is possible that we will offer navigation apps on Apple and Blackberry devices, but we haven’t announced when they will be available or how much those apps will cost. They will not be free.
On a brisk day in October almost a year ago, Google announced Android 2.0 alongside the Motorola DROID. On that same day, satellite navigation companies like Garmin and TomTom saw their stock prices deflate faster than Yankees fans’ spirits in the sixth inning last night. This was no coincidence. With Android 2.0, Google announced the addition of free satellite-guided turn-by-turn navigation to its popular Google Maps service. Garmin and TomTom both saw mobile as a big part of their futures, and here Google was breaking the space wide open. How can paid services possibly compete?
Netherlands-based navigation giant TomTom found at least one possible answer to that question this morning when it announced a new partnership with HTC. It is becoming increasingly difficult to sell smartphone-based navigation products directly to consumers, so the key is to get manufacturers and carriers to pay for these solutions — and to pay for new solutions that utilize the current Location Based Services (LBS) craze. TomTom, after all, provides much more functional and polished mobile navigation solutions than Google ever will.
The new deal announced this morning places TomTom’s maps in HTC’s new integrated navigation solution, HTC Locations, which HTC calls a “zero-wait navigation experience”. The service will initially be available on the HTC Desire HD and HTC Desire Z, and only in Europe and Asia. HTC Locations will expand to new devices and regions, though no further release schedule was provided.
The catch? HTC Locations will be free to end users, along with some basic functionality. Turn-by-turn navigation, however, will be a premium paid add-on, making it a much less appealing option than it could have been if HTC ate the expense as a value-add. Unless HTC decides to block Google Maps Navigation from its HTC Locations-equipped devices, we don’t see this new deal going very far at all. Sorry TomTom, looks like you’ll have to reroute your trip yet again. More →
Today, Google announced that it would be updating its Google Maps application for the Android operating system to include voice-guided walking navigation and a new, improved search bar. As Google explains:
Walking Navigation lets you use GPS navigation with walking directions that are more direct and use pedestrian pathways when we know about them. To try it now, choose the “Walking” option from the Navigation icon. Walking Navigation has a few changes that help when you’re on your feet. For example, your phone will vibrate when you need to make a turn. You can even turn off voice guidance and just use these notifications while soaking in the sights and sounds around you. To help you orient yourself with your surroundings, the map will rotate with you as you turn the phone, and walking mode uses satellite view by default.
The new search bar will now always be located at the top of the map for easy searching and facilitate the filtering of places by distance, rating, prices, and cross streets. The application is in the Android Market as we type and available for all handsets running OS 1.6 or higher.
If you’re an iPhone owner, you have to pay for your turn-by-turn GPS applications (at this point all the Android users are smiling ear-to-ear). If you’ve been holding off on purchasing an iPhone navigation application due to the cost, NAVIGON may have something for you. In honor of their one year App Store anniversary the company has temporarily cut the prices on their navigation offerings by fifty percent. The new pricing is as follows:
- MobileNavigator North America (includes maps for Canada & US): $39.99 instead of $79.99
- MobileNavigator USA: $24.99 instead of $49.99
- MobileNavigator Canada: $29.99 instead of $59.99
- MobileNavigator US MyRegion East, Central or West: $14.99 instead of $29.99, additional regions $11.99 instead of $14.99.
- Traffic Live: $12.99 instead of $24.99
- Panorama View 3D: $4.99 instead of $9.99
This pricing is available from August 12th to the 15th, and you can find all the goods in the App Store if interested. Enjoy! More →
Microsoft threw its Windows Mobile faithful a bit of bone today by updating its Bing application with free turn-by-turn navigation. When using Bing to find directions, a new “navigate” button will allow users to navigate to their destination using voice prompts. The navigation is (obviously) powered by Bing Maps, while the voice components are provided by Microsoft’s Tellme technology. The feature is said to be available for all Windows Mobile 6.x devices on Sprint, T-Mobile, and AT&T. Verizon Wireless was not listed amongst the compatible carriers, but seeing how the Omina II was mentioned as a compatible device we think it might be possible to get the nav feature — but not the voice prompts — to work on Big Red. Point your Windows Phone to m.bing.com and let us know what you think. More →
You know we are big fans of Vertu handsets around these parts, and Mr. Frank Nuovo certainly isn’t sitting in the UK counting iPhone sales while doing nothing. Vertu has, in Vertu tradition, silently announced an updated model in their lineup and it is the new Vertu Ascent for 2010. Picking up on almost all of the previous phone’s shortcomings (save for the S40-based OS, of course), the new Ascent features quad-band 3G, GPS, preloaded maps for navigation, a 5 megapixel camera, and will come in 8GB and 32GB internal memory configurations in addition to titanium and aircraft-grade aluminum casings. But, it’s a Vertu, and that means there are a plethora of different color combinations. Since the Ascent is racing inspired, don’t hold your breath for diamond-studded versions. Yet there are plenty of bright color finishes to get your juices flowing. You know, if you are into dropping anywhere from $5,000 and up on a cell phone. Couple more shots after the break!
[Via Engadget] More →
Much to the chagrin of iPhone users across the globe, Google has stated for the record that it will not be bringing Google Maps Navigation to the iPhone. Yesterday it was reported that Google’s Mobile Maps product manager promised iPhone users that the free turn-by-turn will be available in the App Store in the future. Definitely bad news for iPhone users, but on the plus side Google did confirm that app will be ported to other mobile platforms. Apple users, do not despair just yet: you still have the unknown potential of PlaceBase, no? More →
Google has been slowly extending its Maps Navigation feature throughout its Android platform starting with Android 2.0 devices, then Android 1.6 devices, and most recently to Android-powered handsets in the UK. As part of its UK announcement in London, Google re-confirmed its intention to bring this free navigation to other platforms including the Apple iPhone. No timeframe for release was mentioned for any of the alternative platforms, but with Google and Apple’s relationship a bit strained, hell may have to thaw a bit before this comes to fruition on the iPhone. More →
After rearing its ugly head on a leaked T-Mobile pricing sheet a few days ago, the Nokia 5320 Nuron has gotten the official nod from both Nokia and T-Mobile. For those that are dying to find out what $69.99 will buy you, here are all the details on this classic handset:
- Classic candybar form factor
- 3.2 inch touchscreen display at 16:9 640×360 resolution
- GSM/EDGE 850/900/1800/1900
- WCDMA 1700/2100
- 2 megapixel camera with 3X digital zoom and video recording
- Bluetooth 2.0
- aGPS and Ovi maps with turn by turn directions and maps for US, Canada, and Mexico
- Ovi Store pre-installed
- MicroSD expansion (up to 16GB)
- 3.5mm headphone jack
- Accelerometer and proximity sensor
- White on White color with changeable colored battery covers
The Nokia Nuron will hit the shelves of T-Mobile in the upcoming weeks with an exact date yet to be determined. Though pricing details were not confirmed, a previous leak suggests the Nokia Nuron will be ultra-affordable, coming in at a mere $69.99 after rebate with a two year agreement or $179 for those that prefer to go contract-free. Any potential buyers lured by the promise of free Ovi Maps turn-by turn navigation at a sub $200 price tag? More →
NAVIGON is bringing MobileNavigator, its popular turn-by-turn navigation solution to Windows Mobile and Android users in North America. Originally launched on the iPhone, MobileNavigator for Android and Windows Mobile utilizes your mobile phone’s on-board GPS receiver and pre-loaded maps to provide navigation when there is no cellular coverage. It’s a pretty feature rich app and it includes:
- Reality View Pro which displays photo-realistic 3D views with actual road signs and lane guidance for virtually every highway interchange and exit drivers will encounter
- Lane Assistant Pro which helps drivers prepare to make an upcoming exit or turn by providing a lane map complete with arrows and actual road geometry.
- Text-to-speech functionality which announces street names in addition to turn-by-turn directions
- Speed Assistant with adjustable audio-visual warnings
- Day & Night Mode for map display, 2D and 3D map view, Automatic switching between portrait and landscape format
- Direct Access allows navigation to contacts saved in the phone’s address book, Intelligent address entry
- Route Planning, Branded POIs and POIs along the route
The Windows Mobile version of MobileNavigator will ship with maps of North America (US, Canada, Hawaii and Puerto Rico) from NAVTEQ and will debut next week at Pocketgear and Smartphone.net. MobileNavigator for Windows Mobile will run $69.00 until February 14, 2010, at which point the application will jump to its full retail price of $89.00. The Android version will launch in Spring 2010 at a yet-to-be-determined price.
Read [Windows Mobile] Read [Android]