updated 03:45 pm EST, Mon February 1, 2010
VZ Nav adds location-based tech, social media
Verizon Wireless today rolled out a new version of VZ Navigator. The 5.0 upgrade of the navigation utility brings an updated interface, faster route planning through the use of streaming data, and the ability to run multiple VZ Navigator functions simultaneously within a navigation session. A new feature allows users to update their Facebook status directly through the app, with the option to include and share their locations.
Customers can use Verizon Wireless' Roadside Assistance service to send their locations to a dispatcher so assistance can reach them more quickly. Voice commands will be available on some Blackberry and Windows Mobile smartphones. Users will also have the ability to opt in to the VZ Navigator traffic reporting service, which uses crowd sourcing as one means of identifying notifications of traffic problems.
Verizon claims the subscription model offers advantages over other GPS navigation systems because Verizon's map data, which is provided by NAVTEQ, is updated continuously.
VZ Navigator 5.0 will be available starting today on the BlackBerry Curve 8530, LG enV Touch, HTC Touch Pro2 and Samsung Omnia. Subscribers can either download the service from the portal on a given phone, or add the feature through the My Verizon link on Verizon's website. Subscriptions cost $3 for a daily pass or $10 for unlimited use.