Live from a train to London
We truly do not appreciate how good apps are -- until we hit a problem. You join us now live as we head in to London by train, and have had to go hunting for new apps. We've ended up buying Tube Map Pro to help us get around, and we're very happy with it -- but there is a yin and a yang with apps.
Program exchanges traffic data between governments, crowdsourced traffic platform
Waze is expanding its data reach today, launching the Connective Citizens program to bring the crowdsourced navigation platform together with 10 governments across the globe. The initiative is expected to improve the amount of information available in Waze, while granting municipalities and other government bodies information on road incidents and traffic conditions.
Navigation in Google Maps apps enabled in 19 more countries
Google has made two changes to its Google Maps mobile apps. The app now provides navigational instructions in an additional 19 countries, bringing the total number of countries with the function enabled to 96, while users finding issues with local maps are able to notify Google of new places of interest from within the app, with corrections added to the public version of the maps at a later time.
App offers range of features including speed limits, in-map traffic display for $2
Navigation experts Garmin have released a new app for Android and iOS, bringing a wealth of new travel features to devices. The new app, called Viago, will offer features that the company says aren't found in other free navigation apps. Consumers will be able to purchase additional add-ons within Viago to supplement the travel experience.
Government seeks right to require app changes if dangerous, remove device distractions
With smartphone navigation sitting in a gray area for operation in cars, the United States government is looking to set rules on how applications can be used. If the recently-announced Grow America Act is enacted as law, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) would have control to set rules for in-car navigation systems. This would include any applications powered by smartphones, including Google Maps, Apple Maps and Waze among others.
Twitter updating look of website to match its iOS and Android apps
Social media service Twitter has initiated rolling out an update to its website, with the aim to mirror the aesthetic approach to that of its app versions to iOS and Android. Users will be able to personalize their profile more than previously, with the settings menu including an option to add accent colors. The navigation bar is a different color and style than before, and some icons have been redesigned.
Suggests potential expansion for Maps alongside Locationary
On the same day it became public that Apple had purchased business-listing and information service Locationary, it has been confirmed that the iPhone maker has also acquired public transit navigation service HopStop. The most likely plan for the service is to fold it into Maps, Apple's own in-house GPS and mapping program. Apple's decision to forego transit directions when it launched its own Maps app was a major point of criticism from early users, and a selling point that kept many using Google's Maps application once it returned to iOS.
Crowdsourced navigation app may become part of Facebook mobile
Crowdsourced traffic and navigation app service Waze may be acquired by Facebook, according to a report. The discussions between Waze and Facebook come months after a possible acquisition offer from Apple and appears to be reaching the same financial levels as the billion-dollar Instagram deal in April last year.
Localized positioning service expanding, allowing public access
China is promoting its own global positioning satellite system, with a view to making it available to mobile phone manufacturers and related services. By offering the Beidou navigation system to public-interfacing companies, China hopes that it will eventually replace the current GPS service in most devices in the next few years.
Commercial, public access to GPS competitor live in Asia-Pacific
China has turned on its BeiDou satellite navigation system across the Asia-Pacific region, with coverage spanning not only across China, but also over Japan and as far south as Australia. Commercial and public access to the network has been enabled, and follows successful trials on its already-launched satellite network.
Faced off against Samsung Galaxy Note, GMC Terrain car nav
While Apple's new Maps application has taken a public drubbing over early inaccuracies, graphic anomalies, mislabelled places and the loss of essential features such as transit directions and a street view, there are areas in which the app has been an improvement over the old version since day one: maps are vector based and thus cleaner and more scalable, the maps use dramatically less 3G or LTE data than before, and Apple added turn-by-turn navigation (with voice and Siri integration on the iPhone 5) for drivers.
Testing limited to New York City area, however
Testing and recommendation magazine Consumer Reports has taken a closer look at Apple's Maps and compared it more closely with Google's Android Maps, specifically testing navigation features for driving. While initially condemning Apple's Maps as inferior last week, the more "thoroughly tested" Apple Maps has now been deemed to hold up well, though not quite up to the Google standard. Both, said CR writer Jeff Bartlett, "provide clear routing directions" that "route effectively, providing clear guidance and great points-of-interest integration."
In-Location Alliance to standardize internal location service
A number of handset manufacturers and technology companies are working together to standardize location services for inside buildings. The In-Location Alliance, made up of 22 companies including Nokia, Samsung, Sony Mobile and Qualcomm, will pool resources in an attempt to improve and push the services onto the mobile phone market.
Navigation now works when phone is offline
Nokia has quietly updated its Maps and Drive apps for Windows Phone. The Drive turn-by-turn navigation app now enables users to cache map content for offline use. Users can also take advantage of an audio speed limit alert that provides notification when the vehicle speed exceeds the posted limit.
New color palette separates map from overlays
Designers with Bing Maps and Nokia Maps have coordinated with the Windows Phone team to bring a unified look to maps across both services, now available on the desktop and mobile version of Bing and Nokia maps. The goal was to update the color palette to better distinguish roads from rivers while keeping overlaid information, such as traffic, distinct. The redesign extends to collaboration across services on fonts, labelling and readability.
Navigon to launch for Bada, Cisco Cius tablet
Shortly after adding social networking, Wikipedia and check-in features to its iOS Streetpilot onDemand app, today Garmin announced the addition of Google Street View in the Navigon app for iOS, and an Active Lane Assistant feature in the Android version. In addition, the company announced that it will soon make the Navigon app available for Samsung's Bada OS for the Samsung Wave 3, and also for Cisco's Cius business tablet.
Where To? expands navigation integration
Future Tap has updated Where To?, its iOS tool that can help find the closest and best rated restaurants, shops, and services, with support for five additional navigation apps. Building upon existing support, version 4.1 adds integration with Sygic, Waze, Navfree, Navmii, and Navigon Urban. Additionally, the update includes multiple images for listings, additional reviews, and landscape support for the homepage viewer. Where To? 4.1 can be purchased in the App Store for $3, with the option to add a 3D Augmented Reality mode through a $1 in app purchase.
Tracker now lets users share links to live maps
New social media functions, new apps and new features for its iOS apps mark navigation software and hardware maker Garmin's presence at MacWorld/iWorld, currently going on in San Francisco. Among the other features, updates will let users "check in" using social services via their navigation apps, integrate their exercise with Garmin tools, go on a digital treasure hunt, plan private-plane flights and send out map links to a live tracking map to others.
Garmin's Premium GPS line features free updates
Garmin has unveiled its latest premium flagship navigation devices, the nuvi 3500 series. The 3590LMT and 3550LM are Garmin's first to use five-inch displays, and automatically reorient to the user's preference of either portrait and landscape mode. They also have Garmin's latest navigation engine, which features faster route calculation and realistic displays of interchanges and exits.
Standalone navigation devices struggle to compete
TomTom has announced plans to make significant cuts to its workforce, a move that will leave 10 percent of its current employees out of work. The layoffs are expected to help the company reduce costs as it struggles to survive in a market that has encountered difficulty maintaining hardware sales.
GMC's latest gadgetry
Many vehicle companies have begun to focus on technology integration for their latest models. Electronista had a chance to try out the latest gadgetry in GMC's 2012 Terrain, a midsize crossover SUV that serves as a downsized successor to the Envoy. In our test drive, we were able to take advantage of GMC's latest navigation system, lane guidance and Pioneer speakers.
Geolocation Privacy and Surveillance Act
Oregon Senator Ron Wyden is currently pushing to enact legislation that would require government agencies to obtain warrants before obtaining location tracking data. The Geolocation Privacy and Surveillance Act is said to clarify laws surrounding digital location information such as GPS data from cellphones.
System takes advantage of common phone tech
Among the myriad of companies focusing on cellphone technology this week at the fall CTIA expo, Cadillac jumped in to debut its new "CUE" vehicle infotainment system. The name is an acronym that stands for Cadillac User Experience—the company's refined and expanded approach to connected vehicles. Electronista took an early look at the new system before it arrives in production vehicles.
Piecemeal map management more efficient
Navigon will soon release an all-new version of its navigation apps for iPhone and Android that now feature user-selected download of the specific regions users want, keeping downloads faster and avoiding wasted storage space. The leaner, lighter maps also load faster and zoom in quicker, and can be optionally or automatically updated every quarter. The company also plans to expand to the Windows 7 platform later this year.
Apps include Yelp, Twitter, Expedia
TomTom has introduced its latest navigation device, the Go Live 1535M. The standalone GPS unit is claimed to be the first to offer a full app platform, enabling users to take advantage of travel apps and social networking features that have been available on various smartphone platforms. The Live connected services will include Twitter, Yelp, TripAdvisor and Expedia.
Combines travel features, GPS when available
Wazado Mobile Applications, best known for its NAVV turn-by-turn GPS navigation app, has created an iPad-only offering called NAVV Traveller, which combines offline maps with online GPS (if available) and travel-assistant type features such as weather conditions, real-time traffic, points of interest and in-app posting to Facebook or SMS. The app is available for North America and Western Europe so far.
Turn-by-turn GPS plus augmented reality
Turn-by-turn GPS navigation apps are a common tool found in the App Store; however, TapNav looks to build on existing standards by incorporating augmented reality. Unlike other GPS applications, TapNav forgoes any built-in maps and instead uses a live feed from the iPhone's camera. Large AR discs are placed on top of the video feed, providing users with a visual path to follow. Standard voice directions are also featured, along with a fully tap-based interface and customizable gadgets.
Europe-only for now; US, others following soon
Nav N Go LLC out of Budapest has completely reworked their iPhone navigation app and are now offering the new iGo Primo app as a free replacement for the existing iGo My Way application. The European edition of the app has just launched, with US and other country editions to follow shortly. The new engine at the heart of the program is faster and more stable, and delivers over 100 new features and enhancements over the previous version, including Google local search, 3D digital terrain, 3D junction views, driver alerts and improved text-to-speech capabilities, among other changes.
iGo offers 30 percent discount
Pearson, at the National Science Teachers Association's annual conference, showcased three new Language Central for Science for iOS devices. The applications are geared towards students in grades 6-8 and feature a number of tools that can help students learn basic science vocabulary. Topics covered by the applications include life, earth, and physical science, with options to learn via flash cards, trivia challenges, or the Word Fly definition game. All three applications are available free of charge through the App Store.
Company invites devs to create apps
Saab has previewed its upcoming infotainment system, IQon, which is based on Google's Android OS. Users will be able to access navigation utilities, multimedia content, web-based services, and a variety of other features. The interface is presented in an eight-inch touchscreen, while an integrated modem automatically connects to the Internet when the car is started.
Comodo Console expected to expand beyond Israel
Israeli cellular carrier Cellcom has collaborated with startup Iway Mobile to introduce an Internet and entertainment system geared for vehicles. The Comodo Console integrates a 4.3-inch touchscreen, which presents an interface for various features such as GPS navigation and video from a rear camera when the user is backing up.
Entune system is scalable, upgradable
Harman announced it will preview the new multimedia and navigation system, dubbed the Entune, at CES2011. Developed with Toyota, the Entune system will appear on select Toyota vehicles later this year. The Entune system is compatible with most smartphones and feature phones, and provides hands-free calling, music playback controls, and navigation features by voice command. It also has a text-to-speech function to read incoming SMS messages aloud.
Users can now take calls while navigating
TomTom has announced that its iPhone app has been update to take advantage of multitasking support in iOS 4. Users can now make and answer calls without interrupting navigation, as visual instructions are still presented even when a call is in progress. Version 1.4 also provides audio navigation instructions in the background if a user needs to switch to a different app.
Helps keep your Garmin GPS relevant for 2011
In an all-too-complicated world, the Navteq 2011 Map Update data card is a simple way to update your Garmin GPS device. Perhaps a little too simple. Slide in the Map Update 2011 SD card, fire up your Garmin and, viola, you have the latest detailed maps of the U.S., Canada and Mexico, plus a few other areas. We can’t comment on the updated maps as the roads in our area appear to be unchanged for 2011, but we wish Nateq’s update process was a little more user-involved.
Nuvi 295W bridges gap with nuvifone
Garmin has quietly introduced the nüvi 295W, a new navigation device featuring Wi-Fi connectivity. The overall form factor gives the 295W an appearance similar to a smartphone, while the feature set is similar to a nüvifone without the voice communication capabilities. The device even automatically reorients the 3.5-inch touchscreen for portrait or landscape use.
Spokesperson claims iPhone support isn't confirmed
Contrary to earlier reports, Google has denied suggestions that it plans to bring free turn-by-turn GPS navigation to the iPhone. A company representative claims an executive was misquoted regarding plans to expand the free service, which is being considered for other platforms. The Maps Navigation feature is currently limited to devices running Android 2.0 or higher.
Regional apps offer in-app upgrades to new regions
NAVIGON has announced regional mobile navigator apps for lower prices than its primary MobileNavigator North America app. The navigation specialist has released three regional apps, US Central, US East and US West options, at substantially lower prices compared to the company's flagship MobileNavigator version. Users can expand out of their region at a discount as well, when needed. The app supports upgrading to another region from within the app, while on the go. The app actually downloads the entire US map on first purchase, then makes regions available as they are paid for, removing the need for additional downloads on expansion into a second or third region.
Route avoidance options expanded
AT&T has released an update to its iPhone navigation app, AT&T Navigator. Version 1.5i offers an improved interface which now includes a speed limit display, with visual and audio alerts to notify the user when the limit is exceeded. A new option in the Recent Places menu allows users to easily navigate back to the origin of their last trip, while a "Shake-to-Go" feature automatically sets the route to go home when the iPhone is shaken.
Sets stage for other GPS-aware apps
Nokia today revealed that within one week of relaunching Ovi Maps as a free service, over 1 million users have downloaded the new version. There have been over 1.4 million downloads in total since the January 21 launch, or an average of one per second. The number is faster than Nokia had predicted, according to the smartphone maker.
Maps can be added as an in-app purchasee
ALK Technologies has announced that its CoPilot Live Directions app is now available on the App Store as a 30-day free trial. The iPhone utility provides full navigation capabilities, including turn-by-turn instructions and voice guidance. Map data is stored locally on the handset, rather than constantly requiring a network connection when traveling.
Components offer new connectivity options
Pioneer has expanded its line of vehicle products with several new receivers, a navigation system, and three amplifiers. The AVIC-X920BT navigation system features a new interface claimed to offer advanced features while reducing the number of layers required for operation. Users can navigate the menus directly from the 6.1-inch touchscreen, while speech recognition technology enables the system to be controlled without physical interaction.
Integrated mount foldable for transportation
TomTom on Wednesday announced that its entry-level EASE navigation system is headed for the North American market. The device features an integrated EasyPort mount which folds flat for portability. A 3.5-inch LCD touchscreen offers 320x240 resolution, while the company's EasyMenu interface has been improved with a simple two-icon layout.
Full US base map for $30 lifetime license
NDrive Navigation Systems has released its self-titled iPhone app on the US App Store. The GPS utility provides full map coverage for the US, including 3D representations of important buildings or other landmarks. Users can take advantage of a large keyboard for quick entry, while the interface supports multi-touch input for zoom, tilt and shortcuts.
CoPilot GPS on App Store
ALK Technologies has announced that its CoPilot Live GPS navigation iPhone app is now available for customers in North America. The app saves Canadian and US maps directly on the iPhone, enabling users to receive guidance when outside of cellular coverage and without accruing data fees.
DealNN: $148 RoadMate 1430
Today's featured DealNN deal is on the Magellan RoadMate 1430 4.3-inch portable navigation system. It is regularly priced at $299.99, but for today only 6ave.com has reduced the price to $148 with FREE shipping. The RoadMate has a 4.3-inch color touchscreen display, turn-by-turn navigation, LIVE traffic capability, 6 million Points of Interest, text-to speech and more.
Ford touts SYNC 3.0 at CES
Ford this week introduced a new set of SYNC 3.0 services that leverage voice-recognition software, integrated GPS technology and Bluetooth-capable mobile phones to deliver personalized traffic reports, turn-by-turn driving directions and up-to-date information (business listings, news, sports and weather) -- without the need for a built-in navigation system. Due this spring, SYNC 3.0 with Traffic, Directions and Information will deliver hands-free access to personalized traffic reports, turn-by-turn driving directions and up-to-date information including business listings, news, sports and weather using a customer's cell phone.
Black Friday GPS deals
A variety of GPS models from different manufacturers are being drastically reduced for Black Friday. Starting at $99.95 is the TomTom ONE clamshell portable navigation system, regularly priced at $179.95 at 6ave.com. Next up for $189.99 is the Garmin nuvi 260w GPS, regularly priced at $299.99 at BestBuy.com. The TomTom ONE 130S GPS is available at RadioShack.com for $199.99 after $50 in instant savings. Lastly is the Garmin nuvi 265WT GPS navigator priced at $249.99, a price cut of $100 off the original price of $349.99 at CircuitCity.com.
NCC is about to introduce five new Goodyear-branded GPS devices, with three of them out by Christmas, according to a Wednesday report by Engadget. The least expensive among them, the GY130, will include a 3.5-inch LCD touchscreen along with three million points of interest (POI), a SiRF GPS receiver, turn-by-turn directions and 3D view. The next step up, the GY135, will add Text-to-Speech capability, being capable of speaking out street names. The GY145 will up the touchscreen size to 4.3 inches but bring little else in terms of features and specs.
Sanyo intros three PNDs
Sanyo on Wednesday announced it will soon launch a trio of advanced in-car entertainment and portable GPS devices, including the 7-inch Gorilla NVA-GS1580FT that doubles as a car entertainment center and the portable 7-inch NV-SD750FT, as well as the 5.2-inch NV-SB510DT. The first two use 4GB solid-state drives as well as a dual 12Seg/1Seg TV tuner built-in to catch live broadcasts in the company's native Japan. Apart from the smaller touchscreen size, the NV-SB510DT supports only a 1Seg TV tuner.
Navigon launches two PNDs
Navigon on Wednesday announced the release of the 5100 max personal navigation devices, spotted earlier this month at the FCC, along with the 2090S. Both units sport Navigon's newest software that can generate routes quicker and makes entering information faster and easier thanks to the company's SmartSpeller software. The 5100 max uses a 4.3-inch touchscreen display with a 16:9 aspect ratio that will display real-time traffic updates. Buyers get these updates for the life of the unit without having to pay any additional subscription fees or having to buy additional hardware.