NAVIGON AG, one of the big navigation companies out there, announced this past THursday not just an update, but a full re-definition of their smartphone navigation software, available for the iPhone and other smartphone platforms, including Android (now) and Windows Phone 7 (later this year).
“Over the last two years, we’ve continuously added new features to our navigation apps, transforming them into the most feature-rich smartphone GPS apps available,” said Gerhard Mayr, NAVIGON vice-president of worldwide mobile phones and new markets. “For our new generation of apps, we went back to the drawing board to see how we could elevate smartphone navigation to the next level. Feedback from our users suggests that a better way to manage and update maps and a more intuitive user interface are top priorities.”
Sounds good, right? What does it boil down to? Here's what we're seeing:
New map management and update abilities are in the update, allowing users to download regional maps on the fly. This could allow users to have, say, only the maps of the states they travel in most, rather than an entire United States or pre-defined region sitting on their iPhone taking up space better spent on new ringtones. The maps themselves will be updated from NAVTEQ on a quarterly basis, ensuring the freshest maps available to users for a one-time fee, good for the lifetime of the software. The user interface has also been updated to more easily match the iOS environment in which it is running (or the platform on which it is running, if not iOS). In addition, NAVIGON includes a speed camera warning feature and a cockpit function that displays real-time driving data, allowing those enthusiasts to monitor their driving behaviors right from the app.
NAVIGON AG was founded in 1991, and operates out of Hamburg, Germany. They were recently acquired by Garmin, and current offer smartphone apps for on-board navigation utility. The new update will be available free to current NAVIGON app users sometime this fall.