It is difficult to look twice at a navigation app when Google Maps and Navigation comes pre-installed on every Android device. Indeed it is even more difficult to pay for an alternative navigation app unless it offers a compelling feature. However, it appears that Wikitude (known for its popular Augmented Reality Browser) has hit upon a novel and useful feature that may just tempt users in the United States to cough up for a paid navigation app.
Google Maps continues the march of progress, officially adding traffic support for 13 European countries today. Aside from the obvious benefit of being able to see traffic in Maps, Navigation will now re-route you based on traffic conditions.
- Czech Republic
The new functionality is live on Android, iOS, and in the mobile browser.
[Source: Google Mobile Blog]
A new update for Google Maps was released today and brings some impressive new functionality. Artem put it well (although perhaps not exactly eloquently): "it's #$%^ing amazing... Google keeps blowing minds." In a nutshell, Transit Navigation (as it's officially dubbed) brings exactly what you'd expect - it helps you navigate public transport. In their words:
Transit Navigation (Beta)
Google Maps Navigation (Beta) currently provides over 12 billion miles of GPS-guided driving and walking directions per year.
CoPilot, a popular navigation and mapping company, released Live USA Standard and Premium v9 offline navigation apps to the Android Market on Monday, June 27th. While most people immediately think and resort to using Google Maps, CoPilot apps could come in quite handy for those without data plans (such as phones disconnected from service or Wi-Fi only) or in areas of poor data reception (I felt the need for something like this just this past weekend on a trip to a remote lake).
Let's face it: large physical retail stores can be difficult to navigate at times, especially for first-time shoppers. To help alleviate this problem, UK retailer Tesco (informally known as the European Walmart) has developed and is now testing an in-store GPS system that can be accessed from an Android phone.
Upon opening the app, you'll be greeted with an empty shopping list which you can fill with any and all products available at Tesco.
Some call Tasker the most versatile application ever created for Android, and I'm inclined to side with them. The app can automate hundreds of actions and bundle them together in powerful scripts that do exactly what you want them to do (see our Tasker review). Want to silence your phone at night and then restore the ringer to a predefined volume in the morning? No problem. How about popping up a menu of music apps when you plug in your headphones?
Mapquest's navigation app already offers a slew of features that we've come to expect from a worthy GPS app, but it has recently seen an update that brings Skyhook's hybrid positioning engine into the mix. This engine not only uses satellites for global positioning, but it also judges accurate location by using nearby WiFi networks (Google Location does this as well - but Skyhook utilizes their own proprietary magic and claim it's more accurate).
A feature that has been long-awaited by some Android users has now been added to one of the most practical (and free) apps out there. Google has just announced on their mobile blog that their Android Navigation feature (part of the Google Maps app) is now incorporating current traffic information into the routing that it predicts for you.
A "fastest route" that only lands you in a traffic jam doesn't do you much good and this update attempts to remedy that with more of what Google likes the most: data.
Auto manufacturer Saab today announced the arrival of their IQon "Infotainment system," which will use Android to power a variety of functions in vehicles.
While used largely for entertainment (music, video), it will also incorporate Navigation and will even monitor the car's on-board computer (external devices are generally used for this purpose now). They boast that it will allow upgrading, personalizing, and even "downloading apps like a smartphone" (I can see the 'don't play Angry Birds and drive' PSAs now).
Based on the press release and official video, Verizon's new VZ Navigator VX is awesome. Really awesome. Potentially better than Google Maps 5/Google Navigation - and yes, I can hardly believe I'm saying that either, since the new GMaps combo provides a hell of a punch. But check out the short (just over two minutes) promo video, and you'll see what I mean:
Two major items of note there: first, assuming everything works, then big red did a hell of a job on the app.