New division will focus on location-aware services
Nokia has announced two developments in its restructuring effort. The company appointed Michael Halberr executive vice president of the new Location & Commerce business unit, which will merge the NAVTEQ business with the company's social location services operations. The company also said the plans to outsource Symbian software development and support activities to Accenture had been finalized. Nokia CEO Stephen Elop has committed to
supporting Symbian through 2016.
Navigon launches Android 3.0-optimized app
Navigon has updated its navigation app for Android devices, making it now compatible with Android 3.0 tablets. The title now takes advantage of the larger screen and is one of the first to offer real turn-by-turn directions with the new OS. The MobileNavigator app (not yet in Android Market) has new features that include live weather information and a new function that can help in finding parking spaces. The 3.6 version of the app is also available in a North American version that gets map data for the US and Canada.
Nokia, Navteq to form Mobile Phones Business arm
An internal memo received by PhoneScoop indicates Nokia and Navteq will significantly change their mapping and social networking services. This will include new social-location apps, service and developer experiences. Also, high-value location content that brings "differentiated" experiences are also part of the changeover.
Launch includes 200 US locations, more overseas
Navteq has announced that it has expanded its range of mapping services to include indoor areas. The new maps, which are initially focused on shopping centers, include interior map attributes such as escalators, stairs, emergency exits and bathrooms, along with much greater detail for POIs related information such as departments within stores.
Navteq changes navigation with Natural Guidance
GPS device maker Navteq on Thursday introduced a new product, called Natural Guidance, that gives spoken navigation directions by landmark or other descriptive reference rather than distance. For example, rather than saying "turn right on Main Street in 400 feet," the device will says "make a right at the traffic signal." The systems also weigh the importance of a point of reference, such as the size and prominence of a building or whether it's winter or summer, where fully covered trees may block vision.
Real-world patent use could aid plaintiff
Apple and newly-absorbed subsidiary Quattro Wireless are just two of several targets in a new lawsuit from Malaysian company StreetSpace, says AppleInsider. The firm is responsible for the Web Station, a web-browsing kiosk supported in part through targeted advertising. The defendants are accused of violating US Patent 6,847,969, Method and System for Providing Personalized Online Services and Advertisements in Public Spaces.
Alpine, Nokia, CE4A create Terminal Mode tech
Car audio maker Alpine on Wednesday revealed a partnership with Nokia and CE4A, a group of car makers working on standardizing the integration of mobile devices into cars. It will allow users to access phone functions and Nokia's Ovi services that include NAVTEQ-powered navigation as well as data-network dependent widgets on the in-car entertainment system. The connected technology is called Terminal Mode and will allow for the safe and legal operation of most, if not all, of the smartphone's services.
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.
Garmin aera GPS devices for pilots, drivers
Garmin on Monday introduced a new series of portable GPS devices meant for use by pilots and drivers alike. Making up the aera series are the aera 500, aera 510, aera 550 and aera 560 touchscreen devices, which combine the simplicity of Garmin's in-car navigation units with the feature set and GPS accuracy necessary for pilots. The multi-mode devices switch between auto and aviation mode quickly.
Budget priced Magellan SE4 now shipping
A new Magellan GPS model, the SE4, is now available at Best Buy. The budget-priced SE4 has a 4.3-inch touchscreen and contains Navteq map data for 48 contiguous US states, Hawaii and Puerto Rico. The spoken turn-by-turn directions can guide users to one of the preloaded six million points of interest, and the device has the ability to route to multiple destinations.
Garmin nuvi 1690 to use AT&T for data connection
Garmin said on Thursday that it has teamed with wireless provider AT&T to provide the mobile data connection for its upcoming nuvi 1690 GPS mapper. The cellular access gives the nuLink feature integrated into the nuvi 1690 a connection to Google Local searches as well as updated local information that includes traffic, weather, fuel price, movie listing, flight status, local event and white page listings. Users can also connect with other Garmin users thanks to Garmin's Ciao social networking system.
New nüvi gets online search, social networking
Garmin on Thursday said it would soon begin shipping its latest portable navigator, the nüvi 1690. The device has a built-in wireless module that connects to Garmin's nüLink service which allows users to access Google local search as well as traffic, weather, fuel prices, movie listings, flight status and more information. They can also connect to Ciao!, Garmin's location-based social networking system. In the US, buyers will get two years of free nüLink access.
Apple TomTom Buy In Rumor
Dutch shares of native GPS device maker TomTom spiked on Friday morning after speculation rose that Apple is mulling getting a stake in the company. Following Apple's WWDC presentation Monday that saw TomTom introduce an iPhone GPS app and a matching car kit, some investors claim to have heard that TomTom being singled out and its tight integration of software with the iPhone are advance evidence of Apple wanting to invest a minority amount in the European firm. The rumor is not universal, however, and some openly doubt the likelihood of such a deal.
Nokia finalizes NAVTEQ buy
Nokia has completed its purchase of mapping technology and software maker NAVTEQ after getting the European Commission's approval of the deal earlier this month. Navteq provides data used in a wide range of applications, including automotive navigation systems and web-based applications, such as Google Maps, Yahoo! and other sites. As part of Nokia, NAVTEQ will now continue to develop map data and its technology platform, focusing on adding context-aware services to the web functions of mobile devices, the company said. Such functionality will allow users to quickly and efficiently access data such as restaurant reviews and store hours from the Internet based on their location.
Nokia/NAVTEQ deal OK'd
The European Commission has approved an acquisition of map maker NAVTEQ, Nokia has announced. With this validation in hand, the company says it has met all regulatory concerns, and plans to complete the buyout within a matter of five days. "NAVTEQ will play a key role in our Internet services strategy," reads a statement from Nokia CEO Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo. The acquisition will also likely save the company money on licensing, as it has previously had to pay companies like NAVTEQ for each use of a map on a phone.
TomTom OK to Buy TeleAtlas
European Commission officials today cleared GPS maker TomTom's plans to buy Tele Atlas. The government body says the buyout "would not significantly impede" competition in GPS navigators and attached no restrictions to the deal, which lets TomTom use an in-house source for its own maps. Although the possiblity exists for TomTom to artificially limit competition by blocking sales of Tele Atlas maps to outside companies, the existence of its rival Navteq makes that "unlikely," the Commission says.
Europe probes Nokia/NAVTEQ
The European Commission has begun a serious investigation into Nokia's planned purchase of NAVTEQ, Reuters says. The inquiry has an initial deadline of 90 days, with a possible extension to 125; in question is whether or not the deal violates any monopoly concerns. The Commission observes that NAVTEQ is only one of two major producers of digital maps for GPS services, which could give Nokia an unfair advantage in its cellphone business.