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Google Maps offline mode enhancements coming to iOS app soon

11/11, 7:04am

Offline turn-by-turn navigation, search arriving in impending Google Maps update

Google is making its offline mode in Google Maps mobile apps more useful, with the Android version getting the change now and iOS set to receive it "soon," according to the official blog. The updated offline feature promises to make life easier for its users, by allowing them to continue navigating to a location whenever the cellular signal drops, or in cases where the user wants to save on their wireless plan's data allowance, with the app seamlessly switching between offline and online modes.


Apple Indoor Survey app for internal mapping of buildings appears

11/02, 6:53am

Indoor Survey app points to use of RF signals for indoor location services

Apple could soon launch a way for people to navigate their way around an indoor location, such as a mall or a large building, without using GPS or iBeacons. The Indoor Survey App has quietly surfaced in the App Store, allowing its users to create a map of an indoor area, with the iOS device using its onboard sensors to measure radio signals and other data in order to work out where it physically is within a location.


Hands On: Localscope 4.3 (iPhone)

07/01, 10:20am

Smart navigation app adds Uber

We may have been looking at this the wrong way: previously, we've described this app -- now updated to Localscope 4.3 -- as a competitor to Where To?, and we've said that its rival wins. For apps you use to find a place and then get to it, Where To is better -- but maybe we were wrong to regard them as direct competitors.


Hands On: Where To? 8.0.1 (Apple Watch, iOS)

06/11, 4:55pm

Excellent local search app adds Apple Watch

Previously on Where To: back in January -- which, depending on when yours arrived, is is four or five months BW (Before Watch) –– we gave this app a bit of a rave. It's not the only app for finding the nearest bar or bank, or for finding directions to the closest library or train station, and our sole caution was that we recommended having a couple of these sorts of apps. Now with Where To? 8.0.1 we're going to change that to recommending that you just buy this one.


Living With: Apple Watch

06/03, 7:33am

One month of wrist talking with Apple's new gadget

As I write this, it is one month to the day since my Apple Watch arrived -- and I only know that because I looked it up. It simultaneously feels like I have always had one and that it is still a new toy. Those two things can't both be true, but they are and really it just means I am firmly in that time when I just don't appreciate that I'm actually a lucky git for having one.


Briefly: Apple renews TomTom maps, Apple Pay expansions

05/20, 12:04pm

Maps to continue to use TomTom data for navigation with renewed contract

TomTom, the Dutch mapping data company that has been one of the key partners in Apple Maps since day one, will continue to supply the iPhone maker with geographic and street-level data, despite rumors of a wholly revamped Maps service in the works. TomTom is one of several partners Apple uses to collect location data for Maps, but has been one of the most important, even as Apple has spent much of the last three years acquiring other GPS-related companies.


Apple confirms buyout of Coherent Navigation positioning firm

05/18, 9:38am

Company continues to collect navigation- and map-based companies

On Sunday, Apple confirmed that it had acquired precision global positioning company Coherent Navigation, a small business that worked on military-grade precision navigation systems, robotics, and autonomous navigation technology. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Coherent, which was founded in 2008, "focused on creating commercial navigation services based on partnerships with companies like Boeing and Iridium, the satellite network operator," according to the former CEO's LinkedIn page.


Hands On: Nokia Here 1.0.59 (iOS)

03/13, 7:28am

Nokia's map app is back on iOS

Not to be rude about this, but did you notice that the Nokia Here maps app for iOS was gone? That, in fact, it wasn't Here? The company pulled it in December 2013, and said this was all the fault of Apple because certain features of iOS 7 "harm the user experience." Nokia never said which features, and you didn't really expect it to, but then you didn't expect it to come back with a new app 15 months later, either, and yet here it is.


Hands On: Tube Map Pro (iOS)

02/26, 8:59am

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.


Waze announces Connective Citizens initiative with governments

10/02, 6:23pm

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.


Google Maps extends navigation, adds 'Missing Places' to apps

09/19, 1:17pm

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.


Garmin releases premium navigation application Viago

06/17, 3:47pm

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.


US Department of Transportation wants to regulate navigation apps

06/16, 6:40pm

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.


Briefly: Twitter site revamp, Motorola Assist adds hands-free texting

01/14, 11:15am

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.


Apple adding public transit through HopStop acquisition

07/19, 6:52pm

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.


Facebook reportedly in talks to acquire Waze with near-$1 billion bid

05/09, 12:44pm

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.


China aims for mobile phone adoption of Beidou navigation

04/03, 5:21am

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.


China enables BeiDou satellite positioning service for use

12/28, 12:10pm

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.


Apple's Maps holds its own in head-to-head driving test

10/08, 11:14pm

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.


Consumer Reports: Apple's Maps not that bad after all

09/28, 10:12pm

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."


Nokia, Samsung, others form indoor navigation group

08/23, 3:18pm

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.


Nokia updates Maps, Drive apps for Windows Phone

03/20, 6:35pm

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.


Bing, Nokia, Windows Phone debut unified map style

02/29, 1:00am

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.


Garmin adds Street View, Active Lane Assist to Navigon apps

02/28, 12:00am

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.


Briefly: Where To? 1.4 update, OfficeJet 100 Lion driver

02/06, 2:10pm

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.


Garmin debuts new iOS apps at MacWorld, adds social function

01/26, 7:45pm

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 unveils premium nuvi 3500 line, adds smartphone app

01/09, 12:55pm

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.


TomTom to cut 10% of jobs as smartphones take over

12/08, 7:50pm

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.


First drive: 2012 GMC Terrain

11/10, 9:55pm

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.


Senator pushes to require warrants for GPS surveillance

10/25, 11:25pm

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.


Hands on: Cadillac CUE vehicle user experience

10/12, 12:00am

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 Experiencethe company's refined and expanded approach to connected vehicles. Electronista took an early look at the new system before it arrives in production vehicles.


Navigon revamps apps for iPhone, Android

09/01, 4:45am

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.


TomTom puts out Go Live 1535M with full app platform

08/29, 8:25pm

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.


NAVV Traveller for iPad offers offline maps, more

08/04, 6:30pm

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.


iOS App of the Week: TapNav

07/07, 12:45am

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.


New iGo Primo navigation app replaces iGo My Way

04/21, 8:20pm

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.


Briefly: Science Language Central, iGo My Way 30% sale

03/11, 12:15pm

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.


Saab intros Android-based IQon infotainment system

03/01, 11:40pm

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.


Cellcom launches Internet console for vehicles

01/25, 7:35pm

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.


Harman set to unveil multimedia system for Toyota at CES

01/04, 11:30am

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.


TomTom updates app for iOS 4 multitasking

06/22, 7:55pm

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.


Mini Review: Navteq Map Update 2011 for Garmin

06/10, 1:55pm

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 cant comment on the updated maps as the roads in our area appear to be unchanged for 2011, but we wish Nateqs update process was a little more user-involved.


Garmin intros nvi 295W with Wi-Fi, autofocus camera

05/12, 10:00pm

Nuvi 295W bridges gap with nuvifone

Garmin has quietly introduced the nvi 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 nvifone without the voice communication capabilities. The device even automatically reorients the 3.5-inch touchscreen for portrait or landscape use.


Google denies plans to bring turn-by-turn GPS to iPhone

04/23, 4:50pm

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.


Navigon launches regional navigation apps at reduced prices

03/16, 8:10pm

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.


AT&T Navigator 1.5i brings night mode, speed limit alerts

02/08, 5:45pm

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.


Free Ovi Maps gets over 1 million downloads in first week

02/03, 8:40am

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.


ALK released free CoPilot Live navigation app for iPhone

01/20, 4:45pm

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.


Pioneer debuts new nav system, receivers with Pandora

01/06, 6:35pm

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.


TomTom's entry-level EASE GPS heads for North America

01/06, 12:10pm

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.



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