gps

Garmin StreetPilot has been released over at the Windows Phone Marketplace. The GPS/Navigation app joins a host of other voice navigation apps already in place for your Windows Phone such as Turn by Turn Navigation, GPS Voice Navigation and aSpass.

Garmin designed their Windows Phone app to share similar features found on Garmin's Nuvi stand alone personal navigators. To minimize data needs, maps are downloaded for areas relevant to your planned route. Garmin StreetPilot also includes real-time traffic updates.

Additional features includes:

  • Voice-prompted, turn-by-turn directions including street names
  • Real-time traffic updates included at no additional cost
  • Automatic map storage so you can browse maps you've recently viewed outside of data coverage areas
  • Speed limits for most major roads
  • Integrated Local Search
  • Millions of points of interest
  • Lane assist with junction view for complicated interchanges
  • Address book integration to navigate to contacts
  • Current weather conditions and forecast
  • Place calls directly from search listing
  • Navigate in both portrait and landscape mode

Garmin StreetPilot sounds and looks like a very useful navigation app for your Windows Phone. The downside to the picture is that there is no trial version available and the full version runs $39.99. It may be well worth the $40 price tag but it would be nice to have a trial version to let Windows Phone users a chance to take StreetPilot out for a test drive.

Garmin StreetPilot can be purchased here (opens Zune) at the Marketplace.

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In the second part of our Windows Phone voice navigation round-up, we set our sites on aSpass and Silver Navigator. In part one of the round-up we took a look at GPS Voice Navigation and Turn by Turn Navigation. Both were very good navigation apps but we gave the edge to Turn by Turn Navigation.

aSpass and Silver Navigator aren't as feature heavy as GPS Voice or Turn by Turn nor are they as expensive. aSpass is running $3.99 while Silver Navigator runs $2.99.

Over the past week we took both voice navigation apps on the road to see how they performed. We hit neighborhood streets, highways and by-ways. Areas where signal strength was strong and where it was dismal. Does the lack of features hurt these apps or is simpler better? We'll break things down after the break.

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Voice navigation has landed on your Windows Phone by way of apps such as GPS Voice Navigation, Silver Navigator, aSpass and Turn by Turn Navigation. These navigation apps bring the spoken word to your travel directions, But which is better?  Prices range from $2.99 to $6.99 but which are worth the price of admission and which aren't?

We decided to do a head to head comparison of the various voice navigation apps available for your Windows Phone.  First up, we take a look at GPS Voice Navigation and Turn by Turn Navigation.  They are the heavy weights of the group (both in price and features) and we'll turn our sights on Silver Navigator and aSpass next.

We recently took both GPS Voice and Turn by Turn out for a road trip to see how well both performed. Did GPS Voice Navigation out perform Turn by Turn or did it land us in the middle of nowhere? Did Turn by Turn steer us into a cow pasture or did was it the shiny coin between the two?

You know the drill. To find out how these two navigation apps shook out, navigate your way past the break.

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While in the U.S., we're actually use to turn-by-turn being provided by our carriers, in Europe it's not so expected. In that sense, it's great news to hear that Orange France has release a full-fledged, custom, turn-by-turn GPS solution for their customers.

The app looks pretty snazzy from the screenshots and it has abundant, if not the usual, features on board:

  • The real-time traffic info;
  • Alerts fixed and mobile radars (database Wikango);
  • Service stations with fuel prices;
  • Parking in the Ile de France
  • Voice guided

The bad news is that it's not locally stored maps, so just like the U.S. counterparts, you have to have a data plan that can both be fast enough to download the data and allows you to have enough data so as to not get over-charged. (Europe tends to have higher data costs and less access to 3G than in the U.S.). Still, it's a nice start and something we're sure many will use. For more info, head to Professeur Thibault who has all the details.

Download Orange GPS here in the Marketplace.

via Professeur Thibault

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GPS Tuner, developers of Outdoor Navigation, has released Turn by Turn Navigation for Windows Phone 7. Focusing on simplicity, Turn by Turn allows you to tap on a map point or search for an address, click on a pushpin and press the GO button to begin your journey.

Key features include:

  • Voice-Guided turn by turn Navigation with premium audio quality
  • Automatic Map rotation according to your heading POI and address search
  • Add POI-s or locations to Favorites
  • Route calculation based on Time or Distance using Traffic information
  • Bing Road and Hybrid Maps
  • Supporting Portrait and Landscape mode
  • Automatic re-routing if you miss a turn
  • Speed dependent Volume control
  • Driving and Walking directions
  • US and Metric units are supported

We liked Outdoor Navigation and if that's any indication, Turn by Turn Navigation should be a very nice app. There is a free trail version available that allows for routes up to twelve miles. The full version will run you $4.99.

You can find both here (opens Zune) at the Marketplace.

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Of all the new features, the one some of us are pretty excited about is turn-by-turn navigation in Bing. It was something that many of us got used to on Windows Mobile, so it's been a struggle in 2010-11 to have it go missing (especially with an EVO available for driving).

While the system is hardly ground-breaking, it looks well implementd here and should greatly help when driving around a new part of town. Check after the break for a video of the Mango emulator in action.

Source: YouTube (SharpGIS) Thanks, Sébastien M, for the snapshot above

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11

WP7 now features a sex offenders app

With all the 'bad people' out there and how smartphones solve Human problems (wireless communication, entertainment values, etc.), one would hope that an offering would reach Windows Phone 7 to combat sex offenders. Well, it has.

An app called Sex Offenders Search is slightly like Bronseal's slogan; "It does exactly what it says on the tin" (if you don't know Bronseal), where it displays to the user all registered sex offenders in and around your area (using GPS and maps). The app allows you to select an offender and view a photo, name, address and offenses. 

Sex Offenders Search is currently only available in the US, bit of a pain for us Europeans, and can be found on the Marketplace for $1.99 here.

Source: WP7 Connect

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The Windows Phone 7 navigation application, Outdoor Navigation has been recently updated to bring offline maps into play. Version 1.3 will allow you to download maps to your Windows Phone so you can use map features when you travel outside your coverage area and lose data connectivity. This feature also comes in handy if your service imposes roaming charges on data.

We felt that this was one feature missing on Outdoor Navigation (here's our review) and offline maps will only add to a very good navigation app.

Version 1.3 also has added German and Italian as language options. It is our understanding that additional languages are in the works. Lastly, Version 1.3 adds two map styles to Outdoor Navigation. OpenPisteMap with ski slopes and OpenHikingMap with trails has been added.

There is a free trial version for Outdoor Navigation with the full version running $4.99. You can download either here (opens Zune) over at the Marketplace.

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Tiinx - App Spotlight

Tiinx is a social news portal that allows users to aggregate content from several parts and report them directly to the Tiinx community.  Tiinx the Windows Phone 7 application, brings this portal to your Windows Phone and as an added bonus, included a car finder utility.

Tiinx offers the following functions:

  • "Social News" allows you to write or report items of your interest to share with the community, vote and comment on them
  • "Find my car" allows you to store your car's GPS position and review it later through Bing Maps. The location can be stored on Tiinx Social and displayed on the web with Bing Maps on Tinx.com.

Registration with Tiinx is required and free. The Windows Phone app is free and you can download it here (opens Zune) at the Marketplace.

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XMaps - Review

XMaps is a worldwide mapping application for Windows Phone 7. Similar to other navigational apps for your Windows Phone XMaps is designed to help you get from point a to b as well on the highways as well as the open wilderness.

The free application taps into openstreetmaps.org to download maps to your Windows Phone as well as offering a wide range of tools that will allow you to plan travel routes, set markers/way-points, and record your travels.

To find out more about XMaps, follow the break.

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GPS App - Review

Like to geocache? There's a Windows Phone app for that.

GPS App is Windows Phone 7 navigation application designed to help guide you way-points or geocaches. You can navigate your way to geocaches by way of the compass screen or use the Bing Map view.

For those not familiar geocaching is an outdoor sporting activity in which the participants use a GPS receiver to hide and seek containers, called "geocaches" or "caches", anywhere in the world.

To read more on GPS App, follow the break.

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Outdoor Navigation - Review

Outdoor Navigation is being offered over at the Marketplace that slaps a considerable amount of GPS functionality onto your Windows Phone. Developed by GPS Tuner, the Windows Phone 7 navigation application offers features you would typically find on a stand alone GPS unit.

From an on-board compass to route tracking to photographing points of interest, Outdoor Navigation can come in handy on the open trail as well as the open road. The application lays everything out nicely and includes a healthy help section to guide you through all the bells and whistles Outdoor Navigation has.

Read more after the break.

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Car Locator - Review

CrewBeat is offering Car Locator over at the Windows Phone Marketplace that should prevent you from misplacing your car again. The Windows Phone 7 application marks your car's location using the on-board aGPS and uses that information to guide you back to where you left it.

Car Locator can come in handy at large shopping malls, sporting events, airports and other venues where masses of cars congregate. The application offers a radar view, map view and allows you to photograph your cars location (to help jog your memory).

To read more about our impressions on Car Locator, ease on past the break.

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While Bing is sure a swanky search option for Windows Phone 7, it has zero navigation properties as of v1.0. Rumor has it that it will be getting a significant bump with this feature sometime in 2011, but for now we don't have to much for navigation.

TeleMap is the first to launch a full search and navigation option for our new OS, though initially they will only have service maps in Singapore/Malaysia. In looking at their website though, TeleMaps does have maps in the U.S. including live traffic, so perhaps we'll see an offering from them soon. And if not them, we're sure the carriers and/or TomTom will be entering the market soon.

The software has the following features and looks to keep with minimalist look of Windows Phone 7:

  • in-car turn-by-turn navigation with 3D moving maps, voice and text instructions announcing street names and Points of Interest such as gas stations and parking lots along the way, a dedicated pedestrian navigation, local search and content enhanced specifically for the Windows Phone 7
  • Full Singapore and Malaysia maps
  • Real-time traffic information
  • Cell-ID function that enables you to check your location and plan a route even when indoors

Update: We're reminded by @mearsfan25 that the T-Mobile HD7 has TeleNav already on board, so TeleMap's claim is a little dubious. Though perhaps they mean "not carrier endorsed" or something.

Source: TeleMap Press Release

 

 

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Garmin-Asus has ventured into the Windows Phone market before with the M20 but it really never got off the ground. Some had hopes that chances for success would improve when Garmin was introduced as a Windows Phone 7 launch partner earlier this year by Microsoft.  It now it appears Garmin will be late to the party.

Digitimes is reporting that Garmin-Asus will not launch a Windows Phone 7 device this year but instead is targeting the first quarter of 2011 to join the Windows Phone 7 lineup. Instead, the company is focusing on a few new Android based smartphones they plan to release by the end of this year.

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We've mentioned in the past about 'Orion', the geolocation service/API for Windows Phone 7 which allows developers access to many forms of locating the phone's location extremely quickly.

Now that same service looks to be leveraged, eventually, for gaming.

Makes sense to us. Such a feature could be used to unlock levels or weapons by requiring the user to be at a certain location or establishment. Going further, the level-up could be time-constrained, requiring the player to be at a certain place, at a certain time.

Of course with our corporate overlords, we could also imagine commercially sponsored games by chain-stores, such as coffee shops or your local Best Buy. We're not too sure about the 'coolness' of the latter as we can't think of any hip corporate-branded games, but the potential at least exists.

Finally, the potential to leverage such geolocation gaming could result in 'flash mobs', at least according to  Microsoft's independent software vendor developer evangelist Paul Foster and OS and mobile product manager lead William Coleman, who in an interview detailed WP7s GPS potential. It should be noted that all of this is up to the developers to take advantage of and so far, only Crackdown 2: Project Sunburst uses such technology.

[the Inquirer via 1800PocketPC]

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In a move that may console some of your concerns about the future of Windows Mobile 6.x, Microsoft has updated its Bing application. While the version numbers don’t seem like a big jump (5.1.2010.3290 to 5.1.2010.5040 is what we’re seeing on our phones), there is some new functionality that a lot of people have been pining for.

Bing (and its predecessor, Live Search) have offered minimal navigation options in previous iterations, but as of today Bing offers voice guided turn-by-turn directions. (Huzzah!) Settings include the choice between the fastest or shortest route, avoiding toll booths, avoiding traffic, and voice guidance. Get the latest and greatest version from http://m.bing.com/download/. More information is available at Microsoft's Bing Community Blog.

More screen shots after the break. Let us know your thoughts in the comments!

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4

GPS Tab for Sense 2.5

Tabs seem to be popping up out of nowhere these days. You have a tabs for Facebook, Call History, Twitter, Documents, eReader, and now there's one for GPS.

XDA Developers Forum member xaoc747 has developed posted a GPS tab designed for Sense 2.5 and the HTC HD2. The tab defines your current position and object motion parameters for calculation between the current and previous points. It will record tracks in a Yandex map format along with an analysis of the tracks (distance, speeds, time, etc.).

In skimming over the discussion on this Sense 2.5 tab, there is no mention of it being compatible with any Windows Phone running Sense 2.5 other than the HD2. The Russian Developer has released a similar tab for the HTC Touch Diamond but there is no mention as to whether or not this tab will function on a Touch Pro 2 running Sense 2.5. There is some discussion that some of the settings menus are not translating from Russian to English as well.

If you're in an adventurous mood, you can find the full discussion on the custom tab as well as the download here. Keep in mind this is a home-grown modification that may or may not have bugs and is essentially in the Beta stages.

Correction: This mod was posted over at XDA by xaoc747.  The mod was actually developed by member, MoonNah.  

[read: wmpoweruser.com]

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Ah, Foursquare. Either you love it or you think it is even more dumb than Twitter. Either way, the fledgling social service which is now available in the Microsoft Marketplace and soon for Windows Phone 7, has updated some of their code to prevent people from cheating on 'check ins'.

See, the more often you 'check in' with Foursquare at a specific location, the better chance you have at being the number one visitor. Upon that amazing (or sad) achievement, you are awarded badges or the most coveted 'mayorship'. Yes, yes, it's also silly and a bit odd for adults, especially if it's a place of ill repute to indulge in your lascivious ways.

As bad as all that is, evidently people were cheating to get those awards by spoofing their location. For shame people. Well, Foursquare wants you to know they frown upon such behavior and have attempted to put an end to your evil-doing ways.

So there, neener-neener.

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Today in a press release, Navizon announced their partnership with Microsoft to share their global location database. Presumably, this database will be used with Windows phone 7 although no word on Windows Mobile 6.5.

Navizon, for those who don't remember, have a Windows Mobile program called Mobifindr, which allows you to find your phone via text message or locate your friends. More importantly, they featured a "virtual GPS" system whereby your location could be ascertained via WiFi and/or cell-tower triangulation. This was a bigger deal in 2008 when GPS was still not the norm on many WM phones.

This deal actually makes a lot of sense since we know Windows Phone 7 Series uses 'Orion', the same location-bases service found in Windows 7. It too uses WiFi, cell-tower triangulation, IP detection and straight up GPS to identify your location with a simple API. So Microsoft has the hardware/software to find your location (coordinates), but what they don't have is access to some type of database of locations.

Unlike Google, who can collect your geo-location information via millions of cell phones (read that user agreement), Microsoft is still new to the whole location-based services game.  This deal with Navizon seems to give them that extra edge to compete with Google.

[Navizon press release]

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