turn by turn

We reported the other day on a new update for Nokia Drive+ Beta but it looks like Nokia haven’t forgotten about Windows Phone 7 users.

Arguably the more stable of the two versions, the Windows Phone 7 app performs like a champ and Nokia have now included the options for tailoring routes more effectively. Read on past the break to find out more.

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NAVIGON has updated its Windows Phone apps for both Europe and the US to version 4.6. This latest release takes advantage of text to speech for the app to read out street names to the user. As well as both apps sporting new functionality, the development team has also fixed a number of bugs that were present and has improved stability and performance. 

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Nokia Drive (our review) version 2.0 has been released and is available for download on the Marketplace. The Windows Phone turn-by-turn navigation app from Nokia now sports offline navigation to further cut the use of data. With this functionality not dependant on your connectivity (or data allowance), you'll be able to drive with peace of mind.

As well as the offline use, we've also got "Last Destinations" that can be selected for user convenience. The ETA (Estimated Time of Arrival) of the selected destination is also displayed along with the speed you're currently travelling at (as well as on the route selection screen next to the distance). An audio speed limit alert can be set up in the settings, which will sound should the user exceed the road limit.

Should you really want to take an in-depth look at how Nokia Drive can help you on your way, be sure to check out the user guide (updated for version 2.0).

Thanks to everyone who tipped us!

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NDrive app heading for Windows Phone

NDrive has announced plans to introduce an app for Windows Phone, according to a press release published late last month. To bring the service to the likes of Blackberry and our platform, NDrive will enter a partnership with Appello. NDrive is currently already available for Android, iOS and Samsung bada.

Luis Baptista-Coelho, NDrive’s Chief Executive Officer, added the following:

"We are very excited to address 100% of the smartphone market with our location based app. On top of the current Android, Apple iOS and Samsung bada environments, we are now delivering a Blackberry and a Windows Phone 7 app that will strengthen our offering into the carrier markets around the world."

The move will provide Windows Phone users with another turn-by-turn navigation app. Check out the press release for more details.

Source: NDrivethanks Ricardo for the tip!

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We've covered Turn-By-Turn before and recently reviewed their off-line mapping solution for the United States. The (relatively) more affordable navigation app was the first to offer regional and local downloading of offline data, which makes the app a bit faster, saves on precious battery life and uses no-data saving some money.

The catalog of offerings has expand greatly to many other countries and regions, as can be seen below. And now one of the more difficult areas has finally received its own custom maps: Australia. We've heard about folks in this region having a difficult time finding a GPS navigation app for Windows Phone, so they should be pretty excited. However, it comes at a cost: $40.99 for the app and maps.

That's certainly on the high end, though we imagine the cost is largely dictated the licensing fees that developer GPS Tuner needs to pay NAVTEQ to have access. But hey, at least you have an option now.

Likewise, in case you're a big Europe traveler, you can now just buy access to all of Europe's maps instead of country by country. That too will set you back some cash, about $50.99 to be exact, but at least you'll have everything you ever need right there on your phone.

Pick up Turn-By-Turn Australia & New Zealand here and the comprehensive Europe version here in the Marketplace.

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The other day we mentioned how the company GPS Tuner was gearing up for a release of their offline mapping solution for Windows Phone. What makes 'Turn by Turn Navigation US + CAN' unique when compared to the newly released Navigon is that you can select individual map regions to download as opposed to the whole country. As you can see above, we're downloading the Northeast US and it comes in at a humble 231MB which is a lot lighter than the 1.6GB Navigon makes you download.

The app is priced at $28.99, which considering the options you're getting, sounds pretty decent. Navigon is similarly priced in the US but that's just temporary until it gets bumped to $50, in that sense in the long run this app is certainly more cost efficient. Other features include:

  • Voice-Guided Turn by Turn Navigation with premium audio quality
  • Full detailed Navteq maps
  • 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
  • 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
  • Itinerary (turn list for planned routes)
  • Avoid Highway/Toll roads option

We're obviously in the middle of downloading some maps and we'll see about throwing up a video. Oh and best part? Unlike Navigon, you DO have a trial, so give it a go here in the Marketplace. And we expect a European version sometime soon too.

One thing that we can gripe about? It's not a Mango app. So no fast app switching nor is there any contacts integration, making quick routing a pain.

Thanks, TheWeeBear, for the heads up!

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GPSTuner, developers of Turn by Turn Navigation (see GPS showdown), a popular GPS navigation app on Windows Phone are set to bring a new update that will feature Navteq maps with offline capabilities. Not only will the app sport offline usage, but it will be competitively priced to keep GPS apps on the Marketplace within most budgets.

The developer states via Facebook that the app for Europe and the US should be updated this week in the Marketplace (Hungary is already available). Australia will happen when they get maps for Australia, evidently. We'll keep an eye out, of course. Good news though for those who don't want to drop a ton of cash on Navigon, especially our European friends.

Via: Plaffo, thanks for the tip!

Update:  We've learned that this new version of Turn by Turn Navigation will be a total on-board navigation app (maps are downloaded to your Windows Phone) much like NAVIGON.  The difference being that you can choose which maps you download. 

Not sure if we'll see Turn by Turn Southeast US or Turn by Turn England (as we are seeing with Turn by Turn Hungary) or if you select the maps to download as you need them.  Regardless, it sounds as if there will be a good bit of flexibility on the map selection that should result in better pricing points and less of a burden on your Windows Phone storage.

No word on the pricing but we do know there will be a trial version.  Expect the new Turn by Turn versions to hit the Marketplace any day and as Rich mentioned, we'll keep an eye out for the new versions and get reviews up as soon as we can.

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Windows Phone games such as Alphajax and Words by Post are turn by turn word games that you play online. But what if you want a little more action in your online gaming? Say, a need to blow things up? Tanks might do the trick.

Tanks is a turn by turn combat game that you play online with the goal of capturing cities and wiping out your opponent. You'll need to register your email address with the game's server and once that's done, you're off to battle.

More after the break.

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We have two reports coming in from Italy and France that the voice guidance in Bing has been removed from the 7712 beta, even though it was present in the earlier one.

Voice guidance, for turn-by-turn directions, was one of the key features for Bing in the Mango update. While not as effective nor impressive as carrier-offered services (not to mention data usage), it was quite decent and you know, free.

Word of caution though: 7712 is obviously not 7720 aka the RTM build, so it is unclear at this point if this has been removed due to (a) time or (b) other, more permanent reasons. We'd like to think that this was just an omission from this build and not the final. We've reached out to Microsoft for clarification.

The good news for U.S. residents is it is still present in our release. Any of our international readers from other countries want to report in? Hit the comments...

Update: Gone from Australia too, according to Andrew in comments, meaning this isn't a language issue but rather something else. Appears to be missing from all markets except U.S & UK.

Source: Plfaffo and Professeur Thibault

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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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We kept emphasizing at MIX11 that the information revealed there was geared for developers, not so much consumers and that we expected more details to come forward over time. Combined with the fact that Mango/WP7.5 is not yet finished nor finalized, it's feature-set is still in motion but becoming more solid as we get closer to it going 'Gold'.

On the Windows Phone Developer Podcast, a plethora of new features were announced that will really bring Windows Phone up to par with the competition:

  • Bing Audio: Think Shazam, but built into Bing and we bet of course Zune Marketplace. Country support is initially limited to the U.S., Great Britain, France, Italy, Spain and Germany.
  • Bing Vision: A full blown image scanner using your camera. It can detect, identify and search using barcodes, Microsoft Tags, QR Codes, CD’s, DVDs, Books, and text using OCR (see here for history)
  • Turn-by-turn navigation: “voice guidance during driving directions” (we heard about this awhile ago)
  • SMS Dictation: Using Microsoft's TellMe service, you can use voice-to-text for SMS messages by tapping a microphone near the bottom

According to Paul Thurrott, who detailed the above, there's a lot more to the podcast, so take a listen. And your thoughts in comments: does this change things?

Update: See info regarding Windows Live Messenger, Skydrive & more in WP7.5 here

Source: Windows Phone Dev Podcast; via Windows Phone Secrets

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A to B - Review

A-to-B is being offered over at the Windows Phone 7 Marketplace as a free navigation app for your Windows Phone. A-to-B offers turn by turn navigation as well as the ability to save favorite destinations.

The application was originally designed to demonstrate the capabilities of the ArcGIS API for the Windows Phone. Demo or not, A-to-B seems to have developed a rather popular following in the short time it's been in circulation.

Follow the break to read more on A-to-B.

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