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WPCentral's Roundup of Navigation Apps

One of the many ways your Windows Phone can be useful is to help us find our way. Whether it's finding the local pizza joint or finding you way to your vacation spot, there are plenty of navigational apps available at the Windows Phone Store. These apps are more than capable of being your co-pilot as you make your rounds on the highways and motorways.

Nokia Lumia Windows Phone owners have the benefit of Nokia Maps and Nokia Drive to help get them around but what about apps for other Windows Phones? We have pulled the top five paid navigation apps from the Windows Phone Store for this week's roundup.

Each of these apps have trial versions that will let you try things out before buying and they cover a wide range of pricing. Should you're favorite navigation app fall outside the top five, feel free to share your choice in the comments below.

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The same crew at NokiaGang who brought the earlier video OIS test with the Lumia 920 have a short video showing off the matte-black version.  The video itself doesn't reveal too much, though we have seen less of the all-black variation of the 920 since Nokia seems to focus on yellow for most product shots.

Interestingly, the handler does get the privilege of magically swiping to the right to see the programs list. Shocker, it's the same as Windows Phone 7 though we do quickly see a Transfer my Data app in that list. The program is never launched and we're unsure if this is part of the cloud-backup solution for saving app data that we showed in the SDK video or if this is a Nokia app to further augment that service (e.g. from any other smartphone).

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London Travel Live updated with augmented reality

London Travel Live is a useful app for those who either frequently roam London or are simply visiting for the day. Sporting useful features that guide users around the big smoke make it a requirement for anyone who doesn't wish to get lost. We last covered the app back in April when version 3.1 was released into the wild. Now we're back with news of 4.0 reaching Windows Phone owners.

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We had a chance to sit down and chat with Thom Brenner, Vice President of Location and Commerce for Nokia and Pino Bonetti who writes about location on the Nokia Conversations blog. We wanted to hear what Nokia are planning for the future with its location services, which the company has touted as its main focus and differentiator for Windows Phone.

Being number one in location and mapping is not anything new to Nokia as they have been at this game for many years, ever since they purchased NAVTEQ back in 2007 for a reported $8.1B. Their services power products from Microsoft, Yahoo, Flickr and four out of five cars on the road today use Nokia mapping technology. Nokia have announced their intention to be the “where” company, making location services the very heart of what they do.

Mapping and location are set to get a big boost from this drive, as Windows Phone users we will be pole position to see some of those fantastic innovations.

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NAVIGON is a handy navigation app for your Windows Phone. One of the keys features (and appeal) to NAVIGON is the app's downloadable maps that reduces your dependency on a data connection while on the road. NAVIGON was recently updated to bring a trio of new features to the table.

First up is Traffic Check. Traffic Check will inform drivers of current traffic conditions with an easy to read graphic. The graphic gauge indicates traffic conditions with a green, yellow or red field based on the conditions.

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At the start of the year I took up driving with gusto, you see, being a Londoner I have really had little need of a car. For one reason or another, it had started to become a nuisance not driving so I decided to change my wicked, public transport loving ways and get a license to burn fossil fuels. I took an intensive course and recently passed. During the process of getting my license I bought a Lumia 800, of course, it is a wonderful device but wanted it for those free and extensive driving maps. So how does Nokias’s mapping software get on? I have been testing it for a few weeks now, read on to see how well it works.

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Nokia Maps for your Lumia Windows Phone was updated to version 2.1 this afternoon to fix a few problems associated with Nokia Maps places and your favorites.

Version 2.0 brought a handful of features to Nokia Maps that included:

  • Sharing reviews on Nokia Maps Places from your Lumia Windows Phone
  • Add your photos to Nokia Maps Places
  • Sync your saved favorites from to your Windows Phone

These features give Nokia Maps more social integration and, while minor in nature, the update should resolve issues users were experiencing in uploading photos of Places and accessing their favorites.

You can download Nokia Maps from the Nokia Collection on a Lumia Windows Phone or if you're reading this article from your Lumia Windows Phone, just tap on this link to go to the Marketplace listing.

Thanks, Jamil, for the tip!

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gMaps Pro for Windows Phone: Video Overview

gMaps Pro for Windows Phone was recently re-introduced to the Marketplace. Due to gMaps Pro being re-introduced to the Marketplace, previous versions aren't eligible for future updates.  To help those who will need to re-purchase gMaps Pro, the developer offered it as a free app this past Friday.  I managed to miss that day but as the app looked so good I parted with my money and made the purchase.

As I have been so impressed I thought the app was worthy of a video demonstration or walk through to give everyone a feel for the app. As you can see there are some great features built into the application and it looks good too.  Features include:

  • Discover places or use local search
  • See your friends and share location with Google Latitude
  • Navigation with direction and rerouting
  • Multilingual. Supports more than 40 Google languages. Fully localized for 8 languages
  • Layers Weather, Bikes and all other maps
  • Share map by email/message

The latest update, version 1.23, includes 'street view' which seems to work pretty well.  

Although Bing search on Windows Phone does a similar job I much prefer gMaps Pro. There is a free version of gMaps available but it is ad supported, which may not appeal to everyone. The gMaps Pro version is currently running $1.99 and a worthy purchase if you ask us.

You can find the free, ad-supported version of gMaps here and the ad-free version of gMaps Pro here (has a trial version) at the Windows Phone Marketplace.


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HTC Locations, the GPS app from the manufacturer, has now got a price tag for the app's navigation services. After introducing offline turn-by-turn navigation to combat Nokia's offering with Lumia Windows Phones, it was seen as a smart move by consumers. Unfortunately, now it seems the manufacturer either has other ideas or simply can't afford to keep the "free" label.

When running the app, users will be greeted with an option to purchase a license for maps, which enable turn-by-turn navigation. The U.S. pricing is $4.99 for 30 days, $19.99 for a year, and $29.99 unlimited. All of North America will cost you $9.99 for the month, $39.99 for 365 days, and $49.99 unlimited. Europe will set you back €49.99 and €39.99 for Eastern Europe.

Question being, what do you guys think of this move? 

Source: WinphoneBG; via: WMPU

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GPS Calculator is a tool box of sorts for your Windows Phone GPS.  The app won't appeal to everyone but it helps you determine distances, coordinates, and areas of maps (here's our review).  If you are in need of such tools, it's a very nice app and was recently updated to version 5.0.

GPS Calculator's new features include:

  • Sharing of location in any supported format via sms, email or social
  • Time zone, local time and sunrise-sunset calculations for any location
  • A new Altimeter function where you can not only view elevation profile graphs and get current GPS elevation, but also compare it using five different elevation data models.

The GPS Calculator Version 5 update also adds support for:

  • SRTM3 (shuttle radar topography mission)
  • ASTER (Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer) which is a high resolution imaging instrument that is flying on the Terra satellite
  • GTOPO30 (global digital elevation model from topo maps)
  • USGS elevation data
  • Google’s elevation data web service

GPS Calculator is not a tool for everyone.  It isn't a navigation app to take you from point A to B.  But if you feel a little geeky about GPS technology, or just want to learn about it – you should give GPS Calculator a try.

GPS Calculator is a free, ad free app for your Windows Phone that you can snatch up over here at the Windows Phone Marketplace.

Thanks, Kitya, for the tip!

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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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Garmin Streetpilot, the popular Windows Phone navigation app, has been updated to add a few new features to the mix. Most notably Foursquare, Facebook and Wikipedia integration.

While there isn't an official change log, here are some features we've noticed.

  • Create and save routes with multiple stops with Trip Planner
  • 3D building map layer
  • Public transportation is now displayed on the map as a layer
  • Wikipedia links map layer
  • Facebook and 4Square integration allowing you to check in/out of locations
  • Use of the compass (device dependent) 

We've also noticed the start-up time and overall speed of Garmin Streetpilot has improved as well.  Throw in a few cosmetic changes to the map view and the update covers a lot of territory.

Oh, speaking of cosmetic changes you have downloadable voices that includes a Yeti, Elfred the Elf and Dr. Nightmare voice.  You also have a healthy choice of automobile icons to download ranging from Star Wars to Sponge Bob icons.  While the update adds a lot to Garmin Streetpilot, I still wouldn't mind seeing downloadable apps come into play at some point.

There is a free trial version available for Garmin Streetpilot and the full version will run you $29.99. You can find Streetpilot here at the Windows Phone marketplace.  If you find something we've missed with this update, feel free to share in the comments.

Thanks goes out to everyone who tipped us on this!

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Windows Phone App Review: Save my Spot!

If you've ever had trouble remember where you saw something you need Save My Spot! for your Windows Phone. Save My Spot! allows you to record the GPS coordinates of the spot you need help remembering, add tons of descriptive information on the spot, and helps track you back when the need arises.

Save My Spot! is a simple, effective way to tag favorite locations or spots. It is a handy Windows Phone app to record where you've been and help you remember how to get back there again.

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Quick Look: Take Me Home for Windows Phone

Here's a quick look at an interesting navigation application for your Windows Phone. Take Me Home is a no-frills, basic navigation app that will generate directions to a series of saved addresses.

Take Me Home has two pages, one entitled Settings where you enter your addresses and assign it an icon and another that will tap into mobile Google Maps to generate directions to your destination.  You do have two options on the Settings Page to turn on/off location services and auto navigate features.  Once you've entered the address, swipe over to the Navigation Page and you can generate the directions.

I like the concept and ease of generating directions to saved locations but Take Me Home only provides text directions. You can tap on the individual step in the directions overview to pull up a thumbnail map but that is a little cumbersome.  

I do like the options to choose walking, transit and driving directions. This could come in handy when traveling and you need to rely on mass transit or your feet to get you to your destination.

The developer notes in the Marketplace description that more features are on the way and hopefully a map view that routes your course is among them.  As is, Take Me Home is a decent app for your Windows Phone but does have room for improvement.

Take Me Home is a free Windows Phone app and can be found here at the Windows Phone Marketplace.  Additionally, Take Me Home Pro (allows you to save up to four addresses) is running $.99 and you can find the Pro version here at the Marketplace.


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Windows Phone App Review: Nokia Drive

One of the selling points Nokia is hoping to attract customers to the Lumia series Windows Phone is the software exclusively available from Nokia. We've touch on the ESPN App that is exclusive to the Lumia phones and now turn our sites to Nokia's navigation app, Nokia Drive.

Nokia Drive utilizes Navtech maps and offers users a basic navigation app to guide you down the road. One of the more appealing features of Nokia Drive is the ability to only download the maps you need. This will go a long ways to help with managing your Windows Phone storage but also reduce the dependency on a data connection.  Overall, Nokia Drive is a nice, basic navigation app for the Nokia Lumia Windows Phones.  It gives the Lumia line a nice selling point but there is some room for improvement.

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Deal Alert: Sale continues on NAVIGON

A few weeks ago NAVIGON for Windows Phone was updated to version 4.1 which added the MyMaps feature to the navigation app. MyMaps allows you to download only the maps you need.  As opposed to downloading the full 1.6gb of maps.

After the update, NAVIGON dropped the price of their U.S. map version down from $49.99 to $29.99. The European version fell from 84.99€ to 59.99€. The sale ends on January 5, 2012 and if you've got some Christmas cash lying around (or a Microsoft Marketplace Gift Card) this is a great deal on a very good Windows Phone navigation app.

You can find the U.S. version of NAVIGON here and the European version of NAVIGON here at the Windows Phone Marketplace.


Thanks, Tim, for the tip!

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Navigon Update adds MyMaps into the mix

If you're looking for a solid navigation app for your Windows Phone, NAVIGON (here's our review) will definitely fit the bill. While it's a feature rich app that downloads its maps to your Windows Phone, it required 1.6gb of storage and costs $49.99 (US version). Yes, I did say required.

NAVIGON has released an updated version (version 4.1) that adds a few features, most notably, MyMaps. MyMaps is a map manager that now allows you to install only the maps you need. If you only need maps for Hawaii, you'll only need 7.6mb of storage. There is an initial download about 300mb in size for system files.

Still, the update can save you a lot of memory. Adding Alabama and Florida (my more commonly used maps) reduced my storage need from 1.6gp to just under 400mb.  Along with MyMaps, two additional features are included with the NAVIGON update.

Active Lane Assistant: Displayed in the lower right corner of the map view, the animation reflects the current lane configuration and allows drivers to see ahead. An orange line indicates the way the driver should follow.

Live Weather: Updates and reports current weather conditions along the route and at the destination in real-time. Temperature and weather condition icons appear in the route overview screen before navigation, and three-day forecast is available.

You also have some internal tweaks that optimized positioning performance. All in all the update makes NAVIGON a more attractive choice for your Windows Phone navigation app.

Oh and as an added bonus, NAVIGON is having a Holiday Promotion. From December 15th to January 5th the US version's pricing drops from $49.99 to $29.99 and the European version drops from 84.99€ to 59.99€.

You can find the US version of NAVIGON here and the European version here at the Windows Phone Marketplace. 


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Garmin StreetPilot on sale? Say it ain't so

Looking for a good navigation app for your Windows Phone? Do you want to save a few bucks? Take a look at the Garmin StreetPilot navigation app for your Windows Phone. We were just tipped that the price fell ten bucks from $39.99 to $29.99.

You may not have on-board maps as you do with Navigon but StreetPilot is an excellent navigation app within its own right (here's our review). There is a trial version available to let you try it before investing in the full version.

StreetPilot was recently updated to mango so you'll need to be running Windows Phone 7.5. You can find Garmin StreetPilot here at the Windows Phone Marketplace.

Thanks goes out to Dan for the tip!

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