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Garmin Xperia Edition is your one-stop navigation app for Sony devices

Posted by wicked February - 25 - 2014 - Tuesday Comments Off

As hinted last week, Garmin has announced a new navigation app that will exclusively cater to Sony Xperia device owners. But going beyond that, the app will also have an extension that will transform Sony’s SmartWatch 2 into its own small navigation apparatus.

The new Garmin Xperia Edition app boasts of a cornucopia of navigation features, no matter what your mode of travel is. Drivers will love the routing information from Live Traffic, lane-switching prompts from Active Lane Guidance, and parking spot reminders from Last Mile. Those on more adventurous journeys can set up their destinations on the Travel Editor and share their milestones with family and friends via Glympse. A Reality Scanner lets you discover interesting spots through your camera viewer. Best of all, the onboard maps that the Garmin Xperia Edition uses are stored on the device itself so that you don’t have to get lost even when your Internet connection does. When connected to the Internet, however, Garmin pools location information from online sources like Wikipedia and Foursquare.

Those who own a SmartWatch 2 don’t need to own a car to benefit from this new Garmin Xperia Edition app. With an app extension, the smartwatch can receive navigation information via Bluetooth, displaying your location and your destination on a map, zooomable at the touch of a button on the watch. As a bonus, the app extension will also work with Garmin’s NAVIGON Android app, so you don’t even need to own an Xperia device to take advantage of Garmin’s pedestrian navigation features.

The Garmin Xperia Edition app is compatible only with Sony Xperia smartphones and tablets running Android 4.0.4 and later. All the features mentioned earlier and more will be available for free to new users for 30 days. A monthly subscription of $2.95 or one-time in-app purchases of individual features is required after the trial period, except for the map viewer and pedestrian navigation, which can still be accessed for free. The app and the SmartWatch 2 extension will go live around March this year.

SOURCE: Garmin

Sony SmartWatch 2 tipped to come with new Garmin navigation app

Posted by wicked February - 21 - 2014 - Friday Comments Off

Trying to keep up with the growing competition in the smartwatch market, Sony is now rumored to have partnered with Garmin to give its own smartwatch an edge. According to sources, all new Sony SmartWatch 2 devices moving forward will be equipped with a brand new app from the navigation expert.

Although some might consider that the smartwatch movement has picked up only recently, Sony has been one of the few to have first offered such a wearable device, launching the first Sony Smartwatch in 2012. Unfortunately, it was a bit too ahead of its time and the execution of the smartwatch left some wanting for more. Sony hasn’t hinted at any new smartwatch in the works and is instead banking on its already existing SmartWatch 2 to keep it afloat in that category.

Garmin is also another company that is facing growing competition. A household name in navigation devices and software, the company has seen its market share little by little being eaten by other comparable services, particularly Google Maps. Now Garmin is trying to re-establish itself by offering the added value of its services and expertise on top of the Android platform.

This latest partnership between Sony and Garmin might be seen as a way to counter their rivals. While Pebble offers navigation features via Google Maps, Sony’s SmartWatch 2 is advertised to offer higher quality images. It is also rumored that Sony will be putting the Garmin Navigation app into its upcoming Xperia Z2 “Sirius” smartphone as well.

VIA: Pocket-lint

Google now pushing “new” Google Maps to all desktops

Posted by wicked February - 19 - 2014 - Wednesday Comments Off

Google has announced they are beginning to push the latest Google Maps refresh. This was originally shown during Google I/O 2013, and has been available in preview mode since shortly after. With that in mind, while some have already been using the preview release, Google has said thanks for the feedback, and announced they are “ready to make the new Maps even more widely available.”

Details about this release mention how it should make it “even easier to plan you next trip, check live traffic conditions, discover what’s happening around town, and learn about a new area.” This all boils down to a few areas including making smarter decisions, finding the most efficient route, and rich images.

Users will be able to begin searching with nothing more than a simple term. In the Google provided example they use “coffee” but perhaps key here is what you get in return, not so much the term you are searching. Anyway, you will see place suggestions with options to pick from top reviewers, or people in your circles. Clicking any of the search results will then give some additional detail — embedded right on the map.

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The next bit is the piece about being more efficient. Here you have Google providing more details on various route options. This includes being shown various route options, whether it be for driving, public transportation, or walking. Users will see the time and distance for each route offered, and once in route, users can expect real-time traffic and Street View previews.

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And last up with this newest version of Maps — the new “carousel” which will be found at the bottom of the maps. This will offer what Google refers to as “rich imagery.” More to the point here, Google will be allowing users to see what popular landmarks, and businesses will look like. These are all available with a click and will have you seeing the world in 3D, almost as if you were actually in the real-world.

SOURCE: Google Maps

Google Maps dynamic rerouting helps users outsmart traffic

Posted by wicked February - 5 - 2014 - Wednesday Comments Off

Google has just announced a new feature for Google Maps that will help drivers and travelers maneuver through busy streets during rush hour. Starting with the latest update to its Android and iOS apps, Google Maps will start notifying users if there’s a faster route available.

Though not explicitly mentioned, this new Google Maps feature most probably comes via Waze. After all, Waze’s slogan is outsmarting traffic, which Google has not so subtly reused in this announcement. Google acquired the Israeli startup last June in order to augment its own navigation features already present in Google Maps.

While Waze does still operate on its own as a crowdsourced service, Google has managed to bring in a few of its features into its own service. In particular, it has brought in incident reports from Waze into Google Maps, giving travelers a heads up about accidents, road blocks, and other important traffic problems en route. Google even managed to extend coverage of those incident reports to 46 more countries last year.

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Google Maps users on Android will immediately be able to enjoy this new feature while iOS users will have to download the update from Apple’s App Store. The feature, however, works only in regions where navigation is actually available. Those interested in Waze development might also want to take part in the developer’s beta testing program that was just recently announced.

SOURCE: +Google

Magellan RoadMate 5430T-LM Android-powered navigation device revealed at CES 2014

Posted by wicked January - 8 - 2014 - Wednesday Comments Off

Seeing the growing popularity of navigation services and apps available on any smartphone or tablet, Magellan has decided to jump aboard, so to speak. At CES 2014, the navigation device maker has announced its newest RoadMate personal navigation device (PND), the 5430T-LM.

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What makes the 5430T-LM noteworthy is that this particular navigation device runs Android instead of Magellan’s own custom platform. This practically makes the PND an Android tablet fully dedicated to navigation purposes. It has also allowed the company to leverage the Android platform’s superior handling of navigation data as the foundation of its own custom features. It is unknown how much of the Android OS will be exposed or if users will be able to access the thousands of Android apps available in various app markets.

The 5430T-LM has a 5-inch capacitive EasyTouch touchscreen, making it sensitive even to soft finger touches. Despite switching to an Android base, users will still have access to popular Magellan GPS features such as landmark guidance, PhantomALERT, junction view, and even free lifetime traffic alerts and map updates.

While these features, particularly capacitive touchscreens, were formerly only found in its premium device line, Magellan is now making it available for a much lower price tier. The Magellan RoadMate 5430T-LM will have a suggested retail price of $179.99 and will be available from Magellan’s online store and retailers in the US and Canada around the first quarter of 2014.

SOURCE: Magellan

MapQuest 2.0 navigation app boasts of a new look, ETA status bar

Posted by wicked November - 15 - 2013 - Friday Comments Off

While majority of users will be content with using Google Maps for most of their tasks, there will always be a market for more dedicated navigation tools. And to snag a significant part of that market, MapQuest is upgrading its mobile app with some new features, which can all be yours for no cost.

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It has been more than two years since MapQuest was kind enough to launch an Android app to wean its users off a more cumbersome browser-based experience on their mobile device. Even back then, the app already featured the basics that you’d want in a navigation tool, such as real-time traffic and incident updates, voice search, and international coverage. Now the developers are taking the app to the next level by releasing the next major version of the app.

The biggest, and naturally the most visible, change to MapQuest is its fancy new look. Not only has the user interface been updated to more modern Android style guidelines, the maps themselves boast of high-resolution vector quality, with improved zoom and cartography. Interactive map layers have also been added to ease the process of looking for popular spots nearby. The app now also has a very visible ETA status bar that includes both time and distance estimates that take traffic into consideration. Of course, no decent navigation tool will be without voice-guided, turn-by-turn navigation. The app even has a one-click feature that lets you share your location via SMS, social networks, or email, should the need arise.

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MapQuest might be facing some tough competition ahead now that Google has started integrating crowdsource-based Waze information into its Maps app. Still, for a very low price of free, it wouldn’t hurt to add this latest version of MapQuest to your traveling arsenal.

Download: MapQuest on Google Play Store
SOURCE: MapQuest

Google Maps extends Waze incident reports to 46 new territories

Posted by wicked November - 12 - 2013 - Tuesday Comments Off

“Outsmarting traffic jams” is every commuter’s or driver’s fantasy, but technology that offers that promise is only useful if it supports one’s local roads. Luckily, Google is now making its new Waze-based feature available in 46 more countries, giving users of Google Maps a better chance to get home faster and safer.

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In June this year, Google acquired Israeli startup Waze in order to add its much-coveted features to Google’s on Maps technology. Waze basically uses crowdsourcing, harnessing the power of mobile device users and social networking, to give real-time updates about traffic situations in different areas. This gives travelers faster, though probably sometimes less accurate, traffic information aside from official sources, especially in cases where such sources aren’t even available to the common people.

A month after the acquisition, Google rolled out an update to Google Maps that integrates Waze traffic information. This gave Google Maps users on Android access to accident reports, on-going construction, road closures, detours, and more, all gathered from Waze users. However, this extremely useful feature was limited in scope, available to 13 countries only, including the US, the UK, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, France, Germany, Mexico, Panama, Peru, and Switzerland. Now, Google is stretching its coverage and is adding 46 more countries and territories all over the world.

At the moment, Google has not indicated which countries and territories have been added to the roster, but we’ll probably find out soon once the feature starts rolling out. Waze incident reports will be available to Google Maps on both desktop and mobile platforms, though Google does not say if the Maps app needs to be updated for the feature to appear.

SOURCE: Google

Google Glass adds public transit directions in latest update

Posted by wicked October - 9 - 2013 - Wednesday Comments Off

google_glass_transitAs Google Glass gets closer and closer to a public launch, features continue to be added. Today, Google announced a big new feature – Transit. Transit for Google Glass allows users who have paired their headset to their Android phone to see public transit directions while navigating. In addition to directions, users will see other helpful information like where to change trains, how far you have to walk to the bus stop and how long it should take to reach your final destination.

Another minor feature added is the ability to tap to select links in notifications. You can find the latest Glass update in the MyGlass Explorers Community.

Source: +GoogleGlass

 

 

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Scout for Android update brings social meet-ups and ETA sharing

Posted by wicked October - 1 - 2013 - Tuesday Comments Off

TeleNav has rolled out the latest Scout for Android update. This update has already arrived in the Google Play Store and has brought some new features that deal with social and sharing. Or in other words, this update seems to have made it easier to coordinate and share your location and trip details with friends using a feature called OnMyWay.

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This will allow the Scout user to easily share their ETA with others. This means everyone will be able to see your real-time progress on a map. And as a side-effect, this should also help to cut down on some of those ‘where you you’ texts that often arrive from those who are waiting at the destination. Using OnMyWay means they will be able to easily see exactly where you are without further delaying you with questioning messages.

Those worried about privacy or extended sharing may take some comfort in knowing these sessions do expire. The folks at TeleNav have said “user location information expires shortly after arrival or after a short period of inactivity.” Furthermore, you are able to stop sharing with friends at anytime by manually stopping it.

This update also brought some improvements in terms of that ETA sharing. Aside from everyone being able to see where you are, this can be incorporated out to the entire group. Using this means all users invited will get free voice-guided directions to the destination and all users will be able to view the map and see exactly where everyone is and know when they should be arriving.

These free directions are available for users of all smartphones and if they do not have or do not want to install the Scout app, those directions will be provided using HTML5 in a mobile browser. Coupled with this are some improvements to search. The Scout app will now include friends from your contact list which should make it a bit quicker to get directions to their location or to invite them to meet.

VIA: Google Play Store

TeleNav Scout getting 3D maps and crowd-sourced alerts this year

Posted by wicked April - 15 - 2013 - Monday Comments Off

Popular navigation and maps software provider TeleNav has just announced a few rather interesting developments for their Android and iOS apps. It looks like Telenav Scout will be getting the popular 3D mapping technology for landmarks and major cities, along with many other useful new features. If you’re still looking for an alternative to Google Maps you might want to read on below.

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Whether you use Google Maps on Android, Apple or Nokia Maps on other platforms and more, Telenav is another option and today they’ve announced a slew of new features coming to their Scout Navigation app. They already offer a slightly different option from the others with personalized GPS, Navigation, and Traffic alerts along with voice actions, and now we have a few more features to add to the list.

Coming soon this year users will be able to enjoy better maps with 3D buildings and landmarks in major U.S. cities thanks to some newly embedded SSAO technology. Telenav states this will “give drivers a better view and navigation experience.” While Google Maps has had this for sometime already, Scout is adding this soon. That isn’t all either, the update will also introduce crowd-sourced traffic alerts and updates. You’ll know faster than ever if there is an accident ahead, and SCOUT will give you a detailed notification. Here’s the video they’ve released today.

With more than 34 million users Telenav has a feeling their crowd-sourced live updates will offer something unique to their users, so we’ll be excited once this officially hits the streets. It’s like Trapster only embedded right into your real-time navigation instructions. The 3D maps looks pretty similar to Google’s offering, but it’s always nice to have another option.

No details on exactly when this will be hitting their mobile apps, but it’s slated to arrive later this year for both free and premium subscribers. For now stay tuned and give the latest version a try from the link below.

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