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Navigon updates iPhone app, adds some desired features

Mel Martin

Navigon, as promised, has updated MobileNavigator [iTunes link] for the iPhone. According to the developer:

"The free update adds a couple of new features and enhancements to the MobileNavigator. NAVIGON's route planning function known from the companies PND line enables users to plan a route with different destinations ahead of time. Taking advantage of the iPhone's own functionalities, a call POI (point of Interest) function allows to directly call the number of a POI such as a restaurant or hotel by simply clicking on the number. It is also possible to save it to the user's contacts. Furthermore, the update provides an optimized volume control when navigating and using the integrated iPod function of the iPhone at the same time. It also allows to decide which POIs should be displayed in the map view."

I have tested the new functions and can verify that they work as advertised, except for the ability to save a POI in my contacts list. I've asked Navigon for the secret. Update: You hold the phone number in the POI list down for a moment, and a menu appears allowing you to save the contact, add to an existing contact, or send a text message to that number.

Navigon has also updated the GUI, and while en-route you can get time of arrival and distance to destination without having to click on the screen. The map also displays your current speed, the posted speed limit (if available in the database) and the distance to your next turn.

While the points of interest database is not as large as the AT&T Navigator app, which is web connected, it is reasonably up-to-date and complete. A shopping center near me which opened last November was there, along with the new roads that were built around it. The database won't be perfectly up-to-date, but frankly, even Google is behind on POI locations near me.

Coming in future updates to MobileNavigator is real-time traffic, and text-to-speech, so street names get announced when approaching a turn. I know those are biggies for many buyers.

The Navigon MobileNavigator is $69.99 until the end of this month, when it goes up to $99.99.

There is also an update coming soon for the excellent iGO Navigator, so it is interesting to see the competition forcing new features and innovations.

I just received a press release from ALK Technologies announcing their CoPilot Live [iTunes link] nav solution for the iPhone. It looks feature complete, and sells for US$34.99. We'll be reviewing it ASAP.

If you are looking for nav for your iPhone, it's a good time to start comparing, and there are more apps and the TomTom solution on the way.

Here are some screen grabs from the latest version:

Gallery: Navigon Update | 4 Photos

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