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Navigon's iPhone app now with traffic

gatorguy 326 Points
edited November -1 in Smartphone Navigation
Navigon today announced their "Live Traffic" for the iPhone app. Reportedly supplied by Inrix, Navigon is offering their traffic services for a flat fee of only $24.99, but apparently will have it on sale for $19.99 for the next month. That makes them the 3rd iPhone nav app provider to roll out traffic services, the others being Telenav and Gokivo.

Visit the app store for more information.

Comments

  • Tim 1481 Points
    That is a high bar for TomTom to leap, though I think they will have to be somewhat competitive. I don't think they will match the Navigon price, but they will almost have to be competitive with it.
  • I had used TomTom on iphone. And... It's not good. I think that they for them is only additional way to sell soft - not really important.
    But commercials were very interesting.

    Nevertheless there are few major problems:
    we can't zoom in/out with gestures
    it has problems with changing form horizontal-vartical position
    graphic is POOR
    it's slow
    it lost its way more often than others

    in one sentence: "good commercials - bad soft"
  • mvl 191 Points
    The only real selling point of the Tomtom app over Navigon or Copilot had been the better directions with IQroutes.

    With Navigon adding live traffic, Navigon's pretty much tied Tomtom's sole advantage. I feel Inrix on highways saves about as much time as IQrotues on sideroads.

    So with Tomtom behind on price and lane guidance, there's no real reason to buy the Tomtom app right now.

    Tomtom could add PLUS traffic to respond, as IQroutes + PLUS traffic gives better directions than anything else on the US market except the Tomtom 740. That would at least give Tomtom a directions edge to give it reason for purchase. But PLUS traffic's been broken for 3 weeks.

    Navigon's really been one of the software innovators for a few years now. They weren't really good with distribution in the US, but have eliminated their distribution disadvantage with the simplicity of the app store. They'll be one of the leaders in the GPS app space for a while.
  • Tim 1481 Points
    No commercials on my TomTom app.
  • dhn 336 Points
    I wonder whether the poster meant commercials FOR the app, not commercials ON the app :?: :?:
  • Commercials for the app - sorry, it was unclear. I've seenreally nice and shiny ads in Internet which were announcing TomTom's Iphone adds.
    In my market we doesn't even have official TomTom apps.
  • TomTom might have underestimated how aggressively Navigon would attack the iPhone market and erred in not putting enough resources behind a quick and complete entry into the competition. I think they'll come around, but now they're in a position of playing catch-up rather than being the leader. A little harder than it should have been IMO.
  • Somebody dropped the ball big time there at TomTom. I mean they had all the advantages in the world. They were the "special vendor" Apple seems to have given early access to the GPS SDK. They had the advantage of being allowed to advertise on-stage at the OS 3.0 event. What have they done? Delivered a half-hearted application to market and still not delivered the mount they promised. Not impressive at all.

    I agree with the other poster, now that Navigon will have live traffic, it seems TomTom's only advantage is melting away. At this point the only reason I'd load my TomTom app is if I need road avoidance, or a less idiotic POI system than Navigon offers.
  • Tim 1481 Points
    I think the mistake a lot of people are making though is that (for both companies) this isn't like purchasing a dedicated GPS... You are purchasing software only. That means the product can evolve over time in a manner unlike that of a PND.

    Navigon has announced live traffic-- but not yet delivered on it. TomTom hasn't announced live traffic yet but we know it is coming because the traffic parsing files are present in the map.

    Both companies will have to routinely offer updates with new features to keep their iPhone products in the news cycle. If either company had released a "full featured" app with all of their innovations at once then there is little left to keep people interested, keep in the news cycle, nor updates to possibly sell to existing customers.

    Both applications have some pretty big hurdles to cross. The Navigon app is a big memory hog that makes the interface slow. (Though map refreshes are pretty good.) The interface is also a bit more cumbersome and less iPhone-like IMHO.

    The TomTom app is just too basic for the features people expected. TomTom has said there will be perhaps several updates before the year is out and that they will be free and that they will deliver on existing TomTom technologies not present in the app today.

    I don't believe TomTom got earlier access to the new SDK than Navigon did, although I agree they had a HUGE advantage being on-stage at WWDC. If they could have shipped the app at that time then they could have made a much bigger impact. They lost an opportunity there.

    Once Navigon offers traffic, what existing innovations do they have left to offer? On the other hand TomTom can still deliver on MapShare, Lane Guidance (Navigon has now), Traffic, Itinerary Planning, Fuel Prices, TTS (Navigon has now), weather, Buddies, etc.

    When considering a PND purchase we look at the features the device has now as those are unlikely to change much. But with smartphone apps I think we need to consider not only performance today, but what it might offer in 3-6 months as well.

    In short-- I'd think of the smartphone app as a platform from which they can build on unlike a PND which doesn't really grow or improve with time. When I look at the apps today Navigon has an advantage with TTS and lane guidance while TomTom has a bit better of a UI (IMHO) and typically picks better routes. But when we look at what the apps will likely be like in 3-6 months I think TomTom has more to potentially offer. The question will be "at what price?". While TomTom has said updates this year will be free (or at least the next one) we can safely assume there will be some "pro" features coming out that will cost money.

  • In short-- I'd think of the smartphone app as a platform from which they can build on unlike a PND which doesn't really grow or improve with time. When I look at the apps today Navigon has an advantage with TTS and lane guidance while TomTom has a bit better of a UI (IMHO) and typically picks better routes. But when we look at what the apps will likely be like in 3-6 months I think TomTom has more to potentially offer. The question will be "at what price?". While TomTom has said updates this year will be free (or at least the next one) we can safely assume there will be some "pro" features coming out that will cost money.
    Absolutely, the Smartphone application is an ever-evolving platform. But there is something to be said about being first to market and building a large user-base. That allows for future innovation as well. For example, I deal with China all the time... everyone there uses QQ messenger for all chats. While skype is a much better chat platform, trying to get the Chinese to use anything other than QQ is like pulling teeth. QQ was first to market and has a large and loyal customer base.

    I think lots of future new killer functions will be "community" based functions. Imagine when someone integrates trapster like information into their GPS app for live cop location reporting to the community etc. The guy with the biggest community will win.

    Currently despite the 1.2 upgrade to Navigon, TomTom still sits in my quicklaunch dock on my iPhone. Like Tim I prefer the TomTom interface to the Navigon and I also feel that IQ routes gives awesome routes. However live traffic will be a powerful factor... if done right.

    What has bothered me about the TomTom approach is how tight-lipped they are. Navigon seems to be very public and open with many twitter updates and a constant stream of news about what is being worked on. I really hope that TomTom starts releasing some of their killer features soon. If they charge a premium then so be it. I have no problems with paying for compelling features. In-App buying actually allows for quite a bit of flexibility. The guy who lives out in the country and doesn't need traffic can save money by "building" the solution he needs without traffic etc.

    As for those of us on this forum... many of us already own multiple GPS programs, and I'm sure we'll be buying every "pro" feature that rolls down the pike. :)
  • Tim 1481 Points
    Very well said.
  • Keeping fingers crossed for next feature:

    Use iPhone's motion sensors to keep navigation working in tunnels.
  • I'll have to check but it seems I've read that at least one of the current apps does do that.
  • Tim 1481 Points
    Interesting thought-- I hadn't considered that. I'm not sure if it would be possible though. (Not saying it isn't-- just that I don't know.) I'd assume that the sensors detect orientation, but I'm not sure they can detect those types of accelerations where there isn't an orientation change.
  • Interesting thought-- I hadn't considered that. I'm not sure if it would be possible though. (Not saying it isn't-- just that I don't know.) I'd assume that the sensors detect orientation, but I'm not sure they can detect those types of accelerations where there isn't an orientation change.
    It absolutely does. I just did a quick unscientific test using the "stanley level" app. While holding the app level, I moved it side to side in a horizontal fashion. The "bubble" moved correspondingly. The more I "accelerated" the more the bubble moved to one side or the other. So it seems the accelerometer can pick up acceleration & orientation in 3D... making it equal to if not better than the unit in the TT 930. We also know the sensor data is available via the API.
  • Tim 1481 Points
    Nice!
  • I'm still checking the forum where I think I saw the mention. :) There's a lot of posts to look at!
  • Accelerometers can't distinguish between being at rest vs moving at constant velocity.

    See Theory of Special Relativity by Einstein.
  • Accelerometers can't distinguish between being at rest vs moving at constant velocity.

    See Theory of Special Relativity by Einstein.
    Thus the name accelerometer. The point is, in GPS applications, accelerometers are used when GPS signal fails. Lets say I'm going 60 MPH and I enter a tunnel. If there is no input from the accelerometer, the unit can assume I'm still moving at 60mph. Some tomtom units already use accelerometers to fill in for missing GPS signals to great success.
  • So, it'll have to double integrate the accelerometer readings (in 2 dimensions) using the initial conditions (of both velocity and position) stored at the time of loss of satellite signals.

    Doable and aptly laudable if these devices will implement this.

    We use professional GPS units for vehicle handling tests that will locate to within a cm using accelerometers and local correction signals. But these cost hundreds of thousands of $$.
  • Keeping fingers crossed for next feature:

    Use iPhone's motion sensors to keep navigation working in tunnels.
    For the first time yesterday I drove through Baltimore's Harbor Tunnel using my iphone's Navigon app. The map continued to track me. It updated my position with a somewhat jerky motion while in the tunnel but it did continue to show my movement and I never got the red bar indicating a loss of signal. When I exited the tunnel the same smooth map function returned as usual.

    I was quite pleased with this as I had no idea what to expect. My TT 930 will grey out in the tunnel showing a lack of signal but continues to show map progress by the accelerometer I assume. How the Navigon app does this I don't know but I believe I saw the ATT 3G signal bars on the phone at this time so maybe that's how the app continues to work.
    John
  • Tim 1481 Points
    I can't vouch for the accuracy, however the New York Times is reporting that the Navigon app will come only with crowd-sourced traffic and not traffic from an outside source like Navteq, Inrix, TrafficCast, etc.

    That doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me, and I can't see there being enough Navigon app users by themselves to build a decent traffic service. Also, Navigon doesn't have much experience managing and offering traffic data themselves.

    The NYT could just be plain wrong, and for the sake of the Navigon app I hope so... but I thought I'd throw it out there.
  • "special Thanksgiving promotion for its iPhone navigation app striving to help drivers avoid this year’s holiday traffic congestion. For 10 days only, (November 20-30) NAVIGON’s iPhone app, MobileNavigator will be on sale for $69.99 instead of $89.99 providing a $20.00 savings. In addition, NAVIGON’s Traffic Live feature is also on sale for $14.99 instead of $24.99."
  • gatorguy 326 Points
    And FWIW, it does use Inrix, one of the most reliable traffic providers we have available for the US.
  • I have been looking at a lot of reviews of Navigon, TomTom and Magellan over the last few days. They all look to be similar. Does the traffic help a lot on this Navigon app? I used my TomTom app on the way home Friday night and the IQRoutes did a great job of getting me around traffic. However, it uses historical traffic and cannot account for sudden issues like accidents.

    Any one used the Navigon with traffic and negotiated an accident, construction etc? Feedback?
  • mvl 191 Points
    Tomtom PLUS uses Inrix, and I find it very helpful in high traffic situations like rush hour and any time in New York City.

    Tomtom IQroutes isn't enough in areas where a single accident can cause an hour backup. In less dense areas IQroutes should be sufficient.
  • Tomtom PLUS uses Inrix, and I find it very helpful in high traffic situations like rush hour and any time in New York City.

    Tomtom IQroutes isn't enough in areas where a single accident can cause an hour backup. In less dense areas IQroutes should be sufficient.
    Sorry - I was referring to the iphone apps specifically. TomTom does not have traffic on the iphone yet.

    I do have a seperate INRIX app, but it does not link to the TomTom app.

    Hopefully TomTom will have traffic linked soon. In the meantime, has anyone tried Navigon with traffic? Does it work well to avoid accidents? Same as a PND?
  • mvl 191 Points
    I don't think the iPhone experience with IQroutes will be much different from the PND experience. So far, there's no evidence that any Tomtom app on any IQroutes device routes any differently than any other (with the same map version).

    If you drive a lot of rush hour, you're better off with the Navigon w Live traffic or Google Nav with live traffic, as I don't think Tomtom iPhone IQroutes is helpful enough.

    IQroutes is great for mid-day, evening, weekend, and more rural areas.

    Once Tomtom launches Live traffic on the iPhone, and I assume it'll be HD traffic w/AT&T, then it'll be hard to beat.

    Haven't tried Navigon, but they're an established GPS company with myRoutes time-of-day technology in their PND line, so I assume they'll properly choose routes that compensate for LIVE traffic. I'm not sure if myRoutes is available on their app, I assume they'd publicize the feature if it was.
  • gatorguy 326 Points
    FWIW (and slightly off-topic :) ) I think we'll see "live traffic" from nearly every pnd and higher-end mobile app within months. Just keep in mind that none of them will be truly "as it happens" and I doubt there will be significant differences in quality for most of us. Same with historical traffic, whether it's called IQR, Traffic Patterns, MyRoutes or whatever. Every pnd line and mobile platform will offer it.
  • I don't think the iPhone experience with IQroutes will be much different from the PND experience. So far, there's no evidence that any Tomtom app on any IQroutes device routes any differently than any other (with the same map version).

    If you drive a lot of rush hour, you're better off with the Navigon w Live traffic or Google Nav with live traffic, as I don't think Tomtom iPhone IQroutes is helpful enough.

    IQroutes is great for mid-day, evening, weekend, and more rural areas.

    Once Tomtom launches Live traffic on the iPhone, and I assume it'll be HD traffic w/AT&T, then it'll be hard to beat.

    Haven't tried Navigon, but they're an established GPS company with myRoutes time-of-day technology in their PND line, so I assume they'll properly choose routes that compensate for LIVE traffic. I'm not sure if myRoutes is available on their app, I assume they'd publicize the feature if it was.
    Thanks MVL! Great explanation!
  • FWIW (and slightly off-topic :) ) I think we'll see "live traffic" from nearly every pnd and higher-end mobile app within months. Just keep in mind that none of them will be truly "as it happens" and I doubt there will be significant differences in quality for most of us. Same with historical traffic, whether it's called IQR, Traffic Patterns, MyRoutes or whatever. Every pnd line and mobile platform will offer it.
    Hopefully that is true! I just hope TomTom does not do a subscription as they do on the PND devices. I think that would put them out of the market though.
  • Navigon seems to be very public and open with many twitter updates and a constant stream of news about what is being worked on.
    Really?? . . . maybe you can get them to tweet about how they've bailed on everyone over here who bought their hardware?

    I can tell you what they are NOT working on . . . supporting the products and services that they have already been paid for.

    "public and open" is not a comment that you hear on the NaviGONE forum!
  • Tim 1481 Points
    Navigon just announced they have submitted version 1.4 of their iPhone app which includes Google Local search, pedestrian routing, and the ability to enter coordinates.
  • gatorguy 326 Points
    I'm curious what the other 10 features are.
  • Tim 1481 Points
    The ability to enter coordinates being one of the only mentioned "features" can only leave me believing they are fairly minor features. But Google Local search is cool!
  • gatorguy 326 Points
    Figured they must be pretty minor since Navigon didn't specify what they were. They may even be bug-fixes that they're calling features. Shouldn't have to wait long to find out tho.

    Navigon has really surprised me with how seriously they've taken their iPhone app. It's obviously a major venture/priority for them.
  • Figured they must be pretty minor since Navigon didn't specify what they were. They may even be bug-fixes that they're calling features. Shouldn't have to wait long to find out tho.

    Navigon has really surprised me with how seriously they've taken their iPhone app. It's obviously a major venture/priority for them.
    I think these applications on smart phones will be the next big market. I have had people ask me why I want navigation on my phone when I can buy another device. Well, that is the answer - another device. I am getting tired of having so many things with plugs in my car!
  • Tim 1481 Points
    image
  • gatorguy 326 Points
    That's a nice way of displaying it.
  • Tim 1481 Points
    That's a nice way of displaying it.
    You like steak?
  • gatorguy 326 Points
    I'm more of a seafood guy
  • I'm more of a seafood guy
    I like Surf and Turf, so I am covered! :D
  • Navigon just announced they have submitted version 1.4 of their iPhone app which includes Google Local search, pedestrian routing, and the ability to enter coordinates.
    Will that be a free upgrade? I am tempted to try it before the sale finishes today.
  • Tim 1481 Points
    The previous updates have been-- I assume it will be, but they didn't specify.
  • Tim 1481 Points
    The update is confirmed free.
  • What is the traffic app called for Navigon?

    Is it just purchased within the app? I don't see it otherwise.
  • Tim 1481 Points
    Correct, traffic is an "in-app" purchase.
  • gatorguy 326 Points
    I think the app and traffic are still on sale too. If getting them both it's $30 off?
  • I think the app and traffic are still on sale too. If getting them both it's $30 off?
    yes - the $30 off ends today.
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