Ever since GPS applications became ubiquitous and sometimes free on the smartphones, companies like TomTom have been discovering new ways to stay relevant and on top in this competitive industry. The company has been releasing a number of interesting new features to their iPhone app. Just recently, TomTom introduced a super-responsive navigation system on the iPhone. This was after the company offered support to multitasking and retina display in the earlier iterations.
Following these releases, the company has now introduced another very useful feature – Navigate to Photo. The new feature lets users to pick a geo-tagged photo from their album as the destination and lets TomTom provide directions to the same. The feature is not just innovative, but is also useful in the sense that it allows users to navigate without having to input any of those confusing addresses and street names.
The update is free for existing users. And if you do not have the app yet, be ready to shell out $50 at the US iTunes App Store for purchasing this app.
TomTom is learnt to have licensed its IQ Routes technology to rival Mio for their newly launched series of Navman GPS devices. These new launches named ‘470’, ‘475’ and ‘575’ will integrate TomTom’s IQ Routes with the in-house ‘LearnMe’ feature.
IQ Routes makes use of historic car speed measurements on roads to calculate the optimal journey while LearnMe studies the routes that you like to take and over time will be able to customize your route options based on your personal preferences.
470 and 475 are expected to be a 4.3″ touchscreen device while 575 shall be a 4.7″ touchscreen. Navman 470, 475 and 575 are expected to be priced between £99 and £149.99 and shall launch in May.
One more nail lurking over the coffin for GPS navigation companies like TomTom. Rumors are doing the rounds that Windows Mobile 7, Microsoft’s soon to be launched mobile OS might come equipped with a free GPS navigation software that will make the likes of TomTom and Garmin redundant.
Windows Mobile blog, MSMobile makes this claim on their blog stating further that the OS will also bring Zune, Xbox, Bing integration, Games, music, new kernel and new UI.
You might recall that Android already offers free turn-by-turn navigation on their platform and Nokia too has introduced the same with Ovi maps. With Microsoft too jumping ship, it might not be too late before Apple offers a similar software too. For the record, Cupertino acquired maps development company PlaceBase last year and there are speculations over introduction of GPS soon.
Do you think TomTom and the likes have a niche to cater to in this new world order? Let us know what you think.
[MSMobiles via TechTree]