Navigon for iPhone Sucker-Punches TomTom With Text-to-Speech, iPod Controls

Illustration for article titled Navigon for iPhone Sucker-Punches TomTom With Text-to-Speech, iPod Controls

There are plenty of serviceable turn-by-turn nav apps for the iPhone, but the best of the bunch—TomTom and Navigon—have been locked in a dead heat. With Navigon's latest free update, the choice has gotten a little clearer.


Aside from a presumed, ritualistic bug-stamping, the app has gained a new text-to-speech feature, which tries its best to fully pronounce road names and locations as it barks driving orders at you. The update also throws in a clever, one-click internal control interface for music, meaning that you don't have to close the app to get music controls beyond that gimped popup display that we've all grown to hate over the years.

The location sharing function is a little less exciting (only email, really?) but with a $10 price lead on TomTom (at least in America) the whole package is looking pret-tay good right now. The update is free for existing users, and included in any new downloads. [Navigon]

NAVIGON Further Extends the Feature Set of its iPhone Navigation App
Second free update includes major additions such as spoken street names (text-to-speech), seamless integration of iPod functions, a location sharing feature and more

Hamburg/Germany, September 10, 2009 - NAVIGON AG, leading innovator in the navigation market, today announced availability of a second free update for the North American version of MobileNavigator for the iPhone. The update equips the NAVIGON app with a comprehensive set of innovative and sought after features.

The highly anticipated text-to-speech function lets the NAVIGON MobileNaviagtor announce street names in addition to turn-by-turn directions. It is the first on-board navigation app for the iPhone with this functionality. Instead of only stating "turn right", the app informs the user to "turn right on to ‘Main Street', enabling the driver to further concentrate on the road ahead and not become distracted looking for street signs. "With the addition of text-to-speech technology from SVOX, NAVIGON remains on the forefront of iPhone navigation options with the most solid feature set on the market," said Gerhard Mayr, Vice-President Worldwide Mobile Phones & New Markets at NAVIGON. "SVOX offers high quality text-to-speech technology, characterized by a natural and clear sound as well as a unique polyglot capability – the same voice can speak multiple languages like a native speaker," said Eric Lehmann, Chief Sales Officer of SVOX.

NAVIGON, from the outset is committed to not only setting the industry standard for navigation capabilities on the iPhone, but also integrates iPhone-specific functionalities. The new update is the next step in this direction with seamless integration of iPod controls. Drivers can now enjoy the full range of iPod functionalities with a simple one-click from map access to artists, titles, albums, audio books, podcasts and playlist selections. The feature also takes advantage of the shuffle, and automatic playlist generating technology within iPod. The driver can listen to songs again or leave it to the device to generate a random selection.

A new location sharing function makes it convenient to meet-up with friends and acquaintances, on the go. Users can share their own location, an address or a point of interest (POI) such as a restaurant or museum via email. If the recipients are MobileNavigator users, a simple link-tap provides the exact address. The navigation software starts automatically when the link is activated and guides the user directly to the destination, without having to input locations, and waiting for the search results. In addition, the app routinely changes the maps colors switching it between Day and Night Mode determined by time and location. This guarantees optimal display visibility at all times and allows drivers to recognize the route as quickly as possible to improve orientation.

The MobileNavigator transforms any iPhone 3G, equipped with the new Apple OS 3.0 operating system, and any iPhone 3G S into a complete navigation device. It is the only iPhone navigation app on the market featuring Reality View™ Pro which displays 3D views of complex highway interchanges and exits helping drivers to orientate. Also unique are the branded POI's along the route which make it easier to spot any points of interest that are on the way.

The NAVIGON solution sells for $89.99 in the Apple App Store and is equipped with maps of North America from NAVTEQ®. There are no subscription fees attached and no map downloads during navigation. The update is also already available for regional country versions of the MobileNavigator across Europe as well as for the Australian app.



I was really excited at the prospect of ditching my standalone PND, but then I spent a month playing with the AT&T iPhone nav app and realized the fatal multitasking.

On at least 3 occassions I received a phone call right as I was approaching a crucial stage in the trip (like an upcoming exit, turn, etc). I had to hurry up and decline the call then wait for the app to restart and hope that I hadn't already missed it. Same thing if you're in a call—you won't get prompts for the next turn or exit. Until they can get the map to stay up during the call, I'll stick with my TomTom 720.

PS: As for the Navigon vs. TomTom...yes, Navigon has text to speech now, but TomTom can add that, too. But the TomTom stand will allow you to use the app on your iPod Touch, which, due to the aformentioned calling/navigating issue, would be the better solution.