If you own a full-feature turn-by-turn mobile navigation app, you must know by now what a pain it is each time there's an update. This is because the updates, made up of both maps and the app itself, tend to be in gigabytes and therefore take hours to download via a normal broadband connection.
That's now going to change with the major update Navigon is releasing for its navigation apps for iOS and Android this fall. In Navigon 2.0, the company is changing the way updating works by separating the app and the maps. This means you can update the app, which is just about a few megabytes, or the maps independently.
Furthermore, maps are divided into different portions and you can just download those of areas you travel in, via a feature called MyMaps.
For example, if you live in California, you'll just need to use MyMaps within the app to download and keep maps of this state on your mobile device, instead of having to download maps of all 50 states and Canada the way you currently would. This way, the download will be just a few hundred megabytes at most, instead of a few gigabytes.
In addition to this, Navigon is introducing FreshMaps, an in-app purchase feature that offers quarterly updated maps. Those who don't want to opt for this feature can still use the old maps that are included with the app indefinitely.
Apart from the new map management, the upcoming version also boasts a new user interface. Navigon says that its Navigon app for each platform is customized for its operating system to provide the best possible experience. For example, the new version of the iPhone app enables users to switch easily between different pages with animated menus and new multitouch gestures. The company says it will also be easy to rotate and zoom maps in any direction when in 3D mode. On the Android platform, savvy users will enjoy a new feature called Cockpit that displays real-time driving data, allowing them to monitor driving behaviors.
Finally, together with the new update for the iOS and Android platform, Navigon also announced that it will soon release the same app for the Windows Phone 7 platform. The app will include features collectively available for the other two platforms, such as onboard maps, spoken turn-by-turn directions, visual lane guidance, live traffic information, and rerouting. The Navigon app for WM7 will support Windows Phone 7.5, aka Mango, which is predicted to be released sometime this month, and will take advantage of features made available to developers with this new release, such as the augmented-reality function Reality Scanner, which provides an easy way of identifying nearby destinations while on foot.