TeleNav Updates GPS Nav Software for AT&T BlackBerrys, Releases Free “OnMyWay” App
GPS-navigation provider TeleNav has updated its nav-software for BlackBerry users and released a brand new app that helps travelers alert parties at their destinations when they can be expected to arrive. Unfortunately, both apps are initially available only to AT&T customers.
By Al Sacco
Managing Editor, CIO
TeleNav, a leading GPS-based navigation provider with more than 13 million subscribers globally, today announced an updated version of its mobile GPS nav-software for select AT&T BlackBerry devices. In addition, TeleNav also released a free, location-based BlackBerry app, called “OnMyWay,” that helps travelers keep colleagues and/or friends at specific destinations updated on their travel-status.
TeleNav Navigator v6.0, available initially only on AT&T, features a variety of new features and enhancements, the most notable of which is the addition of “on-board” maps, meaning users no longer have to be within wireless coverage throughout their travels to access the app’s full functionality. In the past, TeleNav’s navigation software employed “off-board” maps, or maps downloaded from the Internet as users’ needed them.
AT&T Navigator 6.0 offers a “hybrid” of both on-board and off-board maps, according to TeleNav.
“Customers will be able to use navigation whether or not they are in or out of wireless coverage,” said Mary Beth Lowell, TeleNav’s senior PR manager. “Many consumers have decided to opt for an on-board service because they are concerned that they will not be able to use off-board while they are out of wireless coverage. Our new version alleviates those concerns while also providing customers with the benefits of off-board.”
One such benefit of off-board service is the fact that maps are updated more often, since apps with off-board maps communicate with map-providers frequently during travel. Now TeleNav Navigator users will have access to the best of both worlds, according to the company.
Additional enhancements within TeleNav Navigator 6.0 include:
“Single-click” voice recognition via BlackBerry convenience key that understands common phrases like “Drive Home” or “Drive to User’s point of interest (POI),” etc.
Lane assists to help ensure users are in the proper lanes when appropriate
Speed limit warnings
Traffic camera information, where available
Simplified phone dialing during navigation
Shortcut option (in “Drive To” menu) to drive home
Option to “End Trip” at the end of a route
After using “search along the route,” you have the option of “resume trip”
Ability to see GPS status, battery strength, wireless signal and local time within the app
Unfortunately, the new version of TeleNav Navigator is available initially only to AT&T BlackBerry users, as AT&T Navigator, and only on specific Research In Motion (RIM) smartphones: the BlackBerry Curve 8900 and Bold 9000. Lowell says additional TeleNav 6.0 carrier- and BlackBerry-device-support are on the way, but the company wouldn’t provide specifics.
I’ve been using TeleNav 6.0 on my T-Mobile BlackBerry Bold 9700 for a couple of weeks now, and though I’ve noticed a few minor bugs with this device/carrier combo, the fact that it worked without any significant issues for me could bode well for T-Mobile- and/or BlackBerry-9700-support in the near-future.
I also spent a few days with TeleNav’s new, free OnMyWay BlackBerry application before its official release. The software is simple to use; you just pick who you want to keep updated on your travel status, then plug your intended destination into the app, and it automatically sends travel-time updates based on your location to designated contacts via text and/or e-mail.
OnMyWay could be particularly useful “when you are headed to a meeting, headed home at the end of the day, or maybe headed to daycare to pick up your child,” Lowell says. “It could be used by businesses as well. For example, a cab driver can send an OnMyWay alert to the person he’s picking up so that he/she knows exactly when the cab has arrived or if it’s running late.”
But again, the new app is only available to select AT&T BlackBerry users, though TeleNav plans to release OnMyWay for the BlackBerry Curve 8530 and Tour 9630 on both Sprint and Verizon, as well as the BlackBerry 8820 and BlackBerry Bold 9700 on the T-Mobile network.
I’m not sure how often I’ll use OnMyWay in the future, since I’m already good about keeping friends and family updated when they’re expecting me. But I can see the app being valuable to travelling sales-folks and others who spend their days on the road, bouncing from destination to destination.
AT&T Navigator 6.0 will be released on Wednesday, March 24, and it costs $9.99 per month, but single-day subscriptions are also available for $2.99. TeleNav’s OnMyWay software for BlackBerry is free on BlackBerry App World, and additional information on both apps can be found on TeleNav’s website.
Al Sacco was a journalist, blogger and editor who covers the fast-paced mobile beat for CIO.com and IDG Enterprise, with a focus on wearable tech, smartphones and tablet PCs. Al managed CIO.com writers and contributors, covered news, and shared insightful expert analysis of key industry happenings. He also wrote a wide variety of tutorials and how-tos to help readers get the most out of their gadgets, and regularly offered up recommendations on software for a number of mobile platforms. Al resides in Boston and is a passionate reader, traveler, beer lover, film buff and Red Sox fan.