Location-based Apps from Navigon and Skyhook

Posted by Sam Churchill on

Navigon today announced the launch of its MobileNavigator for the iPhone. It costs $70 until August 15, when the price rises to $100.

MobileNavigator doesn’t require you to pay subscription fees or wait for map downloads—it’s all built-in. It features turn-by-turn directions, and includes voice assistance, Reality View Pro, Lane Assistant Pro, Speed Assistant and Day & Night Modes, using the iPhone’s built-in GPS.

Several subscription-based GPS applications, including AT&T’s own $9.99/mo Navigator service have appeared since the release of iPhone OS 3.0, but MobileNavigator represents the first full-featured GPS application bearing a single upfront cost to reach North America, beating out the much-anticipated hardware/software combination coming from TomTom, says Mac Rumors.

ASUS introduced in Asia this week the Garmin nüvifone, an integratedphone/GPS device. The nüvifone G60 and M20 come with preloaded maps for turn-by-turn, voice-prompted directions along with SMS text messaging, email, 3G data connectivity, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.

In other news, Skyhook Wireless, provider of the Wi-Fi Positioning System (WPS) and the hybrid positioning system XPS, which combines GPS with WiFi/cell tower location, today announced a partnership with two Ovi Store apps, I Parked Here and Near Here, that run on Nokia phones.

I Parked Here will remember where you parked and provide turn by turn directions to return to your car. It also provides a parking meter alarm feature, helping users avoid parking tickets.

Near Here is a local search app with over 500 categories and subcategories from which to choose, allowing users to find specific points of interest nearby. For example, a user could search under the Shopping category, which then further breaks down into more specific interests such as Photography or Candles.

They can both be downloaded today in the Nokia Ovi Store for $2.99 each. Skyhook Wireless offers a publicly available SDK for Symbian developers.

Founded in 2003, Skyhook developed the first hybrid positioning system to leverage Wi-Fi, GPS and cell towers for precise location data. Skyhook’s hybrid positioning system XPS requires no new hardware, works indoors and outdoors, provides an instant location and is more accurate than current technologies in congested downtown areas.

Their Loki plug-in works with all major Internet browsers and operating systems to determine the precise location of any Wi-Fi-enabled device. Web developers can use visitor location information to personalize content, ease local searching, and deliver localized ads.

Local search, photo sharing, local news and friend finding apps that use the Loki plug-in include: www.allmenus.com – online restaurant menu directory, www.brightkite.com – location-based social network, www.flickr.com – leading photo sharing site, www.geocaching.com – game of hiding and seeking treasure, www.loopt.com – location-based social network, www.mapquest.com – online mapping, www.outside.in – a hyperlocal news and information service, www.skout.com – location-based social network, www.trapster.com – speed trap sharing network, and www.weatherbug.com – a leading online weather site.

Meetme combines Google Maps with Yelp’s crowd-sourced recommendations to suggest a handful of meeting points between two locations. Meetways finds a midway point, but it doesn’t make any location recommendations.

74% of Facebook ad revenue comes from local ads, says Fast Company, noting ad research firm Borrell Associates estimates the $310 million in ad revenue expected for Facebook in 2009, with an estimated 74% coming from local, location-based ads. MySpace has an estimated 27% from LBS ads and social networking at 20%.

Posted by Sam Churchill on Wednesday, July 22nd, 2009 at 7:11 am .

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