Traffic Updates Next for iPhone GPS Apps?1
There are plenty of powerful GPS applications available for the iPhone platform. This segment of the market is so hot that companies such as TomTom have allocated resources to try and dominate this market as well. Let’s not forget that personal navigation devices are deeply in trouble. You can a get a GPS app for iPhone for as low as $9.99 or as high as $149. It really comes down to the brand and the features that you get in an app. Navigon is one of the companies that are trying to take the iPhone GPS market to the next level. MobileNavigator, Navigon’s iPhone GPS app, comes with a lot of features that we used to see on Navigon’s standalone GPS. It may be expensive but it does everything you would expect from your personal navigation device
While you got the amazing 3D maps, the lane assistant, and accurate directions, you didn’t get live traffic updates with the app. At least until now. Navigon has announced that you can now purchase traffic updates for your app for only $20 (introductory price) and enjoy traffic information on the go. The good news is, you’ll have even a more powerful tool to avoid traffic and get to your destination faster. The fee is also a one time one. The bad news is the app is even more expensive now, and almost as expensive as a dedicated GPS device.
Navigon is not the only player in this market. TomTom, at&t, and many other companies are working hard on their apps to grab a piece of the pie. Navigon’s move is only going to encourage other GPS developers to include more information for drivers. The personal navigation device market went the same route a while ago and now you get all kinds of information on those fancy GPS units. Many of those software features will be coming to the iPhone, so you can finally ditch that good old GPS unit you have been holding on too. But will the GPS companies keep the prices reasonable? That’s something we will have to wait and see.
We do provide free real-time traffic info*
Check out http://smartraffic.org/
*) BUT it’s only an alpha state prototype yet. My colleague and me use smartphones and modern webbrowsers (supporting W3C geolocation API) for estimating traffic. You as a user become the traffic sensor itself and help everyone else to find faster a faster way through the streets.
As mentioned, it’s a prototype and there are some bugs and too little users atm. Currently it’s limited to Switzerland, but it scales very well. So if any investor or experienced AR-programmer is interested, please contact us!