Skobbler has launched a GPS Navigation & Maps app for Android, which it says targets the Achilles heels for Google Maps and satnav apps. How so? Well, the app offers online and offline functionality for worldwide digital mapping and turn-by-turn navigation at the comparatively low price of £1, which the company claims is a “market first”. “While Google Maps is free to download and use, its offline functionality is very restricted,” Skobbler argues. “Expensive alternatives such as Co-Pilot Live or TomTom UK & Ireland/Europe do offer premium features and of course offline navigation, yet none of them give users a choice of which areas they want to use online and which offline. Most premium sat nav apps generally cannot be used as travel apps at all, as their pure map functionalities are limited at best.”Read This Post
British startup Navmii says its free navigation app Navfree has now been downloaded more than 12m times, with a current monthly run-rate of 500k new downloads.
Having launched in September 2010, the app hit 10m downloads two years later, pushing on in recent months thanks partly to a release in Germany, where it’s currently the third most popular free app, according to parent company Navmii.Read This Post
Facebook has sprinted ahead of Google Maps to become the number one app in the US, according to comScore. Facebook’s iOS and Android apps had 85.6m unique visitors in December, according to comScore Mobile Metrix, ahead of Google Maps with 74.6m. Facebook also ranked number one in terms of app engagement: its apps accounted for 23% of all time spent on apps in the US in December, while sister app Instagram had 3% of the market.Read This Post
Developer Cutetown has launched an iPad app of the same name, designed to get people turning their town into a “stylized 4D city map” without any 3D modelling knowledge required.
Cutetown is a free download from the App Store armed with a seductive pitch: “Choose any building, create its 3D-model and place it on the common map. It’s so easy with Cutetown that you can play with it like a child plays with a construction set.”Read This Post
Apple is said to be planning a possible acquisition of popular navigation app Waze, already a data partner for its Maps app.
TechCrunch reports that negotiations between the two parties are advanced, although Waze wants $750m, while Apple is willing to offer $400m plus $100m in other incentives. Naturally, both Apple and Waze refused to comment on the rumours. Waze, TechCrunch claims, had less than $1m in revenues last year, mainly from advertising.Read This Post
Was there pent-up demand for a downloadable Google Maps app for iPhone? Just a bit: according to Google, the app was downloaded more than 10m times in the first 48 hours after its release earlier this month.Read This Post
Amid all the attention on Apple v Google v Nokia in the mobile mapping wars, there are some interesting startups working on their own maps technology. US firm Hover is one of them.
It’s just raised $3.1m in seed funding for its 3D mapping tech, which is currently used mainly by military, homeland security and emergency-response clients. The company is planning to move into the consumer space though, hence the new funding.
Apple’s SVP of internet software and services Eddy Cue recently added Siri and Maps to his responsibilities, and it seems he’s already making his mark on the latter front.
Bloomberg reports that the Maps team’s leader Richard Williamson has left Apple after being “pushed out” by Cue, as he starts the process of improving the much-criticised service.Read This Post
Skobbler has released what it claims is “the ultimate map app” for Android. ForeverMap 2 uses OpenStreetMap, the same open-source GPS navigation data project used by Apple in its own Maps service, combined with Skobbler’s NGx map engine, which the company says provides “a paperback-like map experience”. The basic paid app, available on Google Play for $0.99 / €0.79, gives online access to all Skobbler’s city, country and continent maps. Users can then upgrade to get offline access to maps, including search and route display. VentureBeat reports that a version of the app will be available for the iPhone 5 in the near future.Read This Post