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Navigation roundup: Navigon to offer significant update and Garmin offers onboard maps

Navigon has announced the second generation of mobile navigation apps which include a major screen redesign and a host of new features.

The new versions of the apps will be free for current owners, but some features will involve in-app purchases. The new GUI supports multi-touch gestures and easy switching between pages. Points of interest can be added to a route with a tap.

Extra cost features will include quarterly map updates. Users who, for example, own the USA version can select the states they want immediately and download additional regions at a later time. This ability prolongs memory, since users store only the maps they need on their device. In addition, NAVIGON FreshMaps offers quarterly map updates.

The new map updating service uses trusted, field-verified and quality-controlled maps and points of interest updates from NAVTEQ to ensure accuracy. Users can keep their maps reliable by receiving quarterly updates for a one-time fee that covers the lifetime of the product. Also expect to see the Zagat guide to restaurants as an in-app purchase.

Navigon doesn't have a firm date for the new version. It's expected in "early fall."

Meanwhile Garmin, who recently bought Navigon, has finally added an iOS navigation app that has the maps on board, rather than requiring downloads. If you have a capped data plan, taking a long trip and having to download new maps could be expensive.

This new version, called Garmin StreetPilot Onboard, is on sale for US$29.99 for the Labor Day weekend. It includes 3D buildings, maps of the lower 49 states, turn-by-turn, voice-prompted directions, Google search, speed limit warnings and address book integration. Extra charge items include real time traffic and fuel pricing.

It's nice to see Garmin finally add onboard maps, and this app is reasonably priced, especially while it is on sale. I'll be testing it over the next few days.

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