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Navigon updates iOS apps with links to Apple Maps

Navigon has quickly updated its apps to mesh with iOS 6 and the new iPhone. The apps have added public transportation features, Apple Maps integration and support for the new 4-inch screen on the iPhone 5. The apps already support Google Street View and searching with the Google POI database.

"With our recent updates our apps can now serve as an extension to Apple Maps, providing iPhone users advanced navigation capabilities," said Joern Watzke, vice president mobile phone business at Garmin Wuerzburg GmbH. "This includes our new public transportation functionality as well as many additional premium features that aren't available on free navigation apps."

Navigon users can select any address or point of interest in Apple Maps and they will be offered an option to navigate to the selected destination using their Navigon app.

Due to the way Apple Maps work the method to do this may not be obvious. Select an address in Apple Maps, then click on "get directions." Then select the bus icon at the top of the screen. That will enter the destination in your Navigon app and you are on your way.

Since Apple has left a gaping hole in public transportation routing, the Navigon update adds a US$2.99 feature called Urban Guidance which allows users to integrate public transportation into their route, complete with detailed itineraries of transit stops. The new feature considers trains, trams, buses and water taxis when calculating pedestrian routes. Users will be guided to a transit stop by foot and be able to look up detailed information on what line to take and where to get off. The new Last Mile function automatically saves the location of the user's car when continuing by foot, making it easy to find it on the way back. To depict the user's surroundings, the Garmin StreetPilot Onboard app for iPhone will now also include new graphical features like Google Street View.

Navigon apps are up to 25 percent off until October 3, 2012. The in-app purchase Urban Guidance is 40 percent off.

Navigon is now owned by Garmin and StreetPilot Onboard will be updated soon with similar features.

Apple has created an opening for third-party navigation providers like Garmin and Navigon. Apple Maps will certainly improve over time, but some of the weaknesses of Maps are being addressed by these paid apps.

The Navigon apps require iOS 4.3 or greater. Some sample screens are in the gallery below.