TeleNav, the GPS software company, has unveiled a browser-based HTML5 app that will deliver voice-enabled, turn-by-turn GPS navigation on almost any mobile device—and that other sites can call up with a single line of code.
The concept behind the app is similar to that of Amazon Kindle Cloud Reader: You input the URL and then run TeleNav from within a browser, without installing a native app first. An added benefit: TeleNav can continuously update the service over time whenever it wants, without inconveniencing consumers with periodic software updates.
In an e-mail to us, Mary Beth Lowell, TeleNav's associate director of public relations, confirmed that the HTML5-based app will tap into each device's GPS chip. The combination puts it several leagues ahead of Google Maps, which provides directions without voice prompts, meaning you can also use it in a car while behind the wheel, since you don't have to look at the screen for the next step.
"For example, if I'm in a travel app and I'm looking at my hotel address, I could click on the address and get full voice-guided TBT [turn-by-turn] directions to the hotel," Lowell said. "I wouldn't need to be a TeleNav customer or even download an app."
TeleNav today announced that the TeleNav GPS application will be available in the Apple App Store as a free download for Verizon Wireless iPhone 4 users when the device is released on Thursday, February 10.
TeleNav allows user to access free maps and perform local searches. Advanced navigation features are also available, including spoken turn-by-turn directions and 3D moving maps. The advanced features will be free for 30 days after downloading the app. After that they will cost users $2.99 per month on a pay-as-you-go basis, or $21.99 per year. Regardless of whether users choose to pay for the advanced navigation features, the GPS map and local search capabilities will remain free.