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Thursday December 15, 2011 9:20 am

TeleNav shows off HTML5-powered GPS app

Posted by Andru Edwards Categories: GPS, Internet, Software

telenav html5 gps

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."

The new TeleNav app will feature many of the same basic features as its native counterpart, including animated 3D maps, voice prompts, and automatic reroutes. TeleNav also announced the app will be free to all consumers and developers, and that it will work on "all major mobile platforms" with an HTML5-compatible feature phone or smartphone.

TeleNav said that it plans to release the HTML5-based service sometime in early 2012. Rest assured we'll put the HTML5 app through its paces; it will be interesting to see how many features make it over from the company's existing iPhone GPS app lineup, such as text-to-speech, lane assistance, road speed limits, and POI search tuned for automotive (instead of pedestrian) use.

Developers interested in TeleNav's new HTML5 GPS app can get more information by visiting www.telenav.com/developer/HTML5.

HTML5 has been in the spotlight lately. Last month, Adobe announced that it is killing off Flash development for mobile devices, after years of buggy versions that never measured up to the desktop Flash experience. Shortly thereafter, Revision3 said it was terminating development of its Flash player, and is now transitioning its online video platform entirely to HTML5.

This article, written by Jamie Lendino, originally appeared on PCMag.com and is republished on Gear Live with the permission of Ziff Davis, Inc.

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