SOURCE: XRoad, Inc.

XRoad, Inc.

August 18, 2009 03:02 ET

GPS Navigation Solutions for iPhone 3.0 -- OnBoard or Online?

Report Compares Embedded and Network Systems, Products

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - August 18, 2009) - GPS applications for Apple iPhones are built on one of two technologies -- embedded or network -- and each delivers advantages to certain users. To explain the technologies and clarify product advantages and disadvantages, leading GPS software authority XRoad (maker of G-Map) today released a report titled, "GPS Navigation Solutions for iPhone 3.0 - OnBoard or Online?"

The document, with screen shots and a chart of key function comparisons, shows the features and benefits of Navigon MobileNavigator from NAVIGON AG, AT&T Navigator from AT&T Services and G-Map from XRoad. All are available for purchase from the iPhone App Store.

EMBEDDED=ENTIRE MAP RESIDES IN THE iPHONE'S MEMORY

Embedded (or "on-board") programs require the user to pay a one-time fee to download the complete navigation map. Because of the size of the data file, the download -- required only once -- can require several minutes. The G-Map and Navigon Mobile Navigator use embedded systems, which perform much like personal navigation devices (PND), such as conventional vehicle-based devices from Garmin. Because the entire map resides on the iPhone, route recalculations (required if the user misses a turn, for example) are performed in seconds.

NETWORK=PORTION OF MAP FED TO THE iPHONE AS NEEDED

Network applications charge a monthly usage fee, but the smaller file means the initial download is much faster. AT&T Navigator uses the network model. Instead of the entire map residing on the iPhone, the mobile telephone network feeds the user's phone with the portion of the map the user requires at the time. Route recalculations can take longer, even a few minutes, while the network locates and feeds a new portion of the map.

NETWORK CONNECTIONS: THE GOOD AND THE BAD

A benefit of network connections is the accessibility to real-time traffic, current weather, the location of the lowest prices for gasoline and the availability of open parking spaces. A drawback is that network systems require the user to stay within an AT&T service area in order to receive the maps. Venturing beyond the network coverage area, into a "dead zone" means the network can no longer feed new data to the iPhone and the navigation function is lost. With embedded programs, the map is always available on the iPhone, whether or not the user is within an AT&T service area (AT&T is the only mobile phone company available for iPhones).

"The proliferation of iPhone users is spawning an array of feature-rich GPS applications suited to various user needs," observes Sean Lee, Marketing Director of XRoad, whose G-Map was the first GPS software for the iPhone with turn-by-turn directions. "We are pleased to share our expertise and help the public 'navigate' through the technologies and help them select the tools best suited to their needs," Lee states.

COSTS

As embedded products, the one-time fee for the G-Map is $34.99 for either the Eastern United States or Western United States version. Similarly, the Navigon MobileNavigator is $69.99 for the North American version. The network product AT&T Navigator is $9.99 per month.

COMPARISIONS OF KEY FUNCTIONS

A summary comparison of key features follows.

                                          AT&T                  Navigon
Feature Name/Explanation/Benefit        Navigator   G-Map   MobileNavigator
--------------------------------------  --------- --------- ---------------
Real 3D View - Detailed,
 three-dimensional rendering, with                Yes, Very
 video game-like experience.                   No  Detailed              No
--------------------------------------  --------- --------- ---------------
Dead Zones - Map display screen
 becomes blank.  Navigation function
 is lost.                                     Yes        No              No
--------------------------------------  --------- --------- ---------------
A.I. Routing - Ability to learn the
 users' preference in routing and
 reflects such routing in future route
 guidance.  Device becomes easier to
 use.                                          No       Yes              No
--------------------------------------  --------- --------- ---------------
Route Recalculating - How quickly
 program finds new route after, for
 example, missing a turn.  Until the
 route recalculates, it might be best
 to pause driving until the machine
 finds the new route.                        Slow Very Fast            Fast
--------------------------------------  --------- --------- ---------------
Point on Map - When user selects any
 point on map, software provides
 detailed location information and
 offers option to provide route from
 current location to selected
 destination.  Helpful when vicinity
 is known, but not exact address.              No       Yes              No
--------------------------------------  --------- --------- ---------------
Suggested Keyword Search - Program
 intuitively suggests search results,
 based on letters the user enters.
 Saves time when entering name;
 suggested options helpful when user
 unsure of exact location name.                No       Yes              No
--------------------------------------  --------- --------- ---------------
Simulated Routing - Animates the path                  Yes,
 of the entire route of to the                       Adjust
 selected destination.  Helpful when                 Speed,
 wanting to avoid excessively busy                  Jump to
 intersections or highways; user can                 Inter-     Yes, but No
 select alternate route.                       No  sections     Adjustments
--------------------------------------  --------- --------- ---------------
Intuitive and Easy-to-Use User
 Interface (UI) - Functions are
 logical and easy to figure out;
 graphics are easily understood.           Not as
 Device is easy to use.                      Much      Very        Somewhat
--------------------------------------  --------- --------- ---------------
Display Favorites and Point of
 Interest (POI) Icons - User's
 favorite destinations and POIs are
 visible on the "View Map" display.
 Helps user more quickly understand                          Yes, But There
 the location of new destinations,                          is No Option to
 because they are presented in                                 Select Which
 relation to their favorite                                       Icons are
 destinations and POIs.                        No       Yes       Displayed
--------------------------------------  --------- --------- ---------------
POI Editing and Memo - User can
 personalize POIs with a title, phone
 number, and memo.  User can include
 helpful notes, such as hours of
 operation for a destination business,
 etc.                                          No       Yes              No
--------------------------------------  --------- --------- ---------------
Flexible Trip Planning - Enables user
 to add multiple waypoints when
 creating route and simulate the
 routing among  them all.  Ideal when                         Yes, but only
 making numerous stops during one trip.                         an interim
                                               No       Yes     destination
--------------------------------------  --------- --------- ---------------
                                                    $34.99
                                                       for
                                                   Eastern
                                                        or
                                           $9.99   Western      $69.99 for
Cost                                    per month      U.S.   North America
--------------------------------------  --------- --------- ---------------

For the complete comparison, including screen shots and more details, see the full report at "GPS Navigation Solutions for iPhone 3.0 - OnBoard or Online?" For further information about G-Map, visit http://www.xroadgps.com/Maps/GMapforiPhone/tabid/2463/Default.aspx

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