According to a report from Rabobank analyst Hans Slob, one of Apple’s key partners providing map data in the new Map app TomTom could be acquired by Apple. Today Bloomberg noted that Slob said there is 30% chance that Apple seeks to purchase TomTom in order to make quicker improvements to its new Maps app.
Android phones have an advantage over Apple's iPhone in navigation, because Google includes their free nice Navigation program, while Apple doesn't have built in navigation in Maps. Here are some good news for iPhone users:
Google confirmed at a London press conference that it plans to bring free satnav to other smartphone platforms, including the iPhone, although it wouldn’t say when.
Unlike TomTom or iGo software, Google’s satnav software doesn’t store maps on the device but downloads them on-demand from the internet. However "Google Maps pre-caches the entire route," said Mobile Maps product manager, Steve Lee. "It needs a data connection when you ask for navigation. But while driving to your destination, if you intermittently lose the connection, it will still carry on. As long as you stay on the route."
Users can choose from several viewing options: standard maps and directions, satellite view and access to Street View, plus live traffic data. Sound like a good deal.
TomTom is discounting their navigation apps. For example, US and US+Canada are down to $50 and $70 respectively, Western Europe is $90. They've done this before, so it's not unprecedented. However $10 discount is a good deal if you're looking for an iPhone Navigation.
TomTom navigation application updated to version 1.2. Added features include updates to maps and IQ Routes, advanced lane guidance, text-to-speech, integrated iPod player support and support for the iPod Touch and first-generation iPhone 2G.
To use the app on iPod Touch and iPhone 2G, TomTom's car kit is required. This is due to the fact that both devices lack an integrated GPS receiver. TomTom's car kit is a cradle which contains a GPS module, integrated speaker, charger, and line out. It is not required when the TomTom app is paired with the iPhone 3G and 3GS. The cost for the kit without the app is $119.95.
Full list of what's new in 1.2:
Improved search and route summary screens
Updated map from v8.30 to v8.35
Updated points of interest database
Updated IQ Routes database with millions of new measurements
Added Advanced Lane Guidance in both portrait and landscape mode
Added Text-to-speech in English US, English UK, English Australia, French Canada, Spanish Latin America
Added Help Me! emergency menu
Added iPod player support
Added support for original iPhone and iPod touch (all models)
The TomTom app is available in App Store for $49.99-$139.99 (link). Price depends on the map coverage. The highest price is for TomTom Western Europe. US & Canada costs $99.99. The cheapest version is for Hong-Kong - just $49.99.
Wikitude Drive is a revolutionary new navigation software which will be launched soon for Android and iPhone. Unlike regular navigation applications like iGo, TomTom, Garmin and other programs the WikiTude Drive will use the Augmented Reality!
The software will also include all the classic features such as Turn-by-turn navigation, voice prompts, points of interest. In short, just point the iPhone on the road and we shall see an arrow that will point the way forward. The data for the route is downloaded in real time via the Internet.
Each European App Store is also carrying a fifth TomTom application offering a more narrowly localized version for the respective countries at a lower (~$30-40) price than the complete Western Europe version.
Benelux (iTunes link): offered in Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg and covers those three countries