mandag 1. februar 2010

Verizon’s VZ Navigator 5 attempts to stay relevant with Facebook status updates

The days are definitely numbered for standalone GPS devices and paid GPS applications on smartphones After Google unveiled their free Google Maps Navigation application on the Motorola Droid, and then shortly made it available for all Android devices, it was clear that the market for GPS navigation as we knew it would never be the same.
Now those who’ve previously depended on charging for GPS services have to get creative to keep consumers interested — and it looks like Verizon is doing just that by enabling Facebook status updates from their new VZ Navigator 5 application.
As reported by TechCrunch, the integration is particularly interesting because it allows users to send their location data to Facebook. There’s still no official location functionality for Facebook, but that hasn’t stopped Nokia, Yahoo, and other third-parties from trying to implement it via status updates.
It’s an interesting addition for Verizon, but it’s not the sort of thing that will compel more users to pay $9.99 a month, or $2.99 a day, for access to the software. Other updates in VZ Navigator 5 include crowd-sourced traffic information, “enhanced” points of interest, and an updated user-interface.
VZ Navigator, and other paid GPS smartphone apps, probably won’t see huge usage drops as long as Google Maps Navigation remains Android-exclusive — but the call of free turn-by-turn GPS navigation will certainly remain tempting, and will likely prompt many to go Android in 2010. If Google manages to bring Maps Navigation over to other platforms, you can be sure that paid GPS applications will quickly go by the wayside.
The app is out today for the Samsung Omnia, LG enV Touch, BlackBerry Curve 8530, and the HTC Touch Pro2 — with support for more smartphones in the coming weeks.

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