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AT&T Navigator turn-by-turn GPS solution hits the App Store

post #1 of 129
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AT&T on Tuesday became the latest player to attempt to capitalize on what's sure to become a multi-million dollar market for iPhone-based turn-by-turn GPS driving solutions, launching its AT&T Navigator software on the App Store.

Like similar offerings for other AT&T handsets, the software was developed by Sunnyvale, Calif.-based TeleNav and branded as AT&T Navigator. The application itself (AppStore) is free, but requires a $9.95 monthly service subscription, which the exclusive U.S. iPhone carrier plans to market alongside new iPhone sales at its retail and online stores as a bolt-on service.

Compatible with the iPhone 3G and iPhone 3G S running iPhone Software 3.0, the software promises voice-guide, 3D on-screen navigation with automatic rerouting incase users miss a turn. The monthly subscription fee also covers automatic map updates that will be downloaded to the iPhone and real-time traffic updates.

Users of the software can also search for the lowest gas prices, and the closest coffee shops and AT&T WiFi hotspots along their driving routes. Trips can be planned by entering addresses on the iPhone itself, or from a Mac or PC, where they'll then be synced over to the the Apple handset.

Early reviews of the software have been relatively positive, though one reviewer notes that maps are not stored in the application itself, which means they're download in real-time, which could pose a problem in areas where wireless service is unavailable.



AT&T Navigator is bound to face off against an upcoming offering from GPS device maker TomTom, the software for which is being developed with the help of Apple engineers. It will be sold alongside a TomTom car kit accessory, which enhances the iPhone's GPS signal through its dock connector thanks to third-party accessory support built into the iPhone SDK 3.0.

The kit also charges the iPhone, includes a built-in loud speaker for spoken turn-by-turn directions, and comes equipped with a microphone for hands-free calling. TomTom has yet to announce pricing for either the software or the car kit.



On Monday, Navigon released its own MobileNavigator for European residents. The software fetches £54.99 and includes built-in 2D and 3D maps of Europe, allowing it to function without a wireless connection.

AT&T's plans to introduce a TeleNav-developed AT&T Navigator solution to iPhone owners for a $9.95 monthly subscription fee were first reported by AppleInsider earlier this month.
post #2 of 129
Subscription model sucks...$9.95/mth = $120 yr.
Why not buy a standalone GPS?
Do city streets change so much that one needs to update maps every year?
post #3 of 129
And that is the million dollar question. With the ATT subscription, I think, you can have it for a month and then cancel it, only paying for the months that you would use it. So you would have, in theory, up to date maps, poi, etc. With the stand alone, I have heard that the updates can be $80 or more for the new maps and such. So it would come down to each person and what is needed for them.

Jason
post #4 of 129
I'm going under a bridge hope this doesn't affect-I'M LOST I'M LOST
post #5 of 129
Does anyone know if the Tom Tom cradle has a line out jack for letting the iPhone play music through the car stereo?
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post #6 of 129
I say fail! Let me get this straight, we are to trust the network that cannot keep our calls connected under the best of conditions, that network is going to be responsible keeping me from getting lost when I am traveling in the least perfect conditions? I think not. I wonder if they will refund the $10 fee if the service fails on your trip? This may be a $billion industry, but AT&T is not the company to lead the way. I will be waiting for Tom Tom.
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post #7 of 129
Quote:
Originally Posted by razorpit View Post

Does anyone know if the Tom Tom cradle has a line out jack for letting the iPhone play music through the car stereo?

It has line out according to the demo and handsfree phone. I waiting to see the price.
post #8 of 129
Quote:
Originally Posted by razorpit View Post

Does anyone know if the Tom Tom cradle has a line out jack for letting the iPhone play music through the car stereo?

They said it will play music through the car stereo but did not explain by which method.

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post #9 of 129
Just wait until TomTom pricing is available, then we can decide what makes more sense.

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post #10 of 129
Quote:
Originally Posted by pats View Post

It has line out according to the demo and handsfree phone. I waiting to see the price.

The TomTom app/crade look slick & functional. I've seen a few deals on the Garmin Nuvi 360 (a very nice unit which I used to own before it was stolen out of my brilliantly unlocked car), am waiting to see the pricing on the TomTom solution.

I have the feeling TomTom is going to be *pricey* and that I'll end up buying another Garmin standalone.
post #11 of 129
Yay go sprint Navigation comes free with the palm pre and the monthly bill for Sprint is cheaper. (and better coverage) **** AT&T ripping me off man wtf.... I am going to cancel my plan this shit pisses me off.

EDIT: Watch the language please
post #12 of 129
Quote:
Originally Posted by satchmo View Post

Subscription model sucks...$9.95/mth = $120 yr.
Why not buy a standalone GPS?
Do city streets change so much that one needs to update maps every year?

Indeed, the Navigon software costs you 75 (covering all of Europe), once. Sure, they will sell you updated maps, probably once per year, but you don't have to buy them. It is almost like paying high monthly rates and getting a phone for free (or very little).
post #13 of 129
Quote:
Originally Posted by Daniel0418 View Post

Yay go sprint Navigation comes free with the palm pre and the monthly bill for Sprint is cheaper. (and better coverage) **** AT&T ripping me off man wtf.... I am going to cancel my plan this shit pisses me off.

Sprint's nav is free because Sprint is desperate and barely alive. I had Sprint nav when it was $10 a month. Both Sprint and Palm are on their last, desperate gasp. They are not competing with Apple and AT&T. They are competing with the grim reaper.
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Apple has no competition. Every commercial product which competes directly with an Apple product gives the distinct impression that, Where it is original, it is not good, and where it is good, it...
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post #14 of 129
I own a "non-smart" phone and get GPS free with my data plan on Verizon. My wife and I get all messaging, data, email and GPS for less than the cost of an iPhone and non-iPhone with AT&T. If it were two iPhones the cost would be impossible.

That said, Sprint does have pretty good pricing and good coverage where I live. If they can keep turning it around, they might get a look in a year or so from me when I have a choice to renew contract or not. Though I suspect the Pre, new Blackberry and some nice updated LG's will be out by then and hopefully the pricing pressures and plans will bring some benefit. The friends and family bit has really lowered our minutes almost to the point where we can drop down a tier.

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post #15 of 129
If this is going to be the trend (monthly subscription) for the GPS Apps in the App Store, I wouldn't bother. I would totally get a more expensive GPS app (but at least it is a one time payment).

I would just hope Tomtom does it well with the pricing, monthly subscription on traffic updates (optional), and a one time payment (even if it is $69.99).

Even if I only subscribe for the month I'll use it, it defeats the purpose of having an always-ready for me to use GPS when I'm looking for a friend's house in my city (and not when I go out of town).

At the moment, I'll be happy with the Google maps until someone comes up with a better pricing model.
post #16 of 129
Seriusly..These people are thieves

Navigon is the leader in Europe! And the App is amazing

Just got it for $94.99.

http://itunes.apple.com/WebObjects/M...320279293&mt=8
post #17 of 129
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mac Voyer View Post

I wonder if they will refund the $10 fee if the service fails on your trip?

Yeah, sure, you can have your $10 back.
/sarcasm
post #18 of 129
If the app itself is free, and I could just pay for one month's service when I travel, then that is a good deal. If I'm locked into a monthly subscription, then forget it!
post #19 of 129
The only GPS I will even consider buying is one without a subscription attached to it. Plain and simple.
post #20 of 129
Quote:
Originally Posted by ejayboy View Post

If this is going to be the trend (monthly subscription) for the GPS Apps in the App Store, I wouldn't bother. I would totally get a more expensive GPS app (but at least it is a one time payment).

I would just hope Tomtom does it well with the pricing, monthly subscription on traffic updates (optional), and a one time payment (even if it is $69.99).

Even if I only subscribe for the month I'll use it, it defeats the purpose of having an always-ready for me to use GPS when I'm looking for a friend's house in my city (and not when I go out of town).

At the moment, I'll be happy with the Google maps until someone comes up with a better pricing model.

Ya know what's interesting is that TomTom could literally OWN the market if they made the software cheap (< $50). But I've got a hunch they aren't going to do that...

I'm sure they'll still have optional updates for $30ish a year (or more) because the app will never expire so even if you get a new iPhone you'll be able to keep your GPS forever.

EDIT: On a side note does anyone think an independent programmer could make a Google Maps based turn by turn and release it on the app store for. idk, $10? I'd be willing to pay $10 for something that used turn by turn but still relied on the cell towers but a monthly subscription - yeah, I'm out...
post #21 of 129
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigmc6000 View Post

Ya know what's interesting is that TomTom could literally OWN the market if they made the software cheap (< $50). But I've got a hunch they aren't going to do that...

I'm sure they'll still have optional updates for $30ish a year (or more) because the app will never expire so even if you get a new iPhone you'll be able to keep your GPS forever.

EDIT: On a side note does anyone think an independent programmer could make a Google Maps based turn by turn and release it on the app store for. idk, $10? I'd be willing to pay $10 for something that used turn by turn but still relied on the cell towers but a monthly subscription - yeah, I'm out...

TomTom can make the software cheap, but I think they still rely on GPS hardware for the positioning (I could be wrong). I was under the impression that their dash-mount had a GPS unit in it, and they connect to the iPhone for display and maps.

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post #22 of 129
This app breaks the rule, stated very clearly by Apple, that free apps remain free. I'm positive no one else will be allowed to offer a free app that uses in-app purchase. AT&T should not either.

This app must cost $0.99 or it is a rule-breaker.
post #23 of 129
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

TomTom can make the software cheap, but I think they still rely on GPS hardware for the positioning (I could be wrong). I was under the impression that their dash-mount had a GPS unit in it, and they connect to the iPhone for display and maps.

Well yeah but what I mean is they aren't going to make the software that cheap (for whatever reason) even tho they could since Apple is providing the GPS hardware.

EDIT: The dash mount just improves the GPS signal - the app will function fine without it (at least that's what they said during the keynote)
post #24 of 129
Quote:
Does anyone know if the Tom Tom cradle has a line out jack for letting the iPhone play music through the car stereo?

It will be an FM transmitter.
post #25 of 129
Quote:
Originally Posted by lepton View Post

This app breaks the rule, stated very clearly by Apple, that free apps remain free. I'm positive no one else will be allowed to offer a free app that uses in-app purchase. AT&T should not either.

This app must cost $0.99 or it is a rule-breaker.

I think they said if it's free you can't qualify for in-app purchases and, also, since this is an AT&T only thing I think they've pretty much skirted the whole issue. It's like how, say, Mafia Live tries to get you to go to their website to buy loyalty points even tho the app is a free download in iTunes.
post #26 of 129
I'm confused, this will be 10 bucks a month ON TOP of the unlimited data plan?

With the data plan I have with Sprint, the navigation is free. Always has been. I can't believe AT&T is doing that.
post #27 of 129
Quote:
Originally Posted by me2 View Post

It will be an FM transmitter.

That's not what it looked like in the keynote - at least to me. Looked like a line-out cord.
post #28 of 129
Quote:
Originally Posted by chronster View Post

I'm confused, this will be 10 bucks a month ON TOP of the unlimited data plan?

With the data plan I have with Sprint, the navigation is free. Always has been. I can't believe AT&T is doing that.

It's the same crappy fee they charge everyone else for their navigation - Sprint, as MacVoyer said, is reaching for any kind of advantage they can get to stay afloat. Why aren't people comparing AT&T to, say, Metro PCS? Unlimited everything, 4 lines, $99 a month... Or Boost mobile? There are always better deals than the nationwide companies.
post #29 of 129
This is highway robbery! They are already charging me $30 for data plan and the phone already has Google map, which is using the data plan service, why can't someone just build an app on top of that? I am not going to pay another $10/month for this service. Secondly, for other phones I believe the service is $5 why are they charging double for iPhone?

Looks like TomTom might be the solution. The accessory itself would be worth the money as it provides charging dock with handsfree operation.
post #30 of 129
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigmc6000 View Post

That's not what it looked like in the keynote - at least to me. Looked like a line-out cord.

You saw the power supply.
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post #31 of 129
Quote:
Originally Posted by Galley View Post

If the app itself is free, and I could just pay for one month's service when I travel, then that is a good deal. If I'm locked into a monthly subscription, then forget it!

That's what I was thinking. I wouldn't mind subscribing for a month here-and-there when I'm traveling someplace unknown. But for my normal, everyday travel I can already find my way around, thankyouverymuch. And we haven't seen the TomTom pricing yet.

I'm off to compare how this "subscription service" will cost out against just buying a dedicated unit...

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post #32 of 129
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigmc6000 View Post

EDIT: On a side note does anyone think an independent programmer could make a Google Maps based turn by turn and release it on the app store for. idk, $10?

xGPS for jailbroken iPhones does exactly this, and pretty well at this point. Alas, there are two fundamental problems: downloading maps on the fly (for me, this would be the dealbreaker for the AT&T app, even apart from the cost), and a more annoying but intractable one: the maps are upside down whenever you are going south! Google's maps are pre-rendered, including the text, so there is nothing to be done if you use them (as far as I know) -- whenever you go south (happens pretty often!) all the street names, etc, are upsidedown -- though the turn and voice directions still work fine.
post #33 of 129
This is a great development for the US market. Instead of locking the phone only to its service AT&T has to compete with other GPS applications. In the US this has not been the common practice.
post #34 of 129
You are not getting it for "free". You are paying for it. The more important question is do you have any other option for a GPS service other than Verizon's?

Quote:
Originally Posted by trumptman View Post

I own a "non-smart" phone and get GPS free with my data plan on Verizon. My wife and I get all messaging, data, email and GPS for less than the cost of an iPhone and non-iPhone with AT&T. If it were two iPhones the cost would be impossible.
post #35 of 129
Quote:
Originally Posted by satchmo View Post

Subscription model sucks...$9.95/mth = $120 yr.
Why not buy a standalone GPS?
Do city streets change so much that one needs to update maps every year?

I'm fine with every YEAR. It's every MONTH that makes no sense to me.

I appreciate the effort on the part of the app developers to find a renewing revenue model, but turn-by-turn navigation does not add enough value month over month to justify the price.

For the same $120 that this subscription would cost you for one year, you can buy an entry level TomTom.
post #36 of 129
Stand alone GPS still charge for software updates. For the iPhone some GPS services will only sell certain areas of the map, and you have to pay more to acquire other areas.

Quote:
Originally Posted by satchmo View Post

Subscription model sucks...$9.95/mth = $120 yr.
Why not buy a standalone GPS?
Do city streets change so much that one needs to update maps every year?
post #37 of 129
Do all these turn-by-turn apps have all the features that normal GPS devices have (I see the AT&T one does have some)? That is major sites, gas stations, restaurant locator, etc?

How's the turn-by-turn voice? It would be neat to choose between mulitple voices (male/female) and languages.

I wouldn't pay the $9.95 monthly fee. If it was $2.95 then sure.
post #38 of 129
Quote:
Originally Posted by satchmo View Post

Subscription model sucks...$9.95/mth = $120 yr.
Why not buy a standalone GPS?
Do city streets change so much that one needs to update maps every year?

Uh, yeah, they do, it's called contsruction detours
post #39 of 129
If any other turn-by-turn app that comes out also doesn't have a fee.
post #40 of 129
From what I understand Google does not license its maps for use with turn by turn.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bigmc6000 View Post

er.
EDIT: On a side note does anyone think an independent programmer could make a Google Maps based turn by turn and release it on the app store for. idk, $10? I'd be willing to pay $10 for something that used turn by turn but still relied on the cell towers but a monthly subscription - yeah, I'm out...
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