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Verizon Has More to Offer

by max 2010-02-06 22:23

VZ Navigator 5.0 is born after the combination of Facebook and a location-aware mapping service. The newest version of this mapping service from Verizon Wireless adds some social networking pizzazz for the over-sharer in you.

Verizon's VZ Navigator service is a highly-capable piece of mapping software. It turns any GPS-equipped phone into a complete replacement for stand-alone devices from Garmin or TomTom. Perhaps its only drawback is that it costs a hefty $10 per month to use. Google Maps does a lot of the same things for free on the Motorola Droid. For the non-Droid crowd out there, Verizon is hoping that VZ Navigator 5.0 offers enough new stuff to convince people to sign up.

The new software (which still costs $10/mo. or $3 for a single day) adds Facebook to the mix. It lets users share their real-time location with their Facebook contacts. That's something Google's Latitude service has done for some time now. If you're comfortable with enabling stalkers, share away.

Another new feature is roadside assistance. In the press release, Verizon says, "Customers can also use Verizon Wireless’ Roadside Assistance service to send their location to a dispatcher so assistance may reach them more quickly." In other words, if you're too cheap to spring for AAA, OnStar or other similar service, you can could on Verizon Wireless to back you up in the event of an emergency (assuming your phone isn't flung out of reach during said emergency).

A few other things the application offers include streaming maps that appear quicker than before. Access to premium places of interests with detailed descriptions, clearly branded by Map icons. Opt-in to anonymously send real-time location and speed to the VZ Navigator traffic reporting service, allowing quicker notifications and improved accuracy for all VZ Navigator users. Graphic notifications for tunnels, U-turns, traffic circles and toll plazas.

Some of the BlackBerry and Windows Mobile handsets also let users speak their searches rather than type them.

At launch, the service is supported on the BlackBerry Curve 8530, LG enV Touch, HTC Touch Pro2, and Samsung Omnia. More devices will be able to upgrade to the newer version over the coming weeks.



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