Navigon Adds Text-To-Speech, iPod Functions To iPhone GPS App

While everyone seems to be talking about TomTom's GPS application for the iPhone, it's little-known Navigon that is really stepping up to the challenge. Today, the company is introducing its second major update for its MobileNavigator app, and it's definitely one worth checking out.

For starters, the update makes the app the first on the iPhone to add text-to-speech. In case you've never used a dedicated navigator with this, said feature allows the program to announce street names in addition to turn-by-turn directions, so istead of only stating "turn right," the app informs the user to "turn right on to Main Street." Basically, it's one more huge step towards becoming a legitimate option in the GPS space rather than needing a standalone unit.

Furthermore, Navigon has been able to integrate iPhone-specific functionalities, enabling drivers to enjoy the full range of iPod functionalities with a simple one-click from map access to artists, titles, albums, audio books, podcasts and playlist selections. The feature also takes advantage of the shuffle, and automatic playlist generating technology within iPod, which means that the driver can listen to songs again or leave it to the device to generate a random selection.

Finally, a new location sharing function makes it convenient to meet-up with friends and acquaintances; users can can share their own location, an address or a point of interest (POI) such as a restaurant or museum via email. If the recipients are MobileNavigator users, a simple link-tap provides the exact address. The navigation software starts automatically when the link is activated and guides the user directly to the destination, without having to input locations, and waiting for the search results. In addition, the app routinely changes the maps colors switching it between Day and Night Mode determined by time and location.

The app is available in the App Store for iPhone 3G and iPhone 3GS for $89.99, and the update is free for those who have already purchased it.