skobbler: free GPS by dint of OpenStreetMap

If skobbler’s devs have one thing painted in their collective brains at the moment, I reckon it’s “OpenSource for the win!” or some such motto. In the USA, skobbler, the OpenStreetMap-based turn-by-turn navigation/GPS app, is a huge win for what may well be the future of navigation apps: open source mapping. You the customer can also be the mapper, and God only knows that you know your locale better than any Samsung-style megacorp who tries to tell you that they know better. Hell, rather than waiting for the bigwigs to finally update their software, thousands of your mates on a variety of platforms are mapping the world for you.

In case you aren’t in to oil spill-suckers, there is also a pedestrian/bicycle mode. Perhaps its killer feature though, is that the US version  comes with no monetary strings attached – at all. Needless to say, skobbler has been a hit in its native Germany and ruffled quite a few feathers in the process, but those feathers probably don’t belong there in the first place.

skobbler US ? truly FREE turn-by-turn voice navigation skobbler GmbH, skobbler US, FREE

Screenies and more after the gap:

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Supersize your GPS with CoPilot Live HD

With the iPad WiFi + 3G models set to arrive tomorrow (April 30th) in the US, ALK Technologies, makers of the popular CoPilot Live apps for the iPhone, have announced that CoPilot Live HD ($29.99) will be making its way to the iPad 3G in early May. Utilizing the gorgeous 9.7-inch screen, users will soon be able to receive turn-by-turn voice navigation along side a split screen showing both 3D or 2D maps en route to their destination (four dual view options are available). Much like the iPhone version, CoPilot Live HD will auto-switch between portrait and landscape, is equipped with pinch-zoom functionality and access to your iPod music is also possible.

The big question though is whether you really need a GPS with such a honking big screen. After all, you’re technically supposed to be following the voice prompts rather than keep your eyes glued to the device while driving. Regardless, I have to admit that it is pretty neat cruising round town with a mega-sized GPS, especially if you already have an iPad installed into your car. And if a custom install is way out of the question, it appears that iPad car mounts are already on sale. More info and pics after the gap.

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OutDoors – GB National Parks OS Maps 1:50k in Review – Those Boots Were Made for Walking!

As a keen walker and camper, I was excited when I spotted OutDoors – GB National Parks OS Maps in the App Store. Although at first glance you may think it’s quite expensive ($24.99 US), when you add together how much it would have cost to buy the physical versions of all the maps included, it’s actually a bargain. Plus you can never blame poor map reading again as with GPS, you’ve got no excuse for not knowing where you are!

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MobileNavigator North America in Review- Navigates to the first spot on my SpringBoard

When the iPhone was first released, there were no GPS apps at the AppStore. The closest thing to a true GPS on the iDevice was the included Google Maps app, unlike its cousin on the Droid, isn’t a real GPS. However, after the release of Navigon/MobileNavigator, things started to change. Four months and a few major updates later, Navigon has proven itself worthy of taking on the role as a complete GPS device replacement and now sits pretty atop my springboard.

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Tom Tom 1.2 – 1st Gen iPhone and iPod touch compatibility

With the GPS-equipped Tom Tom Car Kit and Tom Tom 1.2, first-gen iPhones and all iPod touches can see the road for you, and mounted to your windscreen, function as proper electronic navigators. The Tom Tom Car Kit costs 119.95$ and included a built-in GPS, line out for music playback, integrated charging circuit, speaker and microphone for live, hands-free telephone calls. Of course, without WiFi, the iPod touch functions only as a GPS.

Tom Tom International BV, TomTom U.S. & Canada, 119.95$, 1.30 GB
TomTom U.S. & Canada

Geocaching in Review – A new treasure every day!

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Ever since I read Treasure Island, my mind has been full of dreams of finding buried treasures and going on pirate adventures. Well, that was when I was but a wee little lad – since then I’ve cleared my head of such nonsense, but still, the idea of how great it would be to go on a real treasure hunt haunts me. And then I heard of Geocaching…

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OffMaps in Review – Find yourself on the map, even offline!

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You know, there is a story going around the Russian iPhone community about a guy who, after his trip to Sweden for a couple of weeks, got nailed with a $30K phone bill. It is said that he was not aware that the Google Maps were downloadable and used the iPhone excessively for navigation. This is the reason why I always have data roaming turned off. But wouldn’t you love to use the awesome power of the “Jesus” phone to find your way around, even abroad? Well, there’s an app for that (I almost hate this phrase already)! Introducing, OffMaps.

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Gaia GPS in Review – Finding adventures

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Ever get that feeling that despite your excellent (or perhaps because of your terrible) map-reading skills, you’re lost? You read the map, you check your GPS, but you still want a second opinion? Maybe you live for exploring, and want to record your outings and mark the places you’ve been to. Trail Behind’s new iPhone app, Gaia GPS, might be just what you’re looking for.

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EnGIS’ 3D iPhone Navigation software outted

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Details are sketchy still, but EnGIS, a Seoul-based designer of premium navigation software have hinted that their navigation software will be coming to the iPhone. While a few excellent navigation apps exist, EnGIS’ technology stands apart by drawing the landscape including buildings, and even sky!

Pricing, time of availability and many other details are yet undisclosed, especially in Korea where the iPhone’s debut is still cast in sallow light.

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Navigon’s MobileNavigator – hops the pond to North America

AppRelease-NavigonMobileNavigator-01AppRelease-NavigonMobileNavigator-02

Navigon, a well-known navigation company from Hamburg have augmented North American iPods with the App Store’s first professional GPS system. The app promises to turn your iPhone into a ‘first-rate navigation system’ – a promise that we have heard before. This time however, Navigon’s professional experience and overall polish are swaying the majority of App Store users. There are a few problems, but as a first release on this side of the Atlantic, a little culture shock is to be expected. MobileNavigator is a whopping 1,29 GB, so it may be time to pair down your music library, saying adieu to Michael Jackson once and for all.

Navigon AG, MobileNavigator North America, 69.99$, 1,29 GB – North American version
MobileNavigator North America

Navigon AG, MobileNavigator Europe, 139.99$, 1,65 GB – European Version
MobileNavigator Europe

There are a couple of good videos showing MobileNavigator in action – check them out after the jump.

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