Navicore Personal 2006/1: a first look

Navicore's GPS navigation kit for Symbian mobiles has been upgraded, and now includes some compelling features.

Navicore Personal, the navigation software for Symbian-based mobile phones that made its debut in the UK last year, has been updated with several new features, and is available as Navicore Personal 2006/1.

Navicore Personal 2006/1 runs on Symbian-based mobiles, and there are currently no plans to support other mobile or handheld platforms. As before, the Series 60 version is first out, with Series 80 and UIQ to follow. Navicore Personal 2006/1 is supplied with a SiRF III GPS receiver with a claimed battery life of 15 hours.

Many of the new features bring Navicore Personal into line with the competition. Enhancements include full seven-digit postcode support, the ability to calculate routes using addresses stored in a device’s phonebook and support for pedestrian and cycling modes as well as in-vehicle navigation. Like other navigation software, Navicore Personal 2006/1 cannot calculate routes for cyclists that take advantage of special features such as cycle lanes that run against the flow of traffic, or special cycle tracks.

Business users will appreciate the ability for devices running Navicore Personal 2006/1 to communicate directly with one another. For example, a feature called Beacon transmits location information to up to ten recipients at regular intervals; on receiving a set of coordinates from another Navicore Personal user, you can get the software to plan a route directly to that location.

With the market for navigation devices becoming more crowded, software providers need to find ways to differentiate their products. Navicore has decided that the ability to deliver extra data on demand to end users is the way to go. This includes data like live traffic updates (also new in this version) provided via GPRS. Navicore does not charge a subscription for this service, although you pay your mobile operator for GPRS data according to your tariff.

Navicore Personal 2006/1 allows you to receive live traffic updates over a GPRS connection.

You can also receive extra Points of Interest (PoI) data -- for example downloading updates to Navicore Personal 2006/1's safety camera database. Other types of information may become updatable, but Navicore won't be drawn on the details.

Navicore Personal 2006/1 is supplied on a flash memory card (RS-MMC or MMC) with maps of the UK and Ireland. You can buy additional maps for Scandinavia, Germany, Benelux, France, Italy, the Alps region (Austria, Switzerland, Northern Italy and Southern Germany) and Iberia (Spain and Portugal). The suggested price is £199.99 (inc. VAT), and retail partners announced at launch include The Carphone Warehouse, the Link, O2 and Existing users can upgrade for £61 (flash card) or £54 (CD-ROM).


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