TomTom goes upwardly mobile

Navigation specialist TomTom has gone public, upgraded its smartphone-based navigation solution, and announced new versions of the popular GO product.

It has been a busy few months for TomTom, the company behind a range of standalone and handheld- or smartphone-based navigation solutions. Late in May TomTom changed from being privately owned to publicly quoted, an exercise that raised €125 million (~£84m). Meanwhile, new product announcements are coming thick and fast.

The smartphone-based TomTom MOBILE 5 (for Windows Mobile and Symbian Series 60 handsets) navigation solution is now available. The product -- which comprises a Bluetooth GPS receiver, a memory card containing software and maps, an A/C adapter and a cigarette lighter cable -- costs €299 (~£200), or €79 (~£53) for the software upgrade from TomTom MOBILE.

TomTom MOBILE 5 offers street-level maps and new features including 7-digit postcode-level navigation.

The new software offers updated street-level maps and new features including: the ability to plan and review a route before starting a journey; ‘itinerary planning’ catering for multiple waypoints and destinations; and full seven-digit postcode-level navigation for Great Britain and the Netherlands. The latter is important because, when coupled with a house number, it allows for precision navigation without the need to enter a full address. It comes into its own on the smartphones for which TomTom MOBILE 5 is designed (see here), as data entry can take longer than on handhelds with their touchscreens. TomTom MOBILE 5 can also pick up addresses from a phone’s Contacts database.
TomTom MOBILE 5 also offers TomTom PLUS -- over the air services including traffic reports, safety camera database updates, a weather service and additional voices for spoken direction.

TomTom GO
The company is also making headway with the TomTom GO, a standalone navigation device aimed at car drivers. Early versions have been a big success, and have been augmented with the RIDER, a ruggedised implementation suitable for motorcyclists, which is due for launch later this summer.

TomTom GO 700 comes with a remote control and can be used as a handsfree kit for a Bluetooth phone.
The GO range will also be updated, with the 700 and 500 models appearing over the coming months. Both can also be used as handsfree kits when paired with a Bluetooth-enabled mobile phone. The GO 700 will include street-level maps for all of Europe and a remote control, while the GO 500 will provide street-level maps of one country or region, and the major roads of the rest.