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What Google Navigation Means for iPhone Maps App, and for Turn-by-Turn Competitors

So while the dust is by no means settling following Google's bombshell announcement of their free Google Maps Navigation app for Android 2.0, it's thinning enough that we can start to survey the landscape again.

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Updated: Google Maps Navigation [Free as in Just Free] for Android 2.0 -- Coming Eventually to iPhone

UPDATE 3: As pointed out in the comments, there's no sign of ad support in Google Maps Navigation (at least not yet). It's just free as in free. UPDATE 2: According to Gizmodo, Google:

implied they are working closely with Apple now on [Google Maps Navigation].

iPhone 2.2 saw Google Street View, could iPhone 3.2 see Google Maps Navigation? Let the drooling begin!

UPDATE 1: Replaced video with official version, moved TechCrunch preview below the fold. Enjoy both!

ORIGINAL: Just a few hours ago TiPb posted about the rumors surrounding a free (with ad support, of course) Google Navigation app, and now TechCrunch has the goods -- it's real, and it's (so far) exclusive to Android 2.0. And we quote:

  • Search in plain English. No need to know the address. You can type a business name (e.g. “starbucks”) or even a kind of a business (e.g. “thai restaurant”), just like you would on Google.

  • Search by voice. Speak your destination instead of typing (English only): “Navigate to the de Young Museum in San Francisco”.

  • Traffic view. An on-screen indicator glows green, yellow, or red based on the current traffic conditions along your route. A single touch on the indicator toggles a traffic view that shows the traffic ahead.

  • Search along route. Search for any kind of business along your route, or turn on popular layers such as gas stations, restaurants, or parking.

  • Satellite view. View your route overlaid on 3D satellite views with Google’s high-resolution aerial imagery.

  • Street View. Visualize turns overlaid on Google’s Street View imagery. Navigation automatically switches to Street View as you approach your destination.

  • Car dock mode. For certain devices, placing your phone in a car dock activates a special mode that makes it easy to use your device at arm’s length.

To quote our own editor-in-chief, it looks "bad@$$", and so far it also looks exclusive to the US, and to Android 2.0, at least for now. But come on Google, you want to give it to everyone outside the US too, right?

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Google Working on Free [Ad Supported] Turn-by-Turn Navigation App?

Google already provides the free Google Maps service, but could they be planning to step up to full on turn-by-turn navigation? Forbes thinks so:

Google, which generally gives its software away for free and recoups its investment through advertising, would likely sell ads within the navigation application rather than charge users, experts say. The ads could be particularly valuable because the program would know users' precise locations and destinations, allowing advertisers to pinpoint specific kinds of consumers. Google recently started running sponsored link ads in Apple's ( AAPL - news - people ) iPhone map application, which it helped build.

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iPhone US Marketshare Hits 30%, Tops Most Wanted, Huge Lead in Customer Satisfaction

Apple's iPhone has hit 30% marketshare in the US, according to ChangeWave. When laying out the current players, 4,225 consumers were surveyed, 39% of whom owned smartphones, and of those the top 3 answers were RIM's Blackberry down ever-so-slightly to 40%, the iPhone up 5% to hit that 30% mark, and Palm steady at 7%. As sibling-site PreCentral.net points out, Windows Mobile, Android, and Symbian weren't even included on the chart (does that mean the percentages were too low and unchanged to graph, Changewave?)

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Could 2GHz ARM Cortex A9 Chip be Future iPhone/iTablet Bound?

During ARM's Q3 financial results announced today, 9to5Mac noticed this little gem:

including a license for ARM’s 2GHz implementation of a dual core Cortex-A9 processor.

We've heard about the Cortex A9 before. Purportedly, is 5x faster than an intel Atom, yet uses the same amount of power in a 60% smaller packager.

Could this be for next year's iPhone? For a mythical (maybe even second generation) iTablet? We don't know, but 9to5mac speculates:

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Apple Ships Magic Mouse Software Update -- But Still No Magic Mouse

Apple has made Wireless Mouse Software Update 1.0 available for both OS X 10.5 Leopard and OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard users eager to add the new multi-touch Magic Mouse to their existing system -- when they become available. That's right, outside of buying one of the brand new iMacs Apple released last week (which include the mouse and the update), you won't find hide nor hair of the new Magic Mouse either at an Apple Retail Store or the Apple Online Store. They're still pending.

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Unofficial iPhone and iPod touch Sync Coming to Linux

While Apple made a Windows version of iTunes years ago, they still haven't seen fit to roll out any official syncing solution for our Linx friends. That leaves unofficial solutions, which according to Marcan's Abort, Retry, Hack? blog, are finally on their way:

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The Competition: Google Unveils Android 2.0 Eclair -- Target Set on Windows Mobile?

Google has just posted the above video tour of Android 2.0 Eclair, but does it look as yummy to you as its namesake? Android Central has already dished the specs, but it's nice to see them in motion and all official.

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Holiday Lineup Set, No More New Apple Products -- iTablet, iPod touch with Camera, Red iPhone, etc. -- This Year

Apple SVP of Marketing, Phil Schiller mentioned to Gizmodo's Brian Lam that, with last week's offerings, Apple's holiday product lineup was now complete. Translation: stop watching the Apple Online Store for down'age, take Tuesdays off, and cancel the campouts -- no more new Apple products this year. No iTablet, no iPod touch with camera, no red flipping iPhones.

Your wallets are now safe.

And the rumors for 2010 are just warming up...

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Apple Renovating Chicago Subway Station

Apple has come to an agreement with the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) in which they will spend 4 million dollars to renovate the run-down Red Line subway station on North and Clybourn in the city. This particular site just so happens to be across the street from the future Apple retail store on Halsted Street.

In return for the renovations, Apple is receiving first dibs on naming rights, first crack at advertising rights within the station, and a free long-term lease on an unused bus lane that is between the subway station and the Apple store that will be turned into a landscaped public park. All of this should be taking place no later than September 30th of 2010.

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