Developer Spotlight: NAVIGON's Bernd, Andreas, Eva, Bernd, Christian, Andreas, Andrej

Developer Spotlight: NAVIGONTiPb's developer spotlights are like DVD/iTunes Extras for the App Store -- a weekly look behind the scenes at the programers and designers that bring you the iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad apps and games you love. This week Rene talks with the team at NAVIGON.

What are your names Bernd, Andreas, Eva, Bernd, Christian, Andreas, Andrej

What company are you all with? NAVIGON

Where are you located? Wuerzburg, Germany

And on the web?

What's your Twitter name? @NAVIGON_US

What apps do you make? NAVIGON MobileNavigator, help2park

What apps, other than your own, are currently among your favorites? Shazam, WeatherPro, IMDB, Tiny Wings

How long have you been a developer? NAVIGON was founded in 1991 and this year we celebrate our 20th anniversary. We've developed many industry firsts, including the first navigation system for Pocket PC, the first dynamic traffic information service, and the first realistic display of highway interchanges and exits (Reality View), among many other features.

How long have you been an iOS developer? We started developing for iOS in 2009.

Do you develop for any other platform in addition to iOS? If so, which one(s)? NAVIGON develops navigation solutions for most major smartphone platforms, including Android, Windows Phone 7, Bada, Windows Mobile, and Symbian.

What primary computer setup do you use for your iOS development? Our iOS team mainly uses various iMacs and MacBook Pros. A Mac Pro serves as our buildserver.

What iOS device(s) do you personally use most often? We mostly use the iPhone 4 and iPad 2.

What mobile devices, other than iOS, do you currently use? We use 99.9% iOS devices.

What's your favorite thing about developing for iOS? The SDK is very thought through and intuitive. Also, the overall structure of iOS and the App Store environment is very stable and reliable.

What's your least favorite thing about developing for iOS? We partially miss API access to system functions.

What feature would you most like Apple to add to the iOS 5 SDK? We would like to see the integration of app content into the spotlight search. Since most content is saved within apps, this would make it much easier to find stuff. We would also really like to be able to only partially update our app with smaller changes like bug fixes, for example. Right now, users always need to download the full application no matter how big the update is. It would be great if iOS 5 would allow us to push out smaller updates, so our users only have to download the data that has been changed and not the full application.

What feature would you most like Apple to add to the App Store? We would love to be able to respond to user reviews or to have the option to get in touch with our app users. This would allow us to provide assistance and clarify misunderstandings.

If we were to eavesdrop on you while you were coding, what curse word would we hear you use the most? We sometimes hear a German word starting with "sch." ;-)

What do you do when you're not coding iOS apps? There's not much time left... Other than working on NAVIGON's iOS apps, we enjoy spending time with friends and travelling.

What should we look for from you next? We are working on some major additions for our MobileNavigator app for this summer. This will include some amazing surprises, stay tuned!

We would also like to point out that only those who have our latest version (1.8 or 1.8.1) are eligible to take advantage of the benefits in the next version, so we encourage everyone to update their MobileNavigator app. We will also roll-out a couple of new free single-feature apps, similar to help2park but with different functionalities.

Thanks Bernd, Andreas, Eva, Bernd, Christian, Andreas, Andrej and team NAVIGON!

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Rene Ritchie

EiC of iMore, EP of Mobile Nations, Apple analyst, co-host of Debug, Iterate, Vector, Review, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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Reader comments

Developer Spotlight: NAVIGON's Bernd, Andreas, Eva, Bernd, Christian, Andreas, Andrej


It is a really PITA the way apple handles updates, I've had a navigon update for a month because i rarely connect it to itunes and takes forever on wifi..

Ask them when they're going to fix the problem of the MobileNavigator app waiting until I arrive at my destination to tell me which side of the street my destination is on?
I can't tell you how many times I've had to go past my destination and turn around because I didn't know what side of the street it was on until it was too late.
This is a major flaw int he app. If my destination is in an office building, where there is absolutely no signage, I NEED TO KNOW the side of the street well in advance. This needs to be fixed as soon as possible. I currently give the app one star and a very poor recommendation. If you fix this, I'll raise my iTunes review to 5 stars.

When are you guys going to fix the issue in the ipad/iphone version where you are navigating in heads up mode, but when you click the screen to pan it forces you to go into north up mode? I've emailed your tech team several times about it but it's still broken in this regard. Otherwise great program, I have purchased the stand alone version and also have the traffic updates purchased. Please please fix this!!

US version might be okay. In Australia they've chosen to use a cheap version of mapping, that no other major navigation company uses, and the results are awful. The company can't be doing to well if they can't afford decent maps, it's not like their app is cheap!

Overall Navigon is a pretty good App. However, I have noticed that the iPhone 4 (Verizon) continually drops the GPS signal for a second every 15-30 seconds. This does not happen with other Apps on the same phone and in the same vacinity. When using Navigon with an iPad or iPod and an external GPS, there is not problem either. There must be an issue with the Navigon software communicating or loosing communication with the the GPS chip.

A few weeks ago I noticed that the checkered destination flag that appears in the bottom status line contains a teeny arrow pointing left or right depending on which side your destination is on. With good eyesite, you can see it before you actually reach your destination.
Hope this helps,