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Developer Interview: Navitel Navigator GPS Navigation App

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PhoneRPT interviewed the developers of Navitel GPS navigation app, who dedicate in bringing detailed maps of Eastern Europe and Russia, as well as great mobile navigation features.

What does the latest Navitel app bring?

Apart from such popular and well-known by our users services as “Navitel.Traffic”, “Dynamic POI”, “Live Weather”, the latest version of Navitel software Navitel Navigator 5 brings to its users other important features.

Navitel iPhone GPS navigation app

New free interactive service NAVITEL.EVENTS. This service allows users to mark and see on the map other users marks of the following types of road events: road accidents (with lanes segmentation), car crashes, road works (with lanes segmentation), other warnings, and also to mark at the map detected speed cameras.

All published marks can be commented with text messages. Events, published earlier, can be confirmed by other users or rejected, if they are not real.

Navitel.Events information is updated along with traffic jams data.

Marks automatically disappear three hours later after last event confirmation.

Intersections search: New function, available at address search, was added upon requests of Navitel Navigator users. With intersections search you can easily find on the map point of two different streets or roads crossing and make a route to it or see it at the navigation device display.

Navitel weather GPS navigation app

Night skin is updated. Now at night time information from navigator display can be read easier.

City districts display in address search. During street search under street name now you can also see district, where it is located.

More information in Navitel Dynamic POI. For example, while downloading additional information about fuel cost at gas stations, you can see last prices update date.

Pedestrian crossings in SPEEDCAM. Now pedestrian crossings are also included in dangerous road sections package. The driver needs to lower the speed and increase attention. At the moment new SPEEDCAM information with pedestrian crossings is available only for Kazakhstan citizens. Soon SPEEDCAM with pedestrian crossings will be also available for other countries’ citizens. As previously, Navitel users can create their own SPEEDCAM storage, now also with pedestrian crossings.

How is it different from your competitors?

Well, first of all, Navitel produces its own maps. We have our own geodesic crews working in different countries. That’s a key to have precise and detailed maps. Knowing that real professionals are doing their job makes us feel confident in our product.

The second difference, I would say, is that all our program updates are free and once you’ve bought Navitel Navigator with maps of certain region, you don’t need to pay for their updates.

Besides these advantages, Navitel Navigator has a simple, user-friendly interface, low price, and maps are highly detailed. For example, Navitel Navigator with 20 maps of Eastern Europe (some of the maps are not released yet) costs only US$63. That’s about US$3 for the detailed map of one country.

Also Navitel actively communicates with its users and takes into account their opinions and needs. We have a very popular forum on our website, around 15 000 visitors every day.

Navitel Events GPS navigation app

What platforms does the app currently support? Will you be developing it for any other operating systems?

Navitel Navigator currently supports Windows CE, Android, Windows Mobile, Symbian, iOS (iPhone/iPad), Bada OS and Java platforms.

We are planning to develop for Windows Phone 7, apart from that we have almost all popular mobile platforms.

How did Navitel get the idea for this app?

Navitel company was founded in 2006. In the early 2000s, in contrast to the western markets, automotive navigation industry wasn’t developed in Russia. Navitel was one of the first companies to explore this sector.

Our first products were navigation program engine and map of Russia. Five years ago Navitel was the first company in the Russian market to release full map of Russia. At that time iGO, Garmin, TomTom and other companies had only maps of Moscow and St Petersburg.

What can your users expect in future versions of Navitel app?

In 2012, Navitel is first of all planning to continue actively enter Western European and Near East markets and to release maps of other countries. In 2011 we exhibited in two international fairs: Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, and China Sourcing Fair: Electronics & Components in Hong Kong, where we met many new potential clients and partners from all over the world. Actually, in Hong Kong, we were the only exhibitor from Russia, though there were many Russian visitors.

Also, we are planning to have more new online services. At the end of 2011 we released new online service “Navitel.Events”, which is, as always, free for Navitel users. This service allows users to mark and see on the map other users’ marks of the following types of road events: road accidents (with lanes segmentation), car crashes, road works (with lanes segmentation), other warnings, and also to mark detected speed cameras at the map.

Navitel traffic GPS navigation app

In your opinion, what smartphone operating systems will rise and fall in the future?

The dominant platform for navigation systems is WinCE, because almost all the models of pocket navigation devices (PND) are built on it. For smartphones and PDA with GPS, Windows Mobile still remains the dominant platform due to the high popularity of these devices in the past, but market of the Android and iOS devices also grows rapidly. That’s why Symbian and Windows Mobile platforms will gradually fall in future.

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By , Editor-in-Chief, Johannesburg office

Published on Feb 6th, 2012 GMT +2

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