The first time we talked about the iBeacon technology was in November when it was announced that Macy's would be using the tech to guide shoppers around its stores. iBeacon technology uses Bluetooth Low Energy to connect the stores to shoppers depending on where they are in the retail store via an app on a smartphone.
Microsoft has released Bing Maps Preview for Windows 8.1, its Google Maps-rivaling navigation app with over seventy high-res 3D cities, Skype and OpenTable integration, street-level photography, and Live Tile support. The new app, hitting the Windows Store today, introduces a new 3D graphics engine which Microsoft says delivers more realistic visuals across a wide range of angles.
Sygic: GPS Navigation, the offline nav-and-map app for iOS and Android, has added some new third-party integrations for discovering nearby deals and parking options. Already glutted with online and offline additions over the course of the company's decade-long history, the freemium Sygic app competes with Nokia HERE Drive, the offline nav-and-map app for Lumia devices. A ParkMe addition brings the older Sygic app back into parity with the Nokia app.
The 2013-2014 Honda Accord and 2013 Acura RDX and ILX are getting the Siri treatment, Honda has announced. Starting now, new and existing customers can visit a Honda dealer for a software upgrade to their on-board HondaLink and AcuraLink systems to integrate Apple's Siri Eyes Free mode. The announcement was made this afternoon on Honda's website.
Google has been adding some interesting new features to its Street View imagery for a while now. Early on Street View allowed you to see the streets you would be driving in certain areas. Google has expanded the service to allow you to explore areas you may not ever get to see in person.
Your device will now give you driving directions in the voice of superstar comedian Kevin Hart. "Watch out!" snaps Hart in a promo video posted this week by Waze, "Animal on shoulder ahead!" The comedian's voice will be available on devices running the social navigation and traffic monitoring app, as well as other celebrities as time goes on.
Real-time crowd-based navigation, traffic monitoring, weather conditions, and incident reporting has come to Windows Phone in the person of Waze. The Google-owned app showed up in the Windows Phone Store today. This rounds out Waze's device support for all of the major mobile operating systems.
Garmin has announced a new navigation core aimed directly at automotive manufactures. The new navigation core is called Gemini and is designed to allow for more realistic 3D graphics on in-dash navigation systems offered by auto manufacturers. Garmin says that Gemini will bring a more intuitive and feature-rich in-dash navigation experience to drivers than previously available.
MapQuest is one of the mapping companies that has been around for a long time. MapQuest has announced that it has completely redesigned its mobile nav app for Android and iOS 7 users with new features. The new MapQuest mobile app has customizable category buttons making it easy to find business close by.
Those of you who have found the new Google Maps lacking may have reason to give it another chance. Starting today, Google will be rolling out a variety of new (and new-old) features designed to increase functionality within the desktop version of the searchable map service. For starters, Pegman for street view is back.
Automotive manufacturers are rushing to include more and more technology inside vehicles to help keep drivers connected and going in the right direction. While some criticized modern vehicle infotainment systems as being a distraction, it's not stopping automotive manufacturers from cramming more and more tech inside the vehicles. Hyundai and Kia have announced that they intend to be the world's first automakers to use Android-based navigation systems in future models.