Aug 18 AT 6:30 PM Taylor Wimberly 36 Comments

TomTom Android app coming before BlackBerry

TomTom recently launched their iPhone app and it looks like support for more mobile platforms is on the way.  Pocket-lint is reporting that TomTom has an Android app on their roadmap.  They recently spoke with Benoit Simery (a senior VP for TomTom) who had some interesting thoughts about our favorite mobile OS.

“We cannot ignore such a successful platform as Android. HTC is an important partner of ours and Android is becoming increasingly important too.”

It appears the relationship between Google and TomTom is growing.  Tele Atlas, who was taken over by TomTom in 2007,  recently signed a 5 year extension with Google to provide map data for Google Maps.  The agreement gives Tele Atlas access to updates and corrections made by the Google Maps community.  When you put the pieces together it looks like we might see a service similar to Waze.

When questioned about support for BlackBerry devices the TomTom VP responded, “I do not question the opportunity that RIM might offer but we know that a satnav device needs to have a large touchscreen and voice commands to be able to work for turn-by-turn navigation. We come from a PDA background and we know what will work.”  RIM has offered some touchscreen phones like the BlackBerry Storm, but the majority of their devices feature smaller QVGA displays.

When questioned about a possible TomTom phone, no comment was offered.  It will be interesting to see what they do with their rival Garmin about to launch an Android phone(made by Asus) later this year.

Check out this video of the iPhone version of TomTom to see what is in store for Android users.

Could TomTom be making an apperance on Android soon?

Could TomTom be making an apperance on Android soon?

[via Pocket-lint]

Taylor is the founder of Android and Me. He resides in Dallas and carries the Samsung Galaxy S 4 and HTC One as his daily devices. Ask him a question on Twitter or Google+ and he is likely to respond. | Ethics statement

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  • http://www.facebook.com/williamhester William

    This proves that Android is making significant progress in the smartphone market :D, but we already knew that.

  • omgjoz

    You know, I’ve seen some decent apps for nav on the market, but I think I’ll wait to purchase until I try this one out.

  • eclipse

    ? Um, what?

    The phone has a built in compass and GPS, full Google maps capability.

    What do I need a Tom Tom app for? Talk about missing the point!

    • maedox

      Yeah, try driving and following Google Maps directions at the same time. You even have to click next, next, next for every turn/intersection etc. It just doesn’t cut it. Though it shouldn’t take Google to much effort to make it usable for driving, it still needs a data connection. When driving abroad (some people actually do that you know) you don’t want to use any data.

    • Richy

      No i think YOU missed the point. Clearly you don’t do a lot of travelling/driving in complex cities.

      Also, for all those people who dont have unlimited data plans, it means you wont have to chew your way through the mb’s constantly streaming data for google maps.

    • marcusmaximus

      Real-time turn by turn navigation? You know, so it actually updates as you’re driving and speaks the next turn(along with guiding you onscreen, probably with a 3D interface)…

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  • Daniel

    eclipse: basically, for turn-by-turn navigation.

    AFAIK, no application that relies on Google Maps is allowed to provide such a service, which is also why even the official Maps for Android doesn’t do it.

  • Jonathan Lozinski

    @eclipse

    The reason you need something like Tom Tom is that you need something which *talks* you through the directions whilst driving. You don’t want to be reading through a google map list of directions whilst driving.

    Something which has a big arrow telling you where to go and says “In 100 yards turn left” is far safer and more useful than google maps.

    On top of that these apps very often have the map data stored locally, so if you’re network access is slow or unavaiable, it can still work out routes from the GPS and it’s own map data.

  • http://gl0rify.com Stefing

    Time to buy shares in companies that sell longer-life batteries for the G1 then! ;)

  • Morten

    Stefing: or just get a charger in your car…

    or better yet, a better android phone when the truly sweet models pop up.

  • personne

    TomTom wants to keep full featured GPS an expensive, proprietary solution, and the Googles and Apples are going along with it. Keep an eye on Open Street Maps, it is a community effort to provide completely free and reusable mapping data. Apologists who scoffs at community efforts aren’t realizing that the most detailed map info depends on community.

  • Franklin

    @eclipse:
    Those tools are pretty useless when we’re talking about real-time turn by turn navigation. I think you’re the one missing the point.

  • eclipse

    So…

    Apparently I am the only Android user capable of reading a map and remembering a few directions?

    I’ve been using a GPS for a looong time, and frankly I’ve never “gotten” the need for a random voice to be telling me where to turn next. I need the GPS to tell me where I >am< and where I need to be is in relation to that.

    All a part of the "do for me" paradigm of people today – same reason we make cars that crush around you and are "survivable" instead of teaching people to avoid the accident to start with.

    Yes – the Google services need data, yes roaming internationally is expensive. For most users of the device, this is not part of the argument.

    • JD

      “All a part of the “do for me” paradigm of people today — same reason we make cars that crush around you and are “survivable” instead of teaching people to avoid the accident to start with.”

      It’s to protect people from d bags who are staring down at their phone reading directions.

      • mapin

        LOL JD, I second that.

    • Franklin

      Clearly, you are still missing the point. Google Maps does not update your route if you drive the wrong way. Google Maps does not update your route if there’s a traffic jam ahead. If you have to be downtown in some relatively big city you don’t know, I would be amazed if you could find your way by just memorizing the route beforehand if it includes numerous turns and one-way streets. Its too dangerous to keep your Android device in your hand while driving, so voice directions are very useful.

      Surely most people can read a map and remember some directions, and turn-by-turn navigation is not needed to replace that. I am very happy for you that you think that you can do everything yourself, but turn-by-turn navigation has simply proven its usefulness. Period. No discussion possible.

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  • foebea

    would happily pay a hundred bucks for this app :D I have used tomtom since 2k3 or 4 on my pocket pc.

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