The name says it all. Tell your Nav where to go and it listens. It’s accurate, it updates, and it’s the one thing you can count on to listen and respond. Not only that, customer service with Telenav is exceptional. Let’s take a ride with TeleNav and see what it does. I also have an announcement about TeleNav, OnMyWay, and a great new site they’re launching called Whereboutz, so keep reading!!!
First I’m going to go into some background of the company. TeleNav is a global leader in location-based GPS apps on a mobile device. They were one of the first to launch a GPS navigation app service on cellphones in North America. It is partnered with every major carrier and device manufacturer and it offers products in 29 countries and on 15 carriers and supports over 500 devices! Not bad at all seeing how that’s more than any other GPS navigation application.
So what does it do? Here’s the description from the TeleNav website:
TeleNav GPS Navigator provides voice and onscreen driving directions on mobile phones and smartphones. TeleNav GPS Navigator surpasses in-car and standalone GPS systems with features that include easy portability, millions of additional business listings, voice-activated directions, and free updates to maps and points of interest—all at a fraction of the price of standalone systems. TeleNav GPS Navigator is used for both personal and business purposes, helping individuals make the most of their leisure or work time.
****And hats off to TeleNav, they’ve just been selected as a finalist for the American Business Award, which is great, I had to share it with our readers! ***
TeleNav is also offered through BlackBerry App World. The service is $9.99 a month, and for that price it does a lot. If you go through App World you can download TeleNav with a 14 day free trial, but if you sign up online, you can try it for 30 days free.
From the BlackBerry App World, comes the following details of the newest update:
With the latest version of TeleNav GPS Navigator you can launch the navigation service directly from addresses in your email, address book or calendar, making navigation easy to start and use throughout the day.
And with advanced speech recognition you simply press one button to speak in the name of the business or address, allowing you to keep your hands on the wheel and your focus on the road.
Also new is the capability to schedule daily traffic commute alerts to help you decide when to get on the road to avoid traffic congestion, and for frequent travelers, TeleNav’s location-based weather feature provides current weather conditions as well as seven-day forecasts.
The major features are:
- Voice-guided turn-by-turn driving directions with street names
- Full-color 3D maps that move with you
- Automatic reroute in case you miss a turn
- Proactive traffic alerts with one-click rerouting—traffic is checked every five minutes
- Over 10 million business listings to locate and navigate to restaurants, ATMs, Wi-Fi hotspots and more—no more expensive 411 calls
- Online preplanning and an Internet browser plugin to easily save addresses from any Web page to your phone.
I downloaded and installed TeleNav v5.5 on my BlackBerry Tour 9630 with OS 5.0. I’m going to take you through all the features and my driving experience with TeleNav, but first I want to introduce you to My Telenav.
My TeleNav is the online dashboard you can access to plan roadtrips from your pc to synchronize with your mobile TeleNav application, but there’s more to it as well. You can update your information, add your contacts, add your home and work address, add categories, etc. This is a great way to have your friends and families and most often traveled spots in one easy spot. You sign in using your mobile number and your pin that you are given when you subscribe to TeleNav.
The TeleNav application opens and lets you register. After that everytime you open it, it displays the warning about being sure to operate the application in a safe manner and to obey all traffic laws and that you assume all risks and know it requires the use of your location information. After the warning the following window is displayed.
You see the battery life and bars. You also see the telenav name right in the top center blue bar. There’s a pic of a turn sign and a curved road for Drive To, the Blue Phone Book with a magnifying glass for Search, A Map and stoplight for Maps & Traffic, and a wrench and screwdriver for Share & More.
Drive To brings up a point you may have saved, My Favorites, Recent Places, Address, Intersection, City, Businesses, Airports, and Contact. You can resume driving if you stop somewhere, and there are so many uses . You can Sync With Website and see Received Addresses. Contact brings up all your contacts from your address book. If you click on Address, it will allow you to Type It or Speak It. You also have choices of Give Feedback, Help, and TeleNav home.
Search It allows Type It or Speak It. In Maps & Traffic, you can find your Current Location, My Favorites, Recent Places, Address, Intersection, City, Businesses, and Airports. It will actually show you the map. Here’s something else I love in Search! Type what you want, then click Category. In Category you have the following:
- Food/Coffee (Any, Most Popular, American, Bakery, BBQ, Burgers, Chines, Coffee, Deli, French, German, Ice Cream, Indian, Italian, Japanese, Mexican, Middle East, Pizza, Seafood, Steak House, Thai)
- Gas Stations
- Gas By Price (Any, Regular, Plus 89, Premium, and Diesel)
- WiFi Spots (yes, find your WiFi spots when you need them!)
- Parking Lots
- Hotels & Motels
- Movie Theaters
- Car Rentals
- Grocery Stores
- Department Stores
- Shopping Malls
- Post Offices
In Share & More, you can Share Address, you have My Stuff which contains My Favorites, Recent Places, Commute Alerts, and Sent Addresses. Weather has the location and the weather there, with the temp, what it looks like, what it feels like, the wind, and humidity and you can see the week forecast and change the location. Record Location allows you to record the location you’re at as a fave. Refer a Friend allows you to refer friends to TeleNav via a text message. Product Tour will show you about TeleNav and the basics. Preferences has General, Navigation, Navigation Audio, and Speech Input. In General you have your name, email, the Region, Language, Distance Units, Tips (always on or off), Connection, GPS Source, Exit after (minutes) which can be never as well, Init Volume, Map Colors, and Animation Effect. Navigation can be set for the Route Style (fastest by default), Avoid (HDV Lanes, Tolls, and Traffic Delays), Moving Maps (default is 3d), Backlight, and the Traffic Alerts. Navigation Audio has settings at Full Audio, Instructions Only, or No Audio and for my version there are two Guide tones. Sara by default or Santa Claus. Speech Input has Input Method of Speak in Directly or Call In, Address Input, Search Input, and the Convenience Key. About is where you can see your version, support info, your PIN Number, and a feedback survey.
So I click on the TeleNav app and I let the reminder come up. I’m going to the nearest Italian Bistro so I go to Search and I choose Speak It. It asks me where I would like to search, from my Current Location or Somewhere Else. It tells you how to do it. “When talking, press and hold the space key and wait for the beep”. This is if you don’t set a convenience key for TeleNav. You can set the convenience key to make it easier. It asks for the city and state if you ask for somewhere else. It then asks for the place. After a few tries it found it easily. Now I know the way there, and it told me how to get there and it tells me how far to go before turning left or right on what street. This is helpful especially to know what lane to be in. It also keeps checking for traffic. It told me when GPS was not available and when it was. The directions were straight on, and I purposely took another route and TeleNav notices quickly and reroutes right away. It’s accurate, convenient, and having everything in one app is nice. The map is convenient as well, so you can see streets and the layout.
For travel, it’s a necessity. Especially since for North America it includes the US, Canada, and Mexico. I would recommend this product to anyone who wants to keep their BlackBerry as an all in one. You can look up anything on it, know where you are, never feel lost. And while you might say you don’t need it, what about your spouse, your teen, your mother or father even? TeleNav can keep your loved ones on the road safely. And it’s even nicer that it integrates with your contacts from your Address Book. Don’t worry about going somewhere new, or your loved one. Don’t leave directions to chance, put the assurance of navigation in the very thing we’ve come to keep on us and rely on…our BlackBerry.
All in all, I find it to be outstanding. I like having everything on my BlackBerry, and only one device.
For reliability I give it a 5 star rating. Even to reroute and time it took to reroute. For the map, I love the 3d view. I also love the convenience of knowing which way I’m turning ahead of time. And with a free trial, what have you got to lose? You’ll find it as comforting as I do, especially when you’re going somewhere that is always under construction or you’ve never had the opportunity to visit before. I know that there are other Navigational applications, but for the cost and the accuracy, I feel secure knowing that even in the bigger city, it takes me where I need to be.
Pros: The device is accurate, tells you when GPS is unavailable, guides you, reroutes quickly, and directs you out of heavy traffic. It tells you ahead of time when you’ll be turning and in what direction in enough time away so you can be ready and in the right lane. The speaking into it is convenient, and the dashboard for you to enter information or to preplan a trip makes it extremely convenient and easy to use. I love the idea of knowing that no matter where I can go I can find the nearest gas station, cheapest gas, movies, restaurants, and grocery stores. That’s great when you’re traveling or visiting. I won’t miss my favorite foods no matter where I go. I also love their customer service. By email, phone, or by Twitter, I tested them all and they are quick to resolve any and all issues, answer questions, exceptional when it comes support.
Cons: Only a choice of two voices.
The voice is clear and audible and the GPS is right on. There wasn’t any estimations like I get with Google Maps from time to time. I’ve used other paid and free GPS navigational apps, but none were as accurate every time. I didn’t get lost and it redirected so quickly that I didn’t need to worry. I normally get aggravated driving in the city with traffic, but this application lets you know what’s going on in real time, and redirects you as best it can. And if you’re like me and sometimes get lost in a train of thought and miss that turn, no worries, you’ll be redirected to the next fastest route quickly and easily. Don’t sweat it, TeleNav.
***Since writing this, there were a few other things I wanted to point out about TeleNav that I just wanted to share, one BlackBerry related, the other is more Social Networking related. ***
TeleNav also has a free app in BlackBerry App World called OnMyWay which is an app that sends a text or email to let your loved ones, colleagues, and friends know when you’ll arrive at your destination. I included some pics of the application. Here’s the description from BlackBerry App World:
OnMyWay (OMW) allows you to notify one or more people of your estimated arrival time (ETA). Set the alert before you depart and recipients will be notified via SMS or email automatically as you near your destination or if you will be late for a meeting.
The other exciting thing that TeleNav has introduced is a brand new social networking site entitled Whereboutz. It’s somewhat like facebook and Twitter. The best thing is it’s completely private when you sign up by default which is nice. Especially since the privacy issue is a big concern lately. Here’s a pic of the screen. I signed up and it’s nice that it integrates with your TeleNav account if you have one, but also just knowing that your messages and updates are for your eyes and family and friends only.
By the way, sign up, try it out and leave your thoughts and feedback as to what you think for a chance to win a $500 Visa Gift Card. I’m trying to get all my friends and family over to it. I don’t do the games on facebook, and it would be nice to know that privacy is still valued.