Reports from Japan indicate that Sony are looking at more than just mobile phone handsets in terms of utilising Google’s open source operating system, Android.
Rumours of an Android based Walkman and also a personal navigation device (PND) are true, according to an analyst speaking to Japan’s Nikkan and should hit the market next year.
The thought of two of the biggest tech institutions teaming up may seem terrifying for some but it could be great news for consumers. With Sony already attempting to connect the user experience between its existing products, the possibilities when you throw Android into that mix could be monumental.
The forces of Navman and Mio have united to form the imaginatively titled company known as Mio Navman. Well, it could have been Navman Mio, couldn’t it? Whichever way around, this personal navigation device conglomerate has launched a range known as the Navman Spirit.
We’re looking at three core models with a few variations in between but essentially, we’re talking about the 3.5-inch Spirit 300, the 4.7-inch Spirit 500 and the 4.7-inch ultra thin Spirit Flat. Each comes with a GPS link to the ATIS traffic service to keep you warned of any hotspots as they happen and your route guidance will adjust accordingly.
You get Trumap views, meaning there’s more of a 3D angle on the display for a more obvious look at the road; NavPix photo navigation using images uploaded to the system by the community and they’ve added a walking mode too.
One of the nicer new touches is the Explore mode which lets you take a quick look at what attractions are in your local area and the larger models feature a Google search. It works by Bluetooth with your mobile and using whatever data services your phone can manage – tethering, basically but you only get that with the Spirit 500 and upwards.
The most important improvement for me, though, is the touchscreens which actually work this time around. They’re smooth, effortless and you can change between the Spirit Slide Touch or button press only.
They’re all out this month, starting from approx £120, but the real gem of the show was the Navman V735 prototype that they saved till last. Take a look…
And, yes, that does mean it’ll pick up all 36 Freeview channels.
Mio Navman Store
One of the themes at this year’s 3GSM show in Barcelona was mobile navigation, buoyed by the fact that GPS is making its way into mobile phones, along with the mapping and applications to make use of it. Naturally, every company in this area reckons mobile navigation’s going to be huge.