More GPS for Smartphones

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Two more signs that navigation is becoming an every-day feature on leading smartphones were seen at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain today.

First Microsoft appears to be embedding navigation with directions and zoom in/out views on its new Windows Phone 7 Series OS officially unveiled Monday.  The 7 Series phones will start shipping by the end of the year, said Microsoft.  The company didn’t provide further details on navigation but you can see a demo on some of the navi features here.

Second, Sony Ericsson apparently isn’t waiting for the 7 Series and will add turn-by-turn navigation to its new Windows Mobile-based Aspen smartphone by pre-loading it with Gokivo Navigator. The catch is users only get a 30-day free trial of Gokivo.  But Gokivo’s parent company TCS, stated the obvious:  “Consumers have come to expect turn-by-turn navigation on their mobile devices,” said Doug Antone, senior VP of TCS’ navigation and telematics group.

The news follows by a few weeks, Nokia’s announcement it will offer free turn-by-turn navi on its phones and by a few months’ Google’s revelation it will deliver free advanced turn-by-turn navi on smartphones including the Droid and Nexus One.

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