ALK launches CoPilot Live v8 GPS Navigation for smartphones

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ALK Technologies, a mobile navigation software provider, has launched CoPilot Live v8 GPS navigation for smartphones, designed to make turn-by-turn voice-guided satellite navigation technology more accessible, portable and affordable for owners of Windows Mobile or Android-based phones. The company says CoPilot Live v8 takes full advantage of today’s GPS-enabled touchscreen phones to deliver the same level of performance as a standalone navigation system, with intuitive and fluid menus, advanced guidance features and an array of useful Live information services.

Key features in CoPilot Live v8, according to ALK, include:

  • Enhanced Guidance: v8’s Turn-after-Turn display shows your next turn and the one after, while variable map zoom automatically adjusts the map display depending on your speed. CoPilot also can provide continuous guidance when you lose a GPS signal in a tunnel;
  • Easier to Use: v8’s redesigned menus, shortcut button and simple user interface provide 100 percent finger-touch operation, flickable lists and fluid sliding maps. There’s no need for a stylus;
  • Flexible Map Display: Automatic or manual switching between portrait to landscape mode. You also can adjust the size of the map at the touch of a button using an onscreen map control;
  • Improved Destination Entry: Navigate to a house, ZIP code, cross street, GPS coordinate or even a geotagged photograph. “My Places” feature provides easy access to favorite destinations, home and work;
  • The Latest Voice Technology: CoPilot Live v8 includes improved prerecorded voices, providing clear spoken directions at each turn. Optionally available, Text to Speech Voice Guidance pronounces full street names, while CoPilot Command voice recognition allow hands-free operation of the main controls hands-free;
  • Full-featured Walking Mode: Turn-by-turn directions to find the way around a town or city on foot, with pedestrian-specific routing, onscreen compass and directions along footpaths;
  • Phone Integration: Allows direct dialling to POIs, location sending via text and photo navigation; and
  • CoPilot Central 2.0 PC Software: Available as a free download, Central 2.0 is the easiest way to check for software updates, buy additional maps and premium content. You also can use CoPilot Central 2.0 to import POI databases or import/export trips in KML file format for use with other programs.
  • ALK says that as with previous versions of CoPilot Live, v8 provides useful “Live” services designed to make journeys more predictable. Delivered via a phone’s mobile Internet connection, the range of services available, according to the company, now has been extended to include:

  • Live Local Search: Integrated access to location-specific Internet search to find nearby products and services quickly, such as a nearby coffee shop, business or a restaurant;
  • Live Traffic information: High-quality, constantly updated traffic information about your route with automatic warnings and rerouting;
  • Live Weather: Check the conditions on your route, at your destination or in your current location;
  • Live Fuel Prices: CoPilot Live v8 can guide you to the closest — or the cheapest — gas station near your current location instantly; and
  • CoPilot LiveLink: Location sharing allows you to view the location of your CoPilot friends onscreen or online and share your location with them.
  • ALK says CoPilot Live v8 includes detailed maps and Points of Interest from the world’s leading map suppliers; maps are stored locally on the phone, not downloaded each trip, removing reliance on mobile Internet connectivity for navigation. A new service in v8, CoPilot OnDemand, is designed to enable customers to buy extra maps online and download them directly to their phones via mobile Internet, WiFi.

    “CoPilot Live v8 provides an unrivalled satellite navigation experience for smartphone users,” says Michael Kornhauser, vice president and managing director of Princeton, N.J.-based ALK Technologies’ CoPilot division. “With CoPilot’s sophisticated navigation features, useful Live services and affordable pricing, the gap between smartphone navigation and dedicated systems has now been firmly closed.”

    CoPilot Live v8 initially is available for Windows Mobile and Android-based smartphones. It can be purchased and downloaded immediately from or Android Market. CoPilot Live v8 also has been approved by Apple for iPhone 3G and 3Gs in Europe, and is expected to launch via iPhone App Store in North America shortly.