App developer launches free navigation software for iPhone, and won't charge for updates

German firm looks to take down GPS market

Berlin based developer Skobbler has launched an app of the same name, providing free sat nav which updates for no extra charge, through an alliance with OpenStreetMap.

The firm is positioning its software in direct competition to the GPS hardware market as well as similar mobile phone apps, claiming it will ‘make expensive sat nav and costly, out of date map updates a thing of the past.’

Much of the mapping updates are open source, through the partnership with OpenStreetMap. While Skobbler insists the 250,000 users claimed to be actively involved in updating information worldwide will provide the most up to date system available, its own term ‘the Wikipedia of maps’ may strike alarm bells with users worried about reliability and proper accreditation.

The software is available for free in the UK now, or for £1.19 without ads and with speed camera alerts. It is currently sitting on top of the US navigation iPhone app charts, and could pave the way for more no-cost navigation software releases – potentially causing a big problem for the existing GPS software and hardware market.

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