GeoLife has released the free Navfree turn by turn navigation application for Apple devices. The Navmii application had previously cost £19.99.
Navfree is by all accounts a fully featured turn-by-turn navigation application and utilised maps from OpenStreetMap which are downloaded as part of the application so no Internet streaming is required. OpenStreetMap has been called the Wikipedia of maps and by using these maps GeoLife is promising free map updates for live.
OpenStreetMap is an open source mapping system that was created by over 250,000+ users and as such the map data is free to use. As the maps are open and rely on users creating and updating them there will be a chance that some of the maps are incorrect or missing all together, especially in more rural areas.
However a great many areas are covered with detail at least as equivalent to commercial provides and users are able to contribute to the maps project by using one of the freely available map editors or by using Navfree’s inbuilt map report tool.
While the application doesn’t need a data connection to stream maps it does in order to search for addresses. Google Local and Microsoft Bing search features are also built-in as well as iPod music library access from the map screen.
"With your help OpenStreetMap can be the most accurate street map in the world," said GeoLife in a release.
While the application is free the company will be offering optional "premium content" which can be purchased within the application. Examples of these being Safety Camera data, traffic information and an upgrade to commercial maps from Teleatlas.
GeoLife also said that an Android version would be coming "soon". iPhone and iPad owners can head over to this page on the iTunes store to download Navfree.