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Preloaded 'instant' maps go up against Google Maps

HTC smartphones gain TomTom maps for free

Taiwanese smartphone giant HTC and Dutch navigation experts TomTom have announced a collaboration to provide faster and more accurate maps for HTC smartphone owners.

A new service called HTC Locations offers maps and navigation functionality similar to the Android standard Google Maps, but with maps stored on the device they’re always ready to appear regardless of data connection, a common criticism of Google maps. 

"I am very pleased to be providing HTC customers with TomTom’s accurate location and navigation content on their phones wherever they are," said TomTom licensing boss Maarten van Gool. 

"The beauty of it is that the maps are preloaded and instantly available at users’ fingertips. For the first time, this makes the power of TomTom navigation content available ‘in-pocket’ for HTC smartphone users."

Turn-by-turn navigation, however, will remain a commercial feature which needs to be bought and downloaded through the HTC Sync application. Even without turn-by-turn features, offline maps look set to be a software feature HTC uses to differentiate from a growing range of rival Android smartphones.

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