NAVIGON 2.0 Navigation App for iPhone

A couple of months ago, Garmin acquired Germany-based navigation provider NAVIGON to extend ther footprint in Europe and in the mobile applications space. Just like Garmin, these guys develop great products and we’re excited to work with their team.
Now, NAVIGON announced a broad overhaul of its popular iPhone navigation app that includes a couple of major improvements, so we wanted to make sure you’ll be able to check out the details.

Like Garmin’s StreetPilot OnBoard app, NAVIGON for iPhone is an onboard navigation app that saves the maps on the device to stay independent of cell phone coverage. This is really helpful when you lose your data connection, since you’ll still be able to navigate and calculate new routes. But it also means that you have to save large amounts of map data on your phone. NAVIGON 2.0 is the first onboard navigation app that solves this issue by allowing users to download maps by state. You can simply pick the maps you need and download additional ones at a later point (WIFI connection required).

Navigation systems have become more complex over the last years, so NAVIGON has also rethought the way the app interface is structured. As a result, the new version is more intuitive and easier to use than ever before. In addition, NAVIGON 2.0 also includes an in-app purchase option for quarterly map updates.

Watch the video below to see the new features in action.

Mixi’s new platform feature: "Apps for Touch"

We are happy to announce that a smart-phone platform has been launched on mixi Platform.

mixi Platform supports OpenSocial v0.8.1 and have executed applications for two devices “PC desktop” and “Japanese feature-phones” last year. The specification of our feature-phone platform has been proposed as the “OpenSocial WAP extension”, and this specification has been adopted by other platforms in Japan. If you would like to know more, please check the link below:

Recently, we have launched a new feature to mixi Platform. We call it “mixi apps for Touch”. The saturation level of smart-phones is currently increasing in Japan as many people already use the iPhone, and there are many release plans of smart-phones based on Android. Currently, 17 applications have already been launched as mixi apps for Touch, and these developers have attracted many users. The below image is the screenshot of one mixi application executed on the smart-phone. A single mixi application can support three devices — PCs, feature-phones and smrt-phones at same time.

Figure 1. Screenshots of mixi apps for Touch

Basically, mixi apps for Touch is a Web browser based application and is not a native iPhone/Android application which you download from an application market/store. Technically, the view name of mixi apps for Touch is “touch”, and the value of the type attribute is specified as “url”. This definition is written in gadget spec file with definitions for other devices. The below image is the architecture to describe mixi apps for Touch.

Figure 2. Architecture of mixi apps for Touch

The application is executed in the iframe placed on mixi’s page. One of mixi app’s features is that the domain in the iframe is not mixi’s domain, and is of the developer’s server. Therefore, application developers can generate the contents on his/her server similarly to developing a general web site.

Developers need the OpenSocial RESTful API to use social data, and a 2-legged OAuth is adopted to the authorization mechanism. On the other hand, when developers want to use APIs (invitation, posting activity, and etc) with a user-flow (need to show Popup window), a JavaScript file provided by mixi Platform is loaded by using a script tag. The function written in the script file calls the function which exists on the parent frame, and the user-flow will be executed. Of course, Payment and Ad programs are available for monetization (the Payment API is based on OpenSocial Virtual Currency API).

We believe that our platform will be able to bring OpenSocial more scaling to many devices. For more information, please visit our developer’s site “mixi Developer Center”.

For more information, please visit the mixi Developer Center.

Posted on behalf of Yoichiro Tanaka, mixi, Inc., by Mark Weitzel, President, OpenSocial Foundation