Verizon Wireless today launched of VZ Navigator 5.0, the newest version of its map, navigation and local search service. Powered by TeleCommunication Systems, Verizon Wireless' VZ Navigator Service now offers integration with roadside assistance and social networking allowing users to get help and let their friends know where they are.
Beginning today on select devices, VZ Navigator 5.0 will offer enhancements to the existing service that take advantage of location-based technology, including an updated, easy-to-use interface, improved functionality finding points of interest, and the ability to run multiple VZ Navigator functions simultaneously within a navigation session. The service is now integrated with Facebook, allowing users to keep up with their friends, family and social networks by updating their Facebook statuses directly through VZ Navigator, with the option to include and share their locations. Customers can also use Verizon Wireless? Roadside Assistance service to send their locations to a dispatcher so assistance may reach them more quickly.
Other new features now available with VZ Navigator 5.0 include:
* Improved Customer Experience ? No need to wait for the entire route to download before starting their voyage because data will now be streamed, causing display screens to populate more quickly
* Enhanced Points of Interest ? Access to premium places of interest with detailed descriptions, clearly branded by Map Icons
* Traffic Crowd Sourcing ? Opt-in to anonymously send real-time location and speed to the VZ Navigator traffic reporting service, allowing quicker notifications and improved accuracy for all VZ Navigator users
* Alerts for Other Road Attributes ? Graphic notifications for tunnels, U-turns, traffic circles and toll plazas
* ?Say it Mode? ? Select BlackBerry smartphones and Windows Mobile handsets allow customers to verbally search for and update destinations
Pricing and Availability
VZ Navigator 5.0 will roll out on select smartphones and handsets beginning today, including the BlackBerry Curve 8530 smartphone, LG enV TOUCH, HTC Touch Pro2 and Samsung Omnia. The service will be available on additional devices in the coming weeks. Current subscribers with VZ Navigator 5.0-capable devices will get a message the next time they launch the service, prompting them to upgrade to the new version. New VZ Navigator subscribers with select smartphones and handsets can download the service from Get It Now/Media Center and VZ Start or can add the feature through My Verizon.
VZ Navigator is available for $9.99 a month for unlimited access or $2.99 for a one-day/24-hour use on certain devices. The monthly charge includes continuous updates to maps and points of interest, unlike traditional navigation devices and navigation devices built into automobiles that require annual upgrades to remain accurate. Download charges vary and airtime or megabyte charges may apply when browsing, downloading and using certain applications.