We have exciting news to tell. But first things first.

From yesterday on the latest version of our apps GPS Navigation for iOS and GPS Navigation & Maps for Android are available in iTunes App Store and Google Play Store. Those of you who already updated the app might have noticed some changes: The apps’ names have been changed and are now including a reference saying “by Scout”. The app icons look a bit different, too. This rebranding is related to our acquisition by Telenav, whose navigation apps are called Scout. We are happy to announce that our apps are now a proud part of Telenav’s global Scout product line! And don’t worry – even though it’s called “by Scout” now – it’s still your well-proven skobbler app. This won’t change anything for you.

Whereas there will be major changes at Telenav these days. Telenav announced their switch to OSM yesterday. The mapping data used for Scout GPS apps for iOS and Android will very soon be based on the OpenStreetMap, as it is true for our apps.  The fact that an important developer of navigation apps is so deeply convinced of OSM’s high potential will certainly boost this crowdsourcing project!

Those of you who want to find out more about Telenav’s moving to OSM can do so by reading their press relase as well as following the media coverage, for example in the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times or on TechCrunch.

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Besides our offline maps, we are offering various voice packages as in-app purchases available in the GPS Navigation app’s upgrade section. Those “Funny Voices” make your car ride even more entertaining and enjoyable.

Still, as our support team reports, there are many complaints about the special voices not being audible after buying them. Today we want to get to the bottom of this problem:

First of all, just buying the voice isn’t enough. You need to download or rather install the voice afterwards. To do so please enter the main menu > “My downloads” > “My Voices” > tap on the voice you want to download and then on the “Download” button in the right hand corner. The voice is being installed now.

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There is one more step to go. To be able to switch between the voices, also when you have installed several of them, you have to enter the main menu’s settings again. There you tap on “Language” and scroll down to the bottom of the screen where the additional voices are listed. Choose the desired voice and you are ready to go.

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We hope this tip of the week will be helpful for some of you. In case you have any further problems or questions feel free to get in touch with our support team via e-mail at support@skobbler.com. They will be happy to help you!

Yes, it took us some time. But our iOS Update is finally here. From now on the latest version 5.1 of our GPS Navigation is available in the App Store (search for “skobbler” on iTunes).

What’s new in this version? It contains some pretty nice improvements:

  • The user interface has been optimized and is even more clear and intuitive now.
  • The map detail has been improved and is now also including house numbers.
  • The enhanced audio output options (via Bluetooth and Audio over USB) make it easier to integrate the GPS Navigation into your car.
  • The bike navigation mode has been improved.
  • The integration of Foursquare allows you to find POI (e.g. restaurants, shops or sightseeing spots) in your surroundings. You can check other users’ rating and decide where to go. Our app shows you how to get there.
  • Last but not least: We have applied the latest OSM map data to keep our GPS Navigation up-to-date.

We hope that you will like the app’s new version and would be very glad if you decided to leave a positive rating in the App Store. In case of questions, problems or suggestions, please contact our support via e-mail (support@skobbler.com).

By the way, we are currently working on an Android update, too. We would like to ask our Android users for a little more patience – it will be available soon. We´ll keep you posted!

For the latest news please also check out our social media channels. Become a fan on Facebook or follow us on Twitter and Google+!

Thanks for using skobbler.

Your skobbler team

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The Best of OpenStreetMap (Thus Far)

by Karoline on March 18, 2014

The OpenStreetMap is awesome.

From its hyperlocal detail to its catchy aesthetic, OpenStreetMap has single-handedly (with the help of the help of the thousands of contributions by map enthusiasts from around the world) raised the bar on what a map should, and can be.

So with that in mind, we just wanted to take a quick blogging second to go through some of the best aspects, uses and moments in OpenStreetMap history, thus far.

Malleability and Detail

We have said it before, and we’ll say it again, but one of the central tenants that makes OSM stand out when compared to other mapping services is not only the speed at which it evolves, but its detail.

A map is more than just roads and a compass rose. It involves everything from tree lines to ski runs. The great thing about OpenStreetMap is that it can be as detailed as users want to make it (as is on display here, for you Winter Olympics fans), which means it is arguably the most dynamic and adaptable map around. Meaning, it is a major success in the world of maps.

Mapping When It Matters Most

Another great aspect of the OpenStreetMap is its propensity for lending unique mapping insights and up-to-date information in times of need. In 2010, when Haiti was rocked by one of the most infamous earthquakes in history, maps of its terrain were rudimentary, meager and out of date, making rescue and recovery efforts incredibly challenging.

However, thanks to the dedication and know-how of map enthusiasts from around the world, OpenStreetMap was able to revamp Haiti’s map-scape in a matter of days, providing a more current and accessible map for rescue workers to reference.

Edits by the Masses

It’s hard enough to get two people to work together sometimes. So trying to get 1.5 million people (and growing) together to work on something is almost unfathomable.

That was until OpenStreetMap eclipsed that user threshold. The world is an ever evolving place, which is certainly easier to navigate sometimes with the help of those around you. Now sure, some cynics may say this is a romantic concept, but the fact is that OpenStreetMap with all of its users and voluntary contributors proves that this is not only the case, but an incredibly efficient and effective one as well.

Last week we released a small GPS Navigation & Maps update (including Foursquare and Tripadvisor integration, new map material and many more improvements) for our Android users.

Unfortunately, some of you had had problems with the update and the app kept crashing. For all those impacted by this we have good news: the problem is fixed and today’s newly updated version should be working again just fine.

Still having problems? Feel free to contact our support team via mail – support@skobbler.com – they’ll be happy to help you.

New Year, More Apps

by Karoline on February 24, 2014

Apps are our thing.

Yet, despite a particular fondness for those of the mapping and navigation variety, apps from around the ecosystem peak our interest in a special, geeky, way.

Here are few apps that are making headlines in the New Year that are both blazing new trails or redefining old ones, outside of the mapping and navigation sphere.

Facebook’s Paper

Always surrounded by buzz, Facebook recently released its new app Paper, and people are taking notice. Paper revamps Facebook’s traditional single News Feed, by breaking it into several sections that feature topics like Planet, Tech or just good old-fashioned Headlines that users can scroll through horizontally. Not only does Paper give Facebook a different aesthetic appeal, but also further diversifies the site as it tries to become more than just a “friends” site.

Vinted

A wise person once said, “one person’s trash may be another person’s treasure.” Vinted puts that theory to the test by allowing users to turn their old, no longer in use clothing into cold hard cash. Have a sweater that you’re not a big fan of anymore? Just snap a picture, post it alongside a description and find that perfect new buyer. Mobile commerce will never be the same, and your wardrobe may not be either.

SwiftKey

While a seasoned Android pro, SwiftKey made its long anticipated iOS debut in January, giving many beleaguered fat fingered typists (many of us included) a sense of relief. SwiftKey is pretty savvy with its typing forethought that makes taking notes or just fiddling around with the key board a cinch. Granted SwiftKey has its limitations given Apple’s third-party keyboard restrictions, but at long last typing on iOS back a little more of a breeze.

We are very excited to announce that skobbler and Telenav have joined forces today. As one team, we will continue to strive for the best products and technology made for and based on OpenStreetMap (OSM). We will eventually post more information here.

For now, allow us to point you to OSM founder and fellow Telenav employee Steve Coast for his view on the acquisition and why it makes a lot of sense.

2014: The Year for Travel?

by Karoline on January 21, 2014

Another year of travel and adventure has come to an end, but luckily that means another new one has just begun. People from around the world love to get out and about and travel to new places or old ones (take the US for example, where over 94.5 million Americans were expected to travel more than 50 miles from their home in order to ring in the holiday season), so with that in mind we wanted to share some of the lesser known destinations travel lovers should keep in mind when planning their 2014 trips.

Manaus, Brazil

Amidst some of the world’s most treacherous jungle terrain, Manaus has a little bit of everything when it comes to travel (outside of cold weather). From great shops to architecture (check out the Manaus Opera House), Manaus is literally an urban oasis that has something to offer even the most docile of travelers. In addition, that fact that it will play host to a few World Cup matches this summer doesn’t hurt either.

Yosemite National Park

Looking to get in touch with nature during your 2014 travels? Then Yosemite National Park may be for you. Slightly “off the beaten path” (which is awesome if you ask us), Yosemite offers some of the best trails, wildlife and landscape all-in-one. Furthermore, Yosemite National Park will be celebrating the 150 year anniversary of the signing of the Yosemite Grant by Abraham Lincoln, which set aside the park for preservation (the first area of land to be marked as such), so history buffs may find the park to their liking as well.

Riga, Latvia

One of the lesser known European cities for travelers, Riga is a cultural hot spot situated right in the middle of the Baltic Rim. From its towering cathedrals to its historic city center (which is a World Heritage Site), Riga offers visitors old world charm without the price tag of Amsterdam or Paris (not to mention some pretty great views).

skobbler’s Must Have Holiday Gifts

by Karoline on December 20, 2013

The holidays are finally here, and with it, the gifts.

Now sure there are a lot of great things about the holidays (family, friends, great food), but the gifts definitely give the holiday season a little bit of an added boost. And no matter if you are looking to add one final gadget to your personal wish list, or looking for that last minute item for the tech lover in your life, here are some of this year’s holiday season must-haves (or at least we think so).

Pebble

Smartwatches may still be relatively new, but with the category becoming more and more popular every day, there is arguably no better way to become a smartwatch trend setter than with the Pebble. Simple and sleek, the Pebble is a great compliment to any user’s mobile life. For example, tired of walking into people while checking texts? The Pebble brings your texts right to your wrist letting you stay focused on your route as opposed to that person you just bumped into. Want to switch songs quickly? The Pebble has you covered. Sure, the Pebble is still building out its “iOS-ness,” but with its awesome customization possibilities and straight-forward functionality, this one may be a must have for any watch (or tech) lover.

Fitbit Flex

Getting out and about can take some effort sometimes, and there is no better way to stay on top of your health than with a Fitbit Flex. Health never sleeps or takes a day off, and the Fitbit Flex helps users keep track of their hard burned calories (steps and sleep cycle for that matter) in a comfortable, lightweight wristband that syncs wirelessly with your device (and is great on battery). The wristband may not be as fashion forward as the Pebble, but it certainly provides that accurate information any health nut or outdoors type craves.

Google Chromecast

Streaming is all the rage, and Chromecast lets you get in on the action in a pint-sized way by allowing you to stream some of your favorite videos right to your television screen. The service does have some limitations when compared to competitors like Apple TV, but with such smooth integration capabilities and easy set-up, Chromecast is basically a budget-friendly streaming rock star.

Yes, we’re aware that an update of our iOS navigation app has been long overdue. But as you know, we really want to make sure that we provide you with an awesome and comprehensive update in the end, so these things take a little time. And with that in mind, we are pleased to introduce GPS Navigation, at last (which we hope will compensate for the latency at least a little bit).

From now on the new GPS Navigation 5.0 is available in the App Store – for all existing GPS Navigation users as a free update.

So what’s new? Well, from a visual perspective it’s basically a brand new app. And from a functionality standpoint, GPS Navigation also boasts a brand new map engine, NGx. What is it? In short, NGx allows you to zoom in and out and turn the map without any juddering or reloading (we absolutely recommend you try it out and let us know what you think).

Apart from the new design and engine, and the latest OSM map data and iOS 7 adaptations, there are some other great features we don’t want to keep from you:

  • Different map styles (Day, Night, Outdoor – suitable map look in any situation)
  • Street names as pop-ups during navigation (which looks way nicer and clearer)
  • Alternative routes (You choose the route you want to take before starting the navigation)
  • Avoid high ways and ferries (YES, finally)
  • Integrated Wikitravel guide (So when you’re abroad you not only have an offline map in your pocket but also an intuitive travel guide to find out interesting stuff about your destination while sightseeing)
  • TripAdvisor Local Search (Which Italian restaurant has the best ratings in your vicinity?)

In the end, we hope that we have fulfilled many of your wishes, as our goal was to provide you with a functional and good-looking package containing navigation, worldwide map material and a travel guide that can help you head-out and take on the world in (almost) anyway you deem fit.

Last but not least, here are a few pictures to underline everything that has been written:

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We hope you like the update and are looking forward to your feedback.

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