GPS Provider Nav4All Shut Down by Navteq for Good

By Adam Zeis on 29 Jan 2010 09:22 am EST
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NAv4All

It looks like former GPS great Nav4All will be calling it quits for good in just a few days. In an email sent to all 27,625,631 customers, Nav4All stated that their contract with Navteq was not extended and that they will be shutting down completly. Apparently they had trouble coming to terms with the Nokia subsidiary, and since finding another source in such a short time isn't really an option, that was that. In their email, Nav4All stated:

We greatly regret the fact that we have to suspend the operation of our service. With your help, we have developed Nav4All into a global product with 27.5 million users in 56 languages, in 5 years. This has made Nav4All the largest navigation supplier. This large number of users also has to do with the fact that Nav4All works on hundreds of ifferent mobile telephones of many makes such as Blackberry, Sony ricsson, Samsung, Motorola, Android, HTC, Nokia, LG, Iphone, Ipod etc. 

We're definitely sorry to see this happen, but so it goes in the technology circle of life. If any current customers have questions or need more information, you can head to nav4all.com/support. Check out the full email after the jump.

Letter to 27,625,631 Nav4All navigation customers

Dear Customers,

It is with the deepest regret that we hereby notify you that the global navigation of Nav4All and the Tracking & Tracing will go offline in 3 days. The reason for the same is that the data licence agreement with Navteq (a 100% Nokia subsidiary) was not extended, in a totally unexpected manner. It is not possible to implement data from another supplier in our Nav4All systems within the short term. The Nav4All navigation system was developed for Navteq data. Nav4All has therefore been constrained to stop.

We greatly regret the fact that we have to suspend the operation of our service. With your help, we have developed Nav4All into a global product with 27.5 million users in 56 languages, in 5 years. This has made Nav4All the largest navigation supplier. This large number of users also has to do with the fact that Nav4All works on hundreds of different mobile telephones of many makes such as Blackberry, Sony Ericsson, Samsung, Motorola, Android, HTC, Nokia, LG, Iphone, Ipod etc.

After 5 years of testing and market development, we witnessed rapid - in fact, exponential - growth during the last two years. That growth was reported in the licence reports to Navteq. In mid-December 2009, the global coverage was extended to include the Philippines, Morocco and Kenya.

Please contact the Nav4All support desk in case you have any questions: www.nav4all.com/support. If there is any further information from Nav4All concerning the subject of this letter, the same will be published on our website: www.nav4all.com. For reasons of privacy, Nav4All does not have the email addresses of all its customers, and we therefore request you to forward this email to the maximum extent possible, in order to ensure that everyone is informed.

Kind Regards,

Hennie J.M. Groot Koerkamp (CEO)
Nav4All BV
Keizersgracht 62-64
1015 CS Amsterdam NL

11 comments

electro_sound

i really hope they will soon find another partner like navteq and this great gps arrows navigation app will come soon!

d

oakie

personally, i hope they find another partner too, but not one like navteq... preferably someone better that isnt so ashamed of their own product to result in this instance repeating itself.

unfortunately, even if they do find a partner in providing maps, it will be nigh impossible for them to regain their lost user base... although being free from the start helps them get a leg up. if they were a fee based service, they'd lose their user base for good.

jspidey#CB

I thought this was a great app. It had a lot of options and I used it all the time when I traveled. We had to see this coming however because even the website stated it would be free until 2010. Sad to see such a good thing go.

oakie

business is business, but this is just a prime example of "if you cant beat 'em, buy 'em out"

sad that nav4all has to shut down simply because nokia chooses to eliminate their competition. even though it had a few flaws, nav4all was great simply because it was free. i dont mind paying for a nav app for the times i'm out of the country and really value one, but the monthly subscription model that the majority are based on is just silly, especially in light of standalone units being available without a mandatory subscription. even worse, most subscription based navigation software doesnt allow the user to preload map content, thus stiffing the user with excessive overseas data charges (in my case) on those occasions i'm outside the US, driving, and prefer to rely on a navigational aid.

it's too bad nokia doesnt have enough confidence in their own product to be able to support third party developers like nav4all.

as such, i highly recommend the Garmin or TomTom apps if they're available for your device, especially since they have pre-installed maps for the more powerful devices they are available on as well as no subscription fees. just a (exorbitant) one-time fee and you're off and running.

babsetson

Used to use Nav4All for years but luckily I saw LifeInPocket on CB 2 days ago.

Tried LifeInPocket for 2 days, it's much better than Nav4All. It has all the Poynt features + news, location messaging, car finder, stock financial, news, magazines, ... and is as easy to use as Poynt.

It's like Poynt + Telenav + tons of apps and it's free too.

Feel sad for Nav4all but I am lucky this time. CB rocks!

chosen1_88

I used Nav4All for a really long time and it was pretty good. It wasn't a substitute for a stand alone GPS, but it worked well the few times I used it. It didn't have the best UI, but once you figured it out, it made sense. I preferred it over aMaze.

I bought Garmin Mobile for my BB about a year ago and haven't used Nav4All since. Yes, Garmin Mobile is quite pricey, but it does it's job well. Only problem I have with Garmin Mobile is that you can only transfer the license once before you have to buy it again.

Blkbear

And you really can't blame Nokia or any other company for buying up their free competition. And the folks that offer it for free, you can't blame them for selling out to the highest bidder.

Hey I guess they were smart enough to know when providing a free service started to cost more than it was worth (to them anyway).

robin456

It's sad to see Nav4All go wway. Phone nav app is not a one to one replacement for GPS Systems but it offers many real-time features GPS systems cannot do.

Found LifeInPocket by browsing CB this whole morning and downloaded it. It looks beautiful on my Storm.

Quickly went through most features, they are nice and easy to use. Used LifeInPocket to find contacts on my BB address book, then press on the address, select “take me there” and it locks satellites in seconds then took 4 seconds to calculate and the voice turn by turn started.

I used LifeInPocket to find Chinese restaurants near my work and it came up a long list, some I am familiar with some no. Pick one with 4 start rating then look at reviews, the picture was nice and the latest review was only 2 days ago. Click on 'Take me there' and a beautiful woman voice started talking to me and the screen shows satellite signal strength and easy to understand instructions.

Without looking at my BB, simply turn whenever she said “turn right now” “Turn left now” so precise. When she said “Arriving the destination now”, I was 27 feet from the restaurant. LifeInPocket saved my day!

jmlowes

I'm wondering if Nokia shut this down as a business move or it is just a matter of pricing? Nav4All is free and Navteq services are not. I am guessing that Navteq wanted more than Nav4All was willing to pay for access to mapping data. Then again, they could have priced it out of the park on purpose.

Either way, it is too bad Nav4All is shutting down. While I wasn't a huge fan of it, it did come in handy on occasions and as a free option it was definitely priced right.

I did have Garmin Mobile for a while but lost it in an OS upgrade. I refuse to pay for it again on principal so I am looking for free alternatives. I am also hoping LifeInPocket is available in Canada sometime soon as it sound great.

The Gift

Am I the only one who thought it was a weird choice for nav4all to have the picture of the girl for their splash screen for a gps navigation service??? What was the link?

apmon

I think this move my Nokia highlights quite well why we need free and open map data providers like OpenStreetMap. With Navteq belonging to Nokia and TeleAtlas to TomTom, there are no big independent map providers anymore that can be used by smaller innovative companies to create great products, which ends up being a loss for everyone.

I very much hope that OpenStreetMap will soon step up to fill this void. OpenStreetMap is a wiki worldmap, where everyone can contribute and help create the most detailed map of the world. With its rapid growth and currently well over 200 thousand participants world wide, it has already created a map that in many cities (e.g. easily seen in Germany) is already more detailed than commercial companies like Navteq and TeleAtlas and should soon be competitive everywhere. Even more so in all those countries (emerging markets) that Navteq and TeleAtlas have deamed not worth it. As has been seen with Wikipedia and Encyclopedias, no single company can in the long run create as detailed data as a active world wide community. But with respect to this thread, the best thing about OpenStreetMap is its licensing, with being free and open, anyone can use the full vector dataset for any purpose without restriction of use including full commercial use. So no company can just come along and say "Oh, you are competing with me, I won't give you a license anymore, to bad if you had a better product..." allowing the products with the best features and usability to succeed, not the ones owned by companies with the worst anti-competitive behavior.