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Summary:

Windows Phone 7 is due out by the holiday season, but Microsoft isn’t allowing Windows Mobile 6.x to wither away like a raisin in the sun. Today, the Bing team announced new turn-by-turn directions from Microsoft’s Tellme unit, but only on three U.S. carriers.

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Windows Phone 7 is due out by the holiday season, but Microsoft isn’t allowing Windows Mobile 6.x to wither away like a raisin in the sun. Today, the Bing team announced new turn-by-turn directions courtesy of Microsoft’s Tellme unit. The new feature is available on Windows Mobile handsets for T-Mobile, Sprint and AT&T — but not Verizon, which both surprises and disappoints me. I recognize the carrier needs to sell their own services of course, but the Motorola Droid on Verizon sports that nifty, free Google Navigation. Go figure.

Folks with a supported handset and carrier will find the Bing application update available today or can hit up http://m.bing.com for the new feature. Older Windows Mobile handsets gain a slight interface update too — the new UI provides faster access to more common searches, such as Movies and Traffic. Since I no longer have a Windows Mobile device, I have to ask: has anyone used the new navigation yet, and if so, how does it compare to Google’s free solution? I’m also wondering on the timing of this addition to Bing — is it coincidental that it was launched the same day that Google added biking directions and sharing to Google Maps for Android?

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  1. I few words that might help those trying to run this:

    After I saw today’s announcements I downloaded the Bing cab file from http://m.bing.com. I didn’t see the “Navigation” button and chalked up the failure to either not having an “approved phone” (I own the unlocked Euro HTC HD2) or not having a data plan on an “approved carrier.” After about 15 minutes fumbling around with Bing, I killed the app in the Task Manager and went on to other things. Later, I ran Bing again for a more detailed examination. The first thing it did was notify me that an update was available for download. The update contained the turn-by-turn navigation feature.

    The moral is that even if you download the latest Bing cab file, you may need an update to get the turn-by-turn voice navigation. You can also test the app with a WiFi connection, a carrier network connection isn’t mandatory. Also, though the navigation feature is supposed to be U.S.-only, some friends have reported that it works in the U.K. Finally, I’m getting reports that Microsoft specifically turned off the feature at Verizon’s request. I guess not everyone’s ready to become a bulk-bit provider.

    I’ll be testing the voice navigation over next few weeks as I wouldn’t mind replacing my current app OCN8. I don’t expect Bing Map Navigation to match all the features of OCN8, but I must admit I don’t use most of the features anyway. It will be nice to have maps that are always up to date and not to have to pay for expensive updates.

    I’m not sure this feature is an indication of Microsoft’s continuing support of Windows Mobile. Voice Navigation was obviously in development before Microsoft’s about-face with WP7. The navigation screen in fairly basic and it’s a good bet will only be refined and improved in WP7. My guess the timing of today’s announcement was meant more to placate retailers of WM phones in a collapsing market with one more tout-able feature.

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  2. yourtechminds Wednesday, May 12, 2010

    So far so good, while you don’t get all the advanced features of Tom-Tom or even the automatic street-view picture of your destination from Google Maps Navigation it’s pretty good. It’s already ousted Waze as my favorite free navigation app for Windows Mobile, er… Windows Phone Classic.

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  3. The new version is a little bit slower to open that the previous one. The turn by turn screen doesn’t work on my Samsung Blackjack 2 i617.

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  4. This version like all the previous verions is prone to crashing. Now it happens when I attempt to start navigating. I have a windows 6.1 phone, swedish version.

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  5. It works like a champ for me in the US using the Sprint Touch Pro 2. May not be as fancy as Maps on Android but for a first effort with voice guided turn-by-turn it is fantastic. Most notably – the voice itself.

    Adding in things like local gas prices would be a welcome addition. The voice recognition is very good for clear English names. Trying to find an ethnic place to eat was a little more challenging.

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  6. ANY1 HAVE ANY IDEA WHEN TURN-BY-TURN WILL WORK IN THE UK?

    IT DOESNT MAKE SENSE. IT CAN WORK OUT DIRECTIONS FOR YOU, IT CAN DRAW A MAP FOR WITH ROUTE MARKED AND SHOW U YOUR POSITION… SO WHAT’S LEFT? SOME SOUND… OR HAVE I MISSED SOMETHING??

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  7. I have the new windows 7 phone and the voice directions are not there. I had the last windows phone and I could get it – it was fabulous – got me out of a lot of jams.

    What do I have to download on the new window 7 phone for voice directions?

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