NaviComputer goes Metro (WP7) – first preview

Hi,

as you might already know I am working on NaviComputer for Windows Phone 7 smartphones.

Since I would like to get as much feedback as possible in an early stage from potential users, today I recorded a short screen video of my actual userinterface prototype. Of course there are still a lot of things and features missing. This video is only intended to give an impression of the basic userinterface concept. As I want to optimize NaviComputer for the best user experience any feedback is highly appreciated.

Basically NaviComputer starts with a panorama Page in WP7 Metro style. By swiping the screen to the right and left you can access all the basic functions like viewing the map, starting to record a track and see its duration, distance etc. By tapping the appropriate screens you will get to a more detailed view, for example to the fullscreen map or to advanced track statistics/diagrams and so on.

The whole application will adapt it's color schemas to the user's theme settings.

YouTube Preview Image

 

If you want to support my work please use the following Paypal link or contact me via Email.

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33 Responses to “NaviComputer goes Metro (WP7) – first preview”

  1. Martin K. Says:

    Thank you!

    this was the sole App I bought on Windows Mobile. And I really miss(ed) it on my WP7.

    Curious to find out how the get the Maps loaded on the phone or get the recorded tracks exported (into Google Earth).

    BEST regards,
    Martin

  2. Developer Says:

    Hi Martin,

    in fact, thanks to the WP7 limitations that is one of the most challenging points about NaviComputer for WP7. I am planning to implement some kind of synchronisation function in NaviMapper so you can synchronize maps and tracks over Wifi connection. But I am not 100% sure yet if this will work well. Plan B is using some kind of online storage like skydrive or dropbox for the file transfer...

  3. Surur Says:

    You should definitely use SkyDrive. Windows 8 will be heavily invested in SkyDrive, so you might as well get ahead of the curve.

  4. John Says:

    I agree with the use of SkyDrive. People who are out and about cross country skiing, whatever the outdoor activity is this would be a great app to have loaded up seams to me anyway. with Win8 coming this fall and the heavy lean on cloud computing going forward SkyDrive is the way to go.I'll be looking forward to it when it gets to the Market Place.

  5. gekkoace Says:

    Wow, nice app! I can't wait to see it on the marketplace. Please hurry before I fi ish spending my $25 app card from MS. Lol

  6. dandrayan Says:

    Looks like a solid start so far! I have a developer-unlocked phone if you need testers for the app. And I second the recommendation for syncing to SkyDrive, this also gives the added benefit of not losing data if you have to hard reset or upgrade to another handset.

  7. Developer Says:

    The problem with skydrive is, until know, they allow only few filetypes like pictures and documents to be uploaded. I am not sure whether it is possible to upload .gpx files....anybody knows it?
    But anyway, I heard rumors saying they will loosen those restrictions soon...

  8. Judge_Dan Says:

    Do you know if this app will still run under the lock screen? I have had problems with other apps similar to this actually stopping its recording while the phone is locked and I don't want to leave my phone unlocked while jogging, just imagine all of the accidentally pressed buttons! Have you had to confront this yet?

  9. Wevenhuis Says:

    Hooray, you're on WMPoweruser.com!!! congrats.

    I voted as well, so can not wait till it becomes available.

    Missing two things in this demo:

    2) a quick toggle switch for gps

    3) offline map view. The demo only shows online view. also not seeing a download button.

    Future update witshes:

    1) offroad maps

    2) offline route (idea: since its a pivot screen...add a page at the end with bingle maps or bing/nokia maps with routing. Now its all together in one app!!! Now if microsoft would only allow access to offline access of routings....:))

    Question:
    1) Will the app be Mangofied, thus meaning that the app will be able to run in the background and work with multitasking?

  10. John Says:

    Correct they are loosen the restrictions. Win8 is going to be heavy on the SkyDrive. With the ability to use apps from your WP8 to win8. MS is saying that "all" apps currently in the MP will be able to fully function in WP8 hence being used within Win8. you can find out whats up and coming with SkyDrive ..http://windowslivehelp.com/forums.aspx?productid=6

  11. ams Says:

    SkyDrive is the ticket. I've been using it instead of a USB stick lately, and it seems to handle everything just dandy. As for the app, it looks very good so far; I hate being dependent on 3g for maps, and would gladly devote a hunk of phone memory to having things onboard.

  12. Mans Says:

    I am so happy that you are making this app for WP7, infdact I am excited to use it.
    I would request you to kindly have the ability of importing the gpx tracks and also export a route made in the phone to various formats.
    How would the offline maps work in this?
    do we need to download th egoogle maps and store them on the device or will be able to use some other providers maps with this, just like Sygic uses them.

    Thanks a lot.

  13. Heinz Says:

    Hello,
    NAVICOMPUTER is a ingenious Navi- program! I use it since 2 years and almost daily! But I become really sick thinking of the future: my HTC Touch HD (WM6.1) is "dying" and I will need a new smartphone instead. Hearing of WP 7 for the NAVICOMPUTER- future I' am not happy. Having a handicap with my eyes I would prefer to have a rather big display. I testet "SAMSUNG GALAXY NOTE" and found the display great: I use my smartphone mainly for 2 purposes: maps (hiking), pictures and HD- videos! The high solution of 1.280x800 pix is great!
    So far the only WP with a rather great display I found the NOKIA "Lumia 900", but the restriction on 800x480 pix (Microsoft restiction) gives only a poor picture compared to the galaxy.
    For maps there exists a big storage problem: WP 7 has no possibility to install an additional storage card (on GALAXY up to 64GB is possible!). How should I navigate with the lousy internal storage (8 or 16GB): my maps for PART of Germany (Bavaria only) need 10.9 GB, I' am hiking frequently in Austria, Southern Tyrol, France and other landscapes in Germany which would mean I always have to load (very, very slowly) maps of the specific area- definitely impossible!!
    So I' ll have no other chance as to use an ANDROID type. The tested program ORUX is not too bad but not as convenient as Navicomputer and the (lot of) keys cover a big part of the display!
    I will use my WM- Phone until it really dies and have to switch to another program instead of the GREAT NAVICOMPUTER 🙁
    Best regards
    Heinz

  14. Mattes Ludwig Says:

    Why are POI taken with this program not stored in the gpx files. Or is there a way of exporting the favorites and then include them in existing gpx-files?

  15. Josh Says:

    Heinz I too have fairly large maps stored and read with interest the limitations of Windows Phone with external memory and porting, it all seems rather retro. I'm hoping my HD2 will go on for a bit and better alternatives will exist at the time of replacement. I noted in a recent post the developer didn't rule out completely the Ois apple system so you nevet know.

    Navicomputer used with other software tools for plotting routes is excellent for what it does.... the latest at enabling one to find the closest point to park in a hilly no vehicle harbour town in Croatia lug the bags. Without off line gps tools you wouldn't be doing that.

    I'm still looking for mapd with osmrendering after Tiles at Home pulled their server the default OSM one isn't good on small screens.

  16. Developer Says:

    Heinz and Josh,
    maybe it's worth waiting for Windows phone 8...
    As far as I know these limitations will be past with WP8 and NaviComputer will work on wp8

  17. Developer Says:

    Mattes,
    you can store poi as waypoints in a gpx file when you are currently recording a gpx file. But in fact you cannot add pois to a gpx afterwards. Maybe that's something which could be added in the future...

  18. Josh Says:

    Thanks Developer.... I am hoping that my HTC HD2 will go on for years and as long as I keep dropping it on my foot rather than the ground, whatever the pain, I am hoping it will.

    The issue of OSM maps that aren't rendered too well by mapnik is more concerning for the small screen.

  19. Manfred Says:

    Es wäre super, wenn man größere Bereiche von Karten, z.B. ganz Deutschland, ganz Europa etc. offline haben könnte. Karten passend dazu gibt es kostenlos im Garmin IMG Format.
    Neuerdings auch mit einer offenen Library http://code.google.com/p/mapsforge/
    und Karten hier: http://download.mapsforge.org/maps/europe/
    Wäre super, wenn sowas unterstützt würde. Das ewige Kacheln laden macht keinen Spass.

  20. Peyman CZ Says:

    I'm really can't wait to see the program finished.
    my MOZART needs it too. 😛
    Best GPS Program i used on my htc touch pro 2.
    Keep up the good work.

  21. Josh Says:

    Hi Developer and Manfred

    Now I'm home back on a lap I have translated Manfred's post. I thought it was about the point that I made about the rendering on small device screens of OSM since the Tiles @ Home slippy map server has been pulled, that's the Osmarender rendering, it's much better than Mapnik. The other issue that Navicomputer users are faced with is the one that some map providers do not like their maps read in bulk from slippy map servers one being the OCM cycle map. The vector maps provided or rather the tools as I understand to read the vector maps by the Mapsforge bypass this issue since the map provider's can't moan about their servers being over loaded by mapping applications that use slippy maps rather than vector ones. I notice that the Mapsforge project also supports Osmrender type of ones which are good for small devices, Mapniks is meant for a PC screen. Mapsforge has been adopted by Android mapping applications.

    On this basis Mr Developer can I request that one extends Navimapper both the existing version for Windows Mobile and the Windows Phone one to support vector map integration if I have not misunderstood something. This would then offer both access to slippy maps and vector maps some of which are better rendered for small devices and also bypass the issues that some of the map providers have been setting recently on their use of maps and supported rendering for slippy maps including zoom levels. I think the Mapnik rendering is shocking for small screen devices which could be the underhanded trick of slippy map sites to rail road people into spending money on apps just to get access to crowd sourced detail that they then try to charge you a premium to use [which cost them nothing to obtain themselves] plus the snotty posts that you read on websites when they defend this measure of making a business on the back of crowd sourced public domain information.

    I suspect that this is something that you might be thinking of doing but since I am not changing to Windows Phone any time soon [the hassle factor] I would like the functionality built into Navimapper to support both the existing Windows Mobile application and Windows Phone.

  22. Developer Says:

    Hi Josh,
    yes, I agree, vector maps would be a nice addition. I know mapforge for android and it's pretty good, however it will never render maps as quick and fluid as it is possible wih tile based maps and it consumes more (battery) power.
    Coding a map rendering engine for vactor based maps is a very big effort, as far as I know mapsforge is developed by an university. I'm not sure if it's possible for a single developer like me to port it to windows (- mobile/phone).
    But I like your idea of implementing a vector map renderer into NaviMapper and I also already had this idea. I will have to do some more research whether there is a library for windows available that I could use for that purpose.

  23. Josh Says:

    Thanks for the reply. It would be good too see something in the NaviMapper part of the package that gets over these difficulties. I miss the OSMRendering tiles as I said and although slippy import for Mapniks rendering is available from the associated websites there could be a day when they too could get unfriendly with what they could regard as bulk downloading.

    I experimented with Maperitive too see what it could do this afternoon and it does not seem to be without problems since it is still developmental and I don't believe it renders Osmarender but adds your own elements to the tiles which have been withdrawn although I could be wrong. It does offer five different rendering rules to the base OSM vector data and you can edit these rules, although I haven't tried. You can interface it with Mobac and then export out into Navicoomputer format although I didn't test this. So it could be something for those winter nights. You can however add contour lines and shading etc so issues with Opencycle and their commercial capping policy of flogging apps for mobiles and the guys little earner out of open data can be bypassed. You wouldn't however try to land the lunar lander with it since it crashed and freezes up a lot. It appears that Android users use Maperitive for getting hold of some of their maps and rendering for Android mapping apps. Maperitive is probably viewed as the home brew variety of Mapsforge where you can tinker with settings.

    To all of this maps rendered for small screen application is the key.

  24. Wevenhuis Says:

    Any news if navicomputer is finished and on the marketplace. Going on holiday in a weeks time....

  25. Sebastian Says:

    Thanks for this job. Is there possible get an auto-rotate map function and not always north-up?

  26. Developer Says:

    I'm sorry, the version for WP7 has not been released yet. Unfortunately the development is delayed due to a few problems: There seems to be small bug in the operating system, forcing me to change the architecture of the app. Unfortunately I did not get an answer about this issue from microsoft. Second, my Windows phone (HTC Titan) was broken 🙁

    It is summertime now and I do not have much time to work on NaviComputer these days. I think I will wait until WP8 is released (and hopefully fixes this bug) and continue the work on WP8.

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  28. Josh Says:

    Developer, thanks for the update on the blog[s]. I was wondering how it was going accepting the issue around 7.5 and not being able to address external memory [miscro SD] which would be a major handicap for heavy users of Navicomputer who take vacations fully loaded with maps :). These limits go with 8 as I understand it.

    Now I've started to use Maperitive [for vector OS maps with iso bars] and MapCruncher / Mobac for other sources [e.g. tourist office PDF maps] it's all rather good at the minute :). Not forgetting BikeHike [or alternatives] to make the GPX tracks for hiking or driving along in foreign parts.

    I did spot that the main edit site of OpenStreet was getting even more snotty about Navicomputer. I note an associate of them puts a road block on when exporting 3,000+ tiles so it goes at a snails pace but least you get your maps hours latter whilst they have time sliced your time up to a fraction so Navicomputer doesn't swamp the processor - seems a better solution to putting that this application is blocked on every page. I can't believe there are armies of Navicomputer users that are downloading masses of tiles.... OpenCycle seems to let you download a bit more recently. Perhaps conscious feelings as someone who rides on the back of crowd sourcing to run a business but blocks off users where they can't get a profit even though their profit they have obtained as a fair chunk as a freebie of other peoples work [crowd source maps]. As OpenStreet makes a difficult for Navicomputer users to access their maps they can't expect us to give back map data if we can't get at the data in the first place. A very odd arrangement. I've also seen some classic twaddle on the subject put up by the inner circle of OpenStreet. Less of tile politics.

  29. Andreas Says:

    Hi,
    is it possible to use my nmap-files on navicomputer WP7 that i downloaded with an old version of navimapper. That maps I used with navicomputer for windows mobile 6.1
    regards
    andreas

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