If you are fortunate enough to be living in or visiting the great city of New York, you might have noticed your GPS-enabled Android™ devices don’t fare as well as you may hope in certain high-rise areas. GPS devices need a clear view of the sky in order to determine the current location, so when you’re in an area canvassed with skyscrapers it’s difficult to get a consistently clear view.
Our goal is to change that with the latest release of the free navigation MapQuest App for Android™ with the addition of Skyhook! (Wait for applause) Skyhook is an advanced service utilizing nearby wireless networks to determine your location at appropriate times. You can find more details in Skyhook’s press release.
On a recent trip to the Big Apple, we tested out the new and improved Skyhook-enhanced application by renting a pimped-out SUV (Dodge® Journey), loaded up six burly developers, and hit to the chaotic streets of Manhattan. Now, I don’t recommend driving in one of the craziest cities with nearly a dozen Android devices barking orders at you, but we had to make sure our data was valid. Even with the constant stops for coffee and “potty” breaks, the app worked wonderfully and stayed the course keeping us on track through even some of what are considered the worst GPS areas in town. After a full day driving up and down 5th Ave, with cabbies flying by us like maniacs and my sanity fading by the minute, the app still kept up with ease.
To see an example comparison of a navigation app with and without Skyhook’s technology, check out Skyhook’s two videos of Boston (Treemont St. video and Charles St. video) showcasing the app in a real-world situation. We hope you’ll test it out as well and email us your feedback at email@example.com.