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SYGIC - new GPS navigation software to launch in USA / Canada January 2008
Marvin Hlavac
Sygic is a software company focused on in-car GPS navigation products for wide range of mobile devices. Even though Sygic's website shows only product versions for mobile phone, PocketPC/PDA, and Linux, the company does have software that will run even on a laptop, TabletPC, and Ultra-Mobile PC. Find more in the following interview between Veronika Tomankova of Sygic and Marvin Hlavac of Laptop GPS World:





Laptop GPS World - Do you have a product for Windows XP / Windows Vista platform?

Sygic - Yes, we do have a navigation solution for Windows XP / Windows Vista. Our multi-platform engine makes our solution compatible with almost all the devices. For the moment we support Windows Mobile, Windows CE, Windows XP, XP embedded, Vista, Symbian, Smartphones, Linux. Sygic Driver technology makes the OEM vendors to have ready products customized for their devices.

Laptop GPS World - Do you have a product with USA/Canada map data?

Sygic - We are finalizing the work on the North American maps and it should be launched officially in January 2008. For the moment I can provide you only with the beta version with US maps.

Laptop GPS World - Will your January 2008 release include both USA and Canada?

Sygic - Yes

Laptop GPS World - I believe your European map data is licensed from Tele Atlas. Will your North American offering also come with maps by Tele Atlas?

Sygic - Yes, North American mapping will be Teleatlas map data as well.

Laptop GPS World - Where can people buy the Windows XP / Windows Vista version? At the moment I can only see references to PDA, PPC, and Linux versions at your website. Who are your distributors for Europe, North America?

Sygic - System integrators and fleet management companies can purchase the products directly from us. As far as the consumer market we have the distributor for central and eastern Europe - Jamicon based in Poland, Creative Image distributing in Greece, Maporama distributing in France, Logic Group in Israel. Currently we don't have distributor in North America, but we have a colleague who is based there and is covering our activities in this territory.

Laptop GPS World - Do you have immediate plans for products for other parts of the world outside Europe and North America?

Sygic - We are already on Australian market with Toyota and Mazda in-car devices, we plan to intensify our activities on this market, we consider the closer cooperation with the local map provider. We are ready for Middle East and Arabic countries as a preferred Teleatlas partner. We plan to enter the Asian market.

http://www.sygic.com/

Sygic, s.r.o.
Nam. 1. maja 14
811 06 Bratislava
Slovak Republic, EU

Phone: +421 259 230 208
Fax: +421 259 230 495



Related links:
Marvin Hlavac
Here's a little bit of update on the upcoming release of Sygic Drive. A couple of days ago I was given access to Sygic's FTP server to download Canada/USA map. I was finally able to take this new software on the road. This is still not the final product, it still is a Beta version.

I'm very much impressed with the fluid movement of the map. While we are used to the once-per-second screen refresh rate of other GPS navigation programs, Sygic Drive refreshes several times per second. I've seen higher refresh rate on some PNDs (Personal Navigation Devices), but this is the first time I see the same on a program running on a PC. Hmm, PC's are more powerful than PNDs, so technically this is easier to achieve on a PC, but since the PND GPS market share is much greater, most of the innovation is first seen there.

The screen refresh rate can be as low as 1 per second, and it can be as high as 5, 6, or 7 times per second. I'm being told it can be even higher, and it just depends on the speed of the PC used.

From the usability perspective I see one issue. I suspect users may find destination entering complicated - at least here in Canada (or at least in and around the Toronto area). It involves too many steps. It involves steps which other GPS solutions don't require of users:

* I have to select "Canada" (I wish the program remembered my earlier selection)

* Then I need to enter "City". (I wish I could search the whole province, without having to enter a particular city name)

* When I enter "Toronto", it then gives me several "Toronto" options (regions - which actually don't make sense, for example "Toronto - Peel Region". Toronto is not in Peel Region. Peel Region is north of Toronto.)

Ideally the program should remember my country. It should ask me my province (Ontario, etc), and then it should remember it. It should give me the option to enter "City", or search "Any" city. This concern was forwarded to Sygic.

While downloading my Canada/USA map, I noticed there were maps available for a few countries even outside Europe and North America. I saw Australia, Brazil, Hong Kong, and Thailand. All these maps will be available for purchase when the final version of Sygic Drive is released. When may that be? The current estimate is end of January/early February 2008.
Cheekz185
Thats awesome info Marvin....Is there any way you can post up some pics and vids of your testing?
Marvin Hlavac
Doing videos has crossed my mind more than once. It is possible I'll incorporate videos in future reviews. I don't have any camera, but perhaps even an inexpensive webcam would be good enough for that. Or maybe I should look around for some freeware that can make a video out of what's on the screen (no need for a camera if software can capture what's on the screen).

Here's a video clip of Sygic Drive in action I found on YouTube: http://www.laptopgpsworld.com/185-video-trial-version-sygic-gps-navigation-software-being-tested-madrid-spain
Cheekz185
Thanks Marvin!

Or maybe I should look around for some freeware that can make a video out of what's on the screen (no need for a camera if software can capture what's on the screen).
Check out Camtasia
Marvin Hlavac
That's about $299 more expensive than I had originally in mind , but I download the 30 day trial, and I just watched the tutorial video. It seems very good, and I will likely attempt to record something with it before the trial expires. Thanks, Cheekz185.
taoyue
Free software for recording screencasts: http://camstudio.org/ and http://www.debugmode.com/wink/

Obviously these will not be as polished as Camtasia, but might suffice for your needs.
Marvin Hlavac
Hey, taoyue, thanks much for that! I have already tried Camtasia, and I like it very much. But I will look at the suggested freeware, too. I was actually going to try to record a short clip showing the smooth map movement of Sygic Drive, but my license key expired. I may email Sygic for a new license code on Monday.
adamoun
I want to know if someone get it to work in Canada, if so, can you please show me where can I download the Canadian maps?
Marvin Hlavac
A couple of hours ago, after reading your posting, I sent a quick email to Sygic inquiring about availability of public trial of their software with maps for USA and Canada. It was already a bit late (past 8pm I think) in Bratislava, Slovakia, so we will have to wait at least till tomorrow for the answer. As soon as I know more info I will post it here.
Marvin Hlavac
The answer just arrived from Sygic: "No, unfortunately we don't provide trial version for end-users, only for our distributors"

You could search websites of their distributors to see if they provide a trial version, but since there is no North American distributor at the moment I suspect the chance is very slim you will find what you are looking for.

The final version is not yet available.
nakamoniel
hello Mr. Admin
I was just wondering if you can share the USA maps you downloaded from sygic. You are by far the only person on net i have seen really have had hand on north american maps from sygic. I have had my hand on sygic application when i was in UK. but now here since lack of US maps i am not able to use this best navigation software at all.
Marvin Hlavac
Hi nakamoniel,

Welcome to Laptop GPS World forums!

I share your passion for Sygic Driver. It indeed is a very nice looking product. It would not be right for me to distribute the map data, but the final product is very likely just around the corner. Let's wait a bit .
Marvin Hlavac
It seems Sygic is waiting till CeBIT 2008 to unveil their new product:

CF74GPS
Hi Marvin, et al ..

I am very interested in the SYGIC software as well. Having had a laptop hard mounted in my SUV for many years now I can appreciate the bounty of options I think this software will bring to my navigating experience. I've recently transitioned to a Toughbook CF74 for it's daylight readable touchscreen as well, so I'm hoping this product will complement that technology. It seemed a safer approach to engaging the laptop .. the touchscreen.

I'm under the impression that we do not yet have a North American distributor. I can reach out to Sygic, but thought with you having access already to the maps that you might be privy to advanced knowledge on where we might actually purchase this product. I'm expecting they'll be busy at CeBIT this week, so am holding back from emailing them. If you have any other input per product or purchasing, please keep us apprised.

Cheers,

Joe Black
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