The app, which originally targeted the UK & Republic of Ireland-only, is powered by the ‘do-it-yourself’ OpenStreepMap project – hence its freeness – and offers features such as full turn-by-turn voice guided navigation, off-line support via fully downloaded maps, points-of-interest and support for Google location search.
The UK & Ireland version has proved popular, racking up more than half a million downloads in its first month, with users contributing 70,000 map updates to the OpenStreetMap project. That’s because the so-called ‘Wikepedia-of-maps’ crowdsources its data, requiring users to plug any gaps found in the maps offered, a feature that NavFree supports – similar to Skobbler’s ‘do-it-yourself’ iPhone offering.
Despite NavFree’s reliance on the “community”, the app does ultimately employ a freemium model. Yes, most of the functionality is free – Sat-Nav is becoming a commodity, after all, thanks largely to Google and Nokia – however, users can pay to upgrade to access additional features, such as speed camera alerts, local petrol prices and traffic information.
Next up, Navmii plans to roll out further versions for Europe and support for Android.