Turn By Turn voice guided navigation won't require taping in Windows Phone Mango ?

As you probably already know by now Turn-By-turn voice guided navigation in the current Mango Beta 2 build is crippled by a silly “tap-to read directions aloud” feature. It was speculated a few days ago, based on the Bing Maps API Terms Of Use (last updated in April 2011), that this was probably because of some kind of licensing restriction with the maps provided.

Restrictions on your use: We do have some restrictions on your use of the service. You may not:

present or alert an end user to individual maneuvers of a route in any way that is synchronized with the end-user’s sensor-based position along the route, (e.g. “real-time” navigation);

I didn’t put much thought into this until I finally experienced this feature today which made me realize how stupid / dangerous it currently is and decided to take a closer look at what’s really going on here.

First, the Bing Maps API Terms of Use quoted above is aimed at third-party developers who wish to build applications using Microsoft Bing Maps API but what we are dealing witht here is Microsoft’ own application and service which shouldn’t be affected by this restriction (btw on a side note, the WP7 GPS Tuner Navigation application clearly violates this given that it features real-time voice guided navigation using the Bing Maps API…). Secondly, previous versions of Bing Maps (on WM6.X) did feature real-time voice-guided navigation without any restriction. Finally, previous builds of Mango also feature real-time voice guided navigation without any restrictions as seen in the screenshot below which was leaked back in May (and I saw it first hands during the Mango V.I.P event in May).

I’ve also recently heard that newer builds of Mango also don’t have the tapping restriction (remember that the current beta 2 build still lacks many features like Twitter/LinkedIn support, Ringtones manager etc..). Now I personally don’t know why this features was implemented this way in the developer build or if the RTM version will be like that or not. But I would be really surprised if Microsoft did included such a terrible and dangerous restriction in the final retail release.

  • http://twitter.com/GCustom Kacey Green

    I have used this feature several times, most recently I used it because I didn’t want to take out my garmin, start or the garmin app. Some of the taps had distances and directions, some essentially said turn now.

    My thoughts as a dev are that they wanted to see how often we actually use the prompts and how often we want them repeated, and to fold this data back into the automated function in the final build. We did consent to sending back data in one of the many checkboxes.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_TGBTBJQA2XKKVW7RYPII4IA3WA David Burnham

    YOU’RE WRONG, MICROSOFT’S OWN WEBSITE ( http://mango.microsoft.com/windowsphone/en-US/howto/wp7/web/get-directions.aspx ); INDICATES YOU WILL HAVE TO TAP TO HEAR DIRECTIONS!! WHAT A BUNCH OF COMPLETE LIARS.  F!CK MS F@CK WP7.  I waited a whole year with this crappy TELENAV on my HTC ARRIVE just to get TURN BY TAP GPS in MANGO?  I CAN SEE THE CLASS ACTIONS AND LAWSUITS from the car accidents this will cause, not to mention how useless this is for motorcyclists that rely on helmet/bluetooth audio GPS commands for directions from their phone that is stowed away on a charger.  I HATE YOU MICROSOFT.  Oh yeah, the authors of this article are in denial! You idiots need to research and stop with FAN BOY HYPERBOLE!

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_TGBTBJQA2XKKVW7RYPII4IA3WA David Burnham