NowNav - App of the month, September 2015

3 September 2015

Introducing: NowNav

NowNav is a navigation and orientation aid for the blind and visually impaired. It provides turn-by-turn directions and information about your surroundings. NowNav was developed by the blind, for the blind.

NowNav continuously announces:

  • Upcoming turn instructions if turn-by-turn navigating
  • Your compass heading
  • The nearest street address
  • any nearby cross streets or POI
  • Any nearby user defined waypoints.

NowNav uses Android's built in Text To Speech service. NowNav is optimised for walking.

What’s so great about NowNav?

This navigation app is so refreshingly simple. Where most navigation aids have many different functions, NowNav focuses on the most important aspects, that is to say orientation and navigation. The compass automatically keeps pace with you as you turn, helping you to ensure you are facing the right direction in which you intend to travel. The app gives concise instructions and does not overwhelm you with information about your surroundings, however you can get a brief overview of where you are at any time with the tap of a button. The ability to control the app from the headset and shake your phone to get nearby information are brilliant touches, allowing you to use the app totally hands free.

Main Features:

  • It's simple to use.
  • Works when the phone screen is off and tucked away out of sight in a pocket.
  • Uses Google's online services. NowNav is ready to go as soon as its installed - no need to download map data files.
  • Uses the same high quality navigation data as Google Maps
  • Turn-by-turn directions with Automatic rerouting if you get lost
  • List all nearby places and place details. Phone, browse and get directions to a place.
  • Addresses, Places/POI and navigation data available globally, anywhere Android can get on line
  • Can be controlled by shake gesture or headset media button.
  • Only announces eight compass points (North, North East, East etc).
  • Has intelligible speech and does not continuously interrupt itself with updates.
  • Announces cross streets and POI.
  • Allows multiple waypoints to be saved. These may be named, deleted, made active or saved on a PC.
  • Nearby active waypoints automatically run or pause NowNav. This may be used to hands free start NowNav when leaving home, and then pausing it when arriving at work, for example.

Where do I get it:

Platform: Android
Free or paid: This is a paid app, priced at £24. A version without door-to-door navigation functionality but with all the orientation capabilities is available, this app is called NotNav.

User comments:

We feel that NowNav provides an excellent, seamless and fully accessible way to use Google Maps. It’s simplified streamlined interface makes it ideal for the beginner or advanced user to take advantage of one of the most crucial functions of a smartphone and at the same time provide greater independence to the user through enhanced awareness of their surroundings and comprehensive navigation capability.