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Earlier this year, Verizon launched a navigation app for its cell phones called VZ Navigator, and judging by the user opinions, it has been well received. Now, Cingular has launched its own location-based service, called TeleNav GPS Navigator. During our tests, we found it to be a useful and accurate navigator, though a bit slow to perform some tasks such as redrawing maps. Still, if work (or pleasure) requires you to be on the road a lot--and you're a Cingular customer--TeleNav GPS Navigator is worth the $9.99 per month for unlimited use or $5.99 for up to 10 trips. The service works with a number of Cingular's smart phones, including the Cingular 8525 and the Palm Treo 680, but you can check for compatibility on TeleNav's Web site. Also, unless you own one of the HP iPaq hw6900 series models, which have built-in GPS antennas, you will need to get a Bluetooth GPS receiver.
From the main menu, you have six options: Navigation, Biz Finder, Map, GPS Tools, Preferences, and Support. The Preferences page is a good place to start, as you can set your measurement unit (miles/feet or kilometers/meters), how you want routes calculated (fastest, shortest, avoid highway, prefer highway, or pedestrian), your navigation screen, and more. From there, you can start planning your trip via the Navigation menu--where you can enter a specific address--or, if you don't feel like typing, by calling TeleNav for directions. In most cities, this option allows you to use a toll-free number, but in some areas the system will default to a local number. TeleNav says you shouldn't see a difference at all, as local and toll-free numbers are both charged at the same airtime. If you don't need guidance to a specific destination, you can go into the Map menu and simply get a general map overview of your current location or any recently visited areas.