CNET también está disponible en español.

Ir a español

Don't show this again

Culture

Verizon dials in for downtown details

Verizon Wireless is offering some customers the ability to wirelessly download the electronic city guide program Vindigo.

    Verizon Wireless announced Wednesday that it is offering some customers the ability to wirelessly download the electronic city guide program Vindigo.

    The program is available for phones running Qualcomm's BREW (Binary Runtime Environment for Wireless) software. Subscribers who download the program will pay a monthly fee of $3.75 for using Vindigo, which offers maps, driving directions, restaurant reviews and movie times.

    Vindigo, which got its start as a free program for Palm handhelds, is now sold as an annual subscription for both Palm handhelds as well as those running Microsoft's Pocket PC operating system.

    The move to offer Vindigo as a wireless download is part of a trend wireless carriers hope will prompt cell phone owners to use more data.

    "Applications consumers can download over the air on their phones are available nationally," Verizon Wireless Vice President Jim Straight said in a statement, "and we believe these services will help us reach our goal to morph the wireless phone into a valuable resource for consumers who want up-to-the minute information to help them manage their life."

    While Verizon is using phones running BREW, other carriers are using phones running Sun Microsystems' Java software.

    Vindigo is initially available on the Verizon Wireless Z-800, a color-screen phone that costs $400 with a two-year service agreement. Availability for other phones will follow soon, Verizon said.

    New York-based Vindigo said it planned to bring its city guide to BREW as part of an effort to reach profitability next year. In May, Vindigo nabbed $6.1 million in new funding.