Developer’s Perspective – Bringing CoPilot to Windows Phone 8

 

Rob Irving

By Rob Irving, Senior Software Developer

 

 

For the past 5+ years as an ALK developer I’ve watched the smartphone ecosystem change at an incredible pace. CoPilot first began over 10 years ago on the Pocket PC/Windows Mobile platforms. Years later we were able to move to iOS and Android as those platforms expanded the Smartphone consumer market. The release of Windows Phone 7 really excited me, but limitations of the SDK prevented ALK from being able to develop a CoPilot application for the platform. It wasn’t that we didn’t want to support the platform, but we wanted to make sure we would have been able to create an experience worthy of the CoPilot name.

 

That’s why I was so excited when Microsoft announced the Windows Phone 8 SDK that would allow native app development. From that moment forward, we began initial plans to bring CoPilot to the Windows Phone 8 platform.

 

Microsoft publicly released the Windows Phone 8 SDK at their Build 2012 conference last October – right around the same time that the east coast had been hit by hurricane Sandy. My community didn’t suffer as much as many others did in New Jersey, only experiencing a few downed trees during the storm. Unfortunately, ALK’s HQ in Princeton was badly affected and many of us had to work remotely for a few days. This actually gave me the chance to devote time to install the Windows Phone developer tools and study the SDK documentation in detail. I started working to bring CoPilot to life on this exciting new platform for us.

 

lumia920_large_verge_medium_landscape_wMenuNow after 6+ months of late nights coding, and extensive testing on some great Windows Phones such as the Lumia 920, I and the rest of the ALK dev team are pleased and proud to see CoPilot become available to all Windows Phone 8 users on the Windows Phone store.

 

So what’s next?

The CoPilot development team are extremely passionate about the products we work on, and we always take note of the feedback we receive from our customers through the app stores, social networks and of course our support forum. Now that we are up and running on WP8 rest assured that we will work continuously to improve the app, so if you have any suggestions or comments please let us know.

 

I hope you enjoy CoPilot on Windows Phone 8. I certainly enjoyed the challenge of supporting this new OS for CoPilot.

 

The CoPilot support forum is found at: http://forum.copilotgps.com/.

CoPilot® GPS Navigation Arrives on Windows Phone 8

CoPilot-Live-Strapline

 

CoPilot® GPS Navigation Arrives on Windows Phone 8

Popular free mapping, trip planning, and car navigation app is now available for Windows Phone 8

 

Princeton, N.J. – June 13, 2013 – ALK Technologies Inc., a leading provider of navigation and GeoLogistics™ software, is pleased to announce its free CoPilot® mobile navigation app is now available for Windows Phone 8 smartphones.

CoPilot GPS brings easy-to-navigate offline maps, powerful route planning tools, and local exploring to Windows Phone 8 devices such as the Lumia 920, HTC Windows Phone 8X, and Samsung Ativ S – at no cost to the user. Detailed street maps and Points of Interest (POIs) of an entire country are stored on the phone, allowing users to calculate routes and get driving or walking directions even when there’s no mobile network coverage.

“People depend on their phones for maps and guidance. Yet online mapping apps can be unreliable, especially in places where there’s limited or no mobile service,” said David Quin, head of consumer applications at ALK Technologies. “CoPilot is designed for use offline, providing guidance even when there’s no mobile connection. It’s been incredibly popular on Android and iOS and we are delighted to extend this experience to Windows Phone 8 users.”

The free CoPilot GPS app includes 14-days use of full voice-guided 3D car navigation features and CoPilot’s real-time traffic service, ActiveTraffic™. After 14 days, users can continue to enjoy free and unlimited access to offline maps and route planning, or upgrade to unlimited turn-by-turn navigation via an in-app purchase.

Free features in CoPilot GPS for Windows Phone 8 include:

–          Premium quality street maps stored on your smartphone for offline use.

–          Millions of Points of Interest (POIs) built-in.

–          Powerful trip planning with a choice of 3 routes and drag-and-drop route editing.

–          Unique CoPilot itinerary optimizer to calculate the best way around multiple stops.

–          Walking mode to explore unfamiliar cities on foot.

–          Comprehensive local search with integrated Yelp

–          Global map regions available to purchase and store on your device for data-free roaming abroad.

CoPilot GPS launched on iOS and Android in April 2012. It has been downloaded over 4.5 million times in its first year.

More information and images available here

About ALK Technologies, Inc.
ALK Technologies, a global leader in GeoLogistics™ and navigation software, is focused on developing innovative solutions for transportation, logistics, mobile workforces and consumers. For 30 years, ALK has led the transportation industry with high-quality routing, mileage and mapping solutions. Product lines include award-winning CoPilot Live, the GPS navigation software of choice for fleets, mobile operators, hardware OEMs, systems integrators, professional drivers and consumers.  Our newest product, ALK Maps is a development platform designed for the transportation industry and provides commercial routing, geocoding and mapping visualization for enterprise applications.

For more information on ALK Technologies, visit: www.alk.com or follow us at: www.twitter.com/ALKTech.

CoPilot Live Media Contact:

Adam Curtis

Abel Communications

adam@abelcommunications.com

(401) 843-3822

 

CoPilot in the News: May

We’ve been working hard behind the scenes this month to bring you new and exciting updates to your CoPilot app! We hope you enjoyed our Memorial Day Sale and found some great places to spend your long weekend.

Here’s a comprehensive roundup of all the great reactions CoPilot received this month. Many thanks to everyone who took the time to write about us, we appreciate your support!

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Hit the road with these 11 road trip apps for Android, iOS

“If you happen to find yourself off the grid, having a secondary offline navigation app like CoPilot GPS can be a lifesaver. Just be sure to download the free maps for the areas you plan to travel to before you hit the road; you’ll only have to sacrifice a few gigs of storage space.”

Read More

 

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Forbes_LogoCoPilot Live App Makes Travel Navigation Safer by Andy Robertson

Happily then, the CoPilot Live app (iPhone, Android, Windows Phone) has a neat way around this by downloading all the navigation data beforehand.

Read More

 

Helpful Hint: CoPilot Saves Your (Battery) Life!

With any smartphone or tablet, battery life is a hot commodity meant to be rationed by any means necessary. Rest assured, CoPilot users, we know and understand this logic and have given you a way to save on power while navigating. In addition to lowering screen brightness and turning off vibrate mode, CoPilot offers a way to help reduce the amount of battery used.

Inside the CoPilot app, you can go to Settings and choose Power Saving. Once there, choose a lower setting which will move the map display fewer times per second and help save your battery.

Power Saving

If you’re using CoPilot in the car, it’s best to keep a car charger handy too. Need more ways to save battery? Check out this video by MinuteHacks:

Deft Device Stands For Your SmartPhone and Tablet

Travel season is upon us! As you head to the beach or lounge pool side, don’t forget to give your device a nice place to relax as well. We’ve rounded up some of the coolest device holders to make sure you’re coveted Co-Pilot enabled smartphone or tablet has a great resting spot.

If you’re…A CAT LOVER

 You’ve Gato Call Phone Stand from ModCloth $21.99

This fancy feline will gladly hold your phone while you’re tending to other important matters.

cat holder

 

If you’re…A TRENDSETTER

Smart Pebbles multifunctional cell phone holder by DesignMAX $10.40

 The heat-resistant, silicon based pebbles serve as a great laptop stand or device holder and come in many different colors.

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If you’re…NOSTALGIC

Jonathan Adler Smartphone Holder by Jonathan Alder $48.00

Though the price tag may be hefty, this Jonathan Adler piece does allow for charging while the phone is in place. Simply plug the cord into the bottom of the stand!

Jonathan-Adler-Smartphone-Holder

 

 

If you’re…A BIG KID

Astronaut Smart Phone Holder $20

This useful action figure is also available as a soldier, polar bear or bell hop.

astronaut-phone-holder

 

 

If you’re…INTO TRUCKS

Lori Load Stand by Monkey Business $23.99

For all you CoPilot Truckers, here’s a flatbed for your smartphone.

lori-load-iphone-stand

 

 

If you’re…A BEACH BUM

iBeach smartphone stand by treehouseoasis $36.00

These cute beach chairs will have your phone lounging in style. Available on Etsy.

beach chair iphone holder

 

 

 

Already have a great stand for your smartphone or tablet? Did you DIY your own device holder? Tell us all about it in the comments!

Have a Monumental Memorial Day!

Memorial Day Weekend is the long awaited three (sometimes four) day weekend that unofficially kicks off the summer travel season. Everyone heads to their favorite shore spot to get relax in the sun and sand.

But the official reason for this holiday is to commemorate those that have fought valiantly for our country and there’s no more evidence of that than the monuments scattered around the USA. However, most of these beautiful works of art aren’t confined to Washington D.C. Behold, our list of majestic, lesser known memorials that are worth a visit.

Soldiers and Sailors Monument – Indianapolis, Indiana

Soldiers_and_Sailors_Monument_Indianapolis  Located in the heart of downtown Indianapolis, this 242-foot high monument serves as a memorial to all of the Indianapolis natives who lost their lives in the American wars in the 18th and 19th century. The monument also serves as a Christmas tree for the city, a ceremony known as the Circle of Lights, during the holiday season with decorations beginning the day after Thanksgiving.

 

 

 

 

 

San Jacinto Memorial- La Porte, Texas

San Jacinto Memorial

They say that everything is bigger in Texas, and this monument is no exception. Clocking in at 567 feet tall, it is the largest monumental column in the world! Commemorating the decisive battle for Texan independence, this monument is a popular tourist attraction located at the San Jacinto Battleground Historic Site near Houston.

 

 

 

World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument – Honolulu, Hawaii

wwii pacific

This memorial actually spans three states – California, Alaska and Hawaii. The biggest site is in Hawaii which is the final resting place for the infamous USS Arizona and the USS Oklahoma Memorial, the USS Utah Memorial, and parts of Ford Island and Battleship Row.

 

 

Tomb of the Unknown Revolutionary War Soldier – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

tomb-of-the-unknown-revolutionary-war-soldier--george-washington-lee-dos-santos

Located in the historic Washington Square section of Philadelphia, this monument honors soldiers who gave their life for their country during the Revolutionary War. There’s a mass grave located behind the memorial for soldiers who, as the plaque reads, “died to give you liberty.”

 

 

 

 

 

Which monuments are the best kept secrets in your state? Let us know in the comments. Have a safe, happy Memorial Day!

 

CoPilot: An App You Can Take Home To Mom

So you’ve waited too long to place an order for a beautiful bouquet? Skip the practically wilted flowers for something that’ll last Mom longer than a couple of days.

Head to the iTunes Store or Google Play Store and download CoPilot Live now!

Mom can use CoPilot to make life easier for the both of you! Like the fierce, multi-tasking wonder woman that she is, CoPilot’s advanced mapping and specialized features will make her even more of a superhero.

CoPilot will give  Mom more free time with the trip-optimization feature, points of interest to find places closest to her and ActiveTraffic™ to make sure she chooses the road literally less traveled.

And with all that free time, Mom can spend it headed to the places she’d really much rather visit:

Myrtle Beach

SONY DSC

Happy Mother’s Day

Love,

The CoPilot Team

CoPilot in the News: April

The sun is shining, birds are chirping and people are talking CoPilot! April was another great month for the CoPilot team. We rolled out app updates  and celebrated CoPilot GPS‘ first year on the market! We also helped spread the word about Distracted Driving Awareness Month for all our CoPilot users.

Here’s a comprehensive roundup of all the great reactions CoPilot received this month. Many thanks to everyone who took the time to write about us, we appreciate your support!

 

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10 More Must-Have Windows Phone 8 Apps by Kathy Kim

“This summer, a version of the popular CoPilot GPS for Android and iOS will be available for Windows Phone 8. This navigation app was developed by GPS navigation software specialist ALK Technologies.”

Read More

 

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App Weekender: 25 apps & 15 games you should try this weekend by Antonio Wells

“CoPilot Live turns your Android smartphone or tablet into a high performance GPS with unlimited use of offline maps and voice-guided turn-by-turn directions, free map updates and 1 year of free real-time INRIX traffic.”

Read More

 

Most Popular Android Devices Running CoPilot, Is Yours On the List?

CoPilot currently runs on more than 250 Android Smartphones and tablets and is constantly evolving to support all of the HD and high-res screens they produce. But have you ever wondered which devices are the most popular for running CoPilot? We looked into our global statistics from the past year and the results are in!android logo

The top ten of the most popular devices equipped with CoPilot at this very moment are:

  1. Samsung S III
  2. Samsung S II
  3. Google Nexus 7
  4. Galaxy Note 2
  5. Galaxy Note
  6. HTC One X
  7. Samsung Galaxy S
  8. HTC Sensation
  9. Samsung Galaxy Nexus
  10. Galaxy tab

Interestingly – but not so surprisingly – Nexus 4, Galaxy tab 2 and Xperia Z are becoming increasingly more popular. It will be fun to see how the Android landscape will look like one year from now, with the arrival of new Android devices such as HTC One and Galaxy S IV … and all of the future Android creations!HTC One X

A big thank you to all our wonderful Android fans who have sent us  feedback, reported issues and shared great ideas with us! We will keep working to improve the app to make sure we will support as many Droids as possible, and if you have spotted something or think we could improve in some areas, please let us know in our user forum: http://forum.copilotgps.com/ .

We wish you happy, safe travels with your Droid!

Be A Greener Driver On Earth Day

Happy Earth Day! Today is a great day to become aware of your carbon footprint and how you can help alleviate the waste you contribute to the planet. CoPilot can help you conserve fuel as well as time.

Check your tires: Properly inflated tires can improve your car’s overall fuel efficiency.

Drive less with Trip Optimization: Try bundling errands together to reduce how far you need to travel. Going back-and-forth to the same part of town on different days to run errands uses more gas than if you planned and did everything in the same area all at once.

You’ve Got Options: Walk, bike, ride the bus or carpool. CoPilot lets you change your method of travel so no matter what you can still get the same directions while being environmentally conscience.

Bike prefences

Lessen Your Load: Don’t carry too much weight in your trunk and remove your car’s roofrack when not in use. This will decrease the amount of fuel being used.

Optimize your speed: You will consume up to 25% less fuel if you drive no more than 90 MPH. Our Speed Limit feature allows you to receive an audible warning when you reach or exceed the speed limit by whatever amount of MPH you set.

Speed Limit

Plan Ahead: Whenever possible only drive during non-peak hours.

Obey The Rules: Don’t be an aggressive driver. Studies show that fast starts, weaving in and out of traffic, and accelerating to and from a stop sign or traffic light don’t save much time, but do waste fuel.

 

These are just a few of the many ways that we can help reduce our carbon footprints as drivers. Got any more ideas? Leave them in the comments!