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The Garmin-Asus A10 navigation smartphone

Consumer GPS devices have typically been designed for in-vehicle use, but Garmin-Asus has hit on a great idea with its recently announced A10. Instead of limiting turn-by-turn directions to roads, the Android-based A10 has a pedestrian navigation function called Walking Mode that provides the same pinpoint-precise directions for users who prefer to leg it.

Hardly revolutionary, it’s true, but if you have an appointment to keep somewhere in an unfamiliar labyrinthine shopping district – with hordes of people thronging the sidewalks and obnoxiously-unhelpful neon signs adding to the chaos – you’ll probably come to appreciate this feature a whole lot more.

Screencaps of Walking Mode in action, courtesy of the kind folks from ASUS' HQ in Taiwan.

Perhaps the most impressive aspect of Walking Mode is its seamless integration of point of interest (POI) information. Imagine being able to identify – at a glance – the best eateries, retail outlets, movie theatres and so forth that are within walking distance. It’s even possible to get up-to-date show times and details of interesting events – such as concerts – that are occurring in the area. Very handy indeed, especially if you’re under pressure to impress a date!

The A10’s support for cityXplorer maps is also looking quite useful, as it extends one’s commuting options to the city’s public transit system. With cityXplorer maps, even users new to a country will be able to hop from a bus to the tramway, then to the metro like a seasoned visitor.

cityXplorer deciphers the puzzle that is the public transit system.

We’ll continue to keep an eye on the A10 and its Walking Mode. Stay tuned for more.

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