Verizon Debuts Palm Pre, Pixi Plus, VZ Navigator Update
A busy Verizon Wireless has stocked its shelves with the Palm Pre Plus and Pixi Plus, and introduced the VZ Navigator 5.0, an update to its GPS-based services. Unlike Nokia's recent mapping announcement, the Verizon service is $9.99 a month.
The Palm Pre Plus and Palm Pixi Plus smartphones are now officially available on Verizon Wireless' 3G network.
On Verizon's network, both smartphones can download apps from the Palm App Catalog, browse the Web, stream radio, play video, send e-mails with photo or video attachments, and get down to business with rapid file-sharing features.
With Verizon's 3G Mobile Hotspot app, the phones can also create a hotspot accessible by five Wi-Fi-enabled devices.
As announced last month, the Pre Plus is priced at $149.99, after a $100 mail-in rebate, and the Pixi Plus is $99.99, after an identical rebate; both prices are also contingent on a two-year contract.
Through Feb. 14, with the purchase of a Pre Plus or Pixi Plus, customers can also receive a free Pixi Plus, after a mail-in rebate.
On Feb. 1, Verizon additionally introduced the VZ Navigator 5.0, an updated version of its GPS-enabled mapping, navigation and local search service. Version 5.0 includes an updated interface, the ability to run multiple VZ Navigator functions within a navigation session, and integration with Verizon's Wireless Roadside Assistance service, enabling a dispatcher to potentially send assistance more quickly.
On a lighter note, it also integrates with Facebook, points out more areas of interest and lets users of certain BlackBerry and Windows Mobile handsets verbally search and update destinations.
VZ Navigator is available for $9.99 a month for unlimited access or $2.99 for a 24-hour pass on some devices. Beginning Feb. 1, the service will be rolled out on the BlackBerry Curve 8530, the LG enV Touch, the HTC Touch Pro2 and the Samsung Omnia, though additional devices will be added in the next few weeks.
The update comes two weeks after Nokia announced it's now offering free driving and walking navigation services to users of its GPS-enabled smartphones. Ovi Maps is now available as a free download to 10 Nokia handsets, but beginning in March, it will come pre-loaded on all GPS-enabled devices.