Sendero's Seeing Eye GPS App for iOS Edges Closer to Release

Member of the AppleVis Editorial Team

Noises coming from Sendero suggest that the release of their long-anticipated  turn-by-turn GPS iOS app could be edging closer.

According to their website, the Seeing Eye GPS app will include all the normal navigation features that you would expect from a traditional GPS, plus features unique to blind users. These include:

  • Instead of multiple layers of menus, the 3 important navigation elements are on the lower portion of every screen, Route, POIs and Location.
  • At intersections, the street name and your direction of travel are announced.
  • Intersections are described like 4-way with the clock face orientation of the streets.
  • There are three choices for POI data (Navteq, Foursquare, and OSM) and two map sources (Navteq and OSM).
  • Directions are configured appropriately for Pedestrian and vehicle routes including heads up when approaching a turn, the turn now indication, continue straight and where the subsequent turn is located.
  • When the user wanders off the route, it is automatically recalculated and updated turn information is announced.
  • Point your phone in a given direction to hear what is nearby with the LookAround Wand.
  • Nearby Points of interest and intersections are automatically announced.

Check out the User's Guide on the Sendero website for details on all features.

The initial release is slated to be available only in North America, with Sendero saying that once released they will be working on versions for the United Kingdom and Europe.

Sendero issued an invitation yesterday for people to take part in a preview test of the app, but this was quickly closed to further responses after nearly 300 people stepped forward in less than 24 hours. This shows just how much interest there is likely to be when this app finally hits the App Store.

As we have discussed previously, it will be extremely interesting to see how Sendero decide to price this app - will it be a one-off purchase, or will the rumors of a subscription-based service prove to be true. Hopefully we won't have long to wait before we know the answer and the app is available for download.

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Nice, but do I need it?

Other than combining the features into a single app, I'm not sure what real benefit this will have over other apps which I already have on my iPhone - most notably Navigon, BlindSquare and Ariadne. Used in conjunction, these already make for quite a powerful set of tools. It might be a hard sell to convince me that I should part with more money.

My concern

Club AppleVis Member

well, first of all, I already bought their previous app and wasn't very impressed with it. However, I would be willing to try this app with a one-time purchase fee. I have deep reservations about paying for this app on a subscription basis, because if it is anything like their previous GPS app, it will take forever to see any updated information. As fast as businesses change, streets gain new names, and other such issues, unless they are going to have some sort of guarantee that there will be constant map updates, then I am going to have to say no to any sort of subscription-based idea. If there will be constant updates, then I have no problem shelling out a couple bucks a month. Just my thoughts. Scott