It works by letting you select from among 18 different location related options about what to announce as you move. These include both typical items like street name and address and specialized options like approaching streets and nearby places and the distance and direction to them. (All announcements are optional.) All this information is shown on the main screen and is available at any time.
The program enhances its onboard data with data from Google Places if you have a mobile network connection. You may also create favorites, name them, and share them back to the Google Places service so others can benefit from the places you mark and identify.
Nearby Explorer includes a transit feature that provides detailed mass transit schedules for over 30 metropolitan areas in the U. S. and Canada. When you open the Transit menu, Nearby Explorer shows a list of all the transit stops within 300 yards of your current location and tells you the distance and direction to each stop along with the time and travel direction of the next bus or train serving that stop. When you pick a stop, you get a list of all the busses or trains serving that stop, what time they are scheduled to arrive, and the direction of travel, and you may follow any of the trips through their entire route. You get the time, location, and direction of each stop along the trip.
The "Geobeam" feature lets you point the device and receive tone, haptic, and verbal feedback about points of interest either from the onboard maps or, if you have a data connection, from Google Places. The haptic feedback actually lets you focus on a point and follow the vibration feedback to the marked location. Warning: there could be obstacles between you and the desired location that Nearby Explorer can not know about.
The Compass lets you point in a direction and get both a directional announcement and the announcement of all the streets in that direction for one half mile.
You may virtually move to any area in the U.S. or Canada and explore the road network, search, or use the transit maps for that area.
For complete details about Nearby Explorer, see http://tech.aph.org/ne_info.htm
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•Adds the Voice Input button to the Search screen
•Adds the ability to have the direction to the nearby place given relative to a clock face
•Adds OpenStreetMap as an optional address provider
•Keeps the device awake while active, improving performance when the screen is locked
•Filters undesirable types from Google Places results. This prevents speaking of the current street name as a nearby place, as well as political boundaries.
•Indicates if the current nearby place is a transit stop