Location based services and maps company MapMyIndia has released a new device called MapmyIndia Connect that will let anyone mirror their smartphone or tablet screen (Android and iOS) screen, on to a TV or a screen in a car. Though the objective is to allow MapMyIndia users to see the map easily on a bigger screen as opposed to that of a smartphone, it can be used to stream games or any other apps, expanding its use cases.
The device costs Rs 12,990 and can be connected to the display via AV cables or through Micro USB. The device also comes with DLNA-MIRACAST convert switch, which means it can connect to the device over an existing WiFi network or through direct WiFi using Miracast. Most flagship phones such as Galaxy S4, S3, Galaxy Note 3, Note 2, HTC One, One+, Sony Xperia Z, ZL, T and V, Blackberry Q10, Z30, LG G2, Nexus 4, Nexus 5 all support this standard. In phones that do not support these mirroring options, one can download MaymyIndia Connect (link to .apk file) application and then stream videos, audio etc.
There are several android boxes out there that can mirror a smartphone screen to a TV, but the company seems to be focusing on a market not many people have in the past — your car. However, MapmyIndia’s GPS solutions are much cheaper for someone who wants a navigation device in their car and someone who wants a mirroring device for their TV might prefer one of the smaller dongles that plug-in directly into an HDMI port to this box. The biggest advantage of MapmyIndia’s device is that it’ll let people use Google Maps or Waze on a GPS like screen instead being restricted to the option bundled by GPS manufacturers.
This device would have been more interesting if it was priced aggressively to compete with Chromecast rather than some of the Android boxes we have in the market already. Chromecast has serious limitation on the kind of content it can stream on to a display which this device does.
Earlier this month, it had released a new version of its maps that offered Hindi Maps (i.e. maps with Hindi text) in 10 cities across Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Bihar, Himachal Pradesh, J&K , Punjab and Uttaranchal. The new version 8.1 covered 10.54 million places of interest and over 2 million road kilometers across 600,000 villages with advanced information like one-ways, turn restrictions, dividers, service lanes, round-abouts, flyovers, tolls, slip roads and ramps in the country. It also claims to offer maps for 52 cities with house-level details, 66 cities with 3D city models and street level maps for 6,028 Indian cities.
Last month, MapmyIndia had launched a local search Windows 8 app called Explore, which seems to have now been extended to Android as well. It had also launched its iOS maps application as a free download on App Store, introduced real time traffic information for three Indian cities on its maps applications across Android, Windows Phone and Windows 8 and launched a people tracking app Locate.
In May 2013, it inked an exclusive partnership with Tata Motors to offer in-dash GPS navigation system on the Tata Vista D90 and had tied up with a series of car makers like BMW, Jaguar-Land Rover, Mercedes, Toyota, Honda and others to integrates its GPS solutions on a range of car models in November 2012. The company also says it has partnered mobile phone manufacturers like BlackBerry, Nokia, Samsung, iBall, Lemon Mobiles to preload its application on handsets of the respective handset makers.