Skobbler, the free Sat-Nav for iPhone, gets Google local search, revamped UI

Skobbler, the free iPhone Sat-Nav solution based on the OpenStreetMap (OSM) project, has seen a major update today.

New to version 3.0 is support for Google local search which offers an alternative to traditional address input based navigation. Instead users can input the name of an establishment or type of restaurant, say Pizza, and based on the list of results begin navigating with a single tap.

Additionally, skobbler has been given a major user interface revamp, giving it a new look and feel and making it clearer and more accessible, says the company. Under the hood there have also been improvements to GPS positioning, performance and stability.

Finally, the application now takes advantage of the iPhone’s iOS4 update, meaning that there is support for multitasking so that a user has full access to the phone’s features without having to exit the skobbler app.

Of course, none of this takes away from the ‘do-it-yourself’ model that skobbler relies on in which users themselves are asked to fill in any missing gaps – literally – in the maps used for navigation thanks to its reliance on data from OSM. Regardless, the app has seen over 100,000 downloads in the UK since June, while it remains the “top-selling” navigation app in iTunes in Germany. Moving forward, skobbler plans to roll out internationally (Europe, US, Russia) sometime during Q3 this year.