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Yandex Uses Its Own Services for New App Wired

Yandex on Tuesday presented their new service, Yandex.Navigator, which is available on iOS and Android OS.

The competing Google Navigation application is only supported by Android OS.

"We launch features once we feel they are ready for users," Google Russia spokeswoman Alla Zabrovskaya said when asked about Google Navigation on iOS.

The new Yandex application will make 500 Russian and Ukrainian city maps available; 274 of them are proprietary maps made by Yandex. The new application uses the Yandex.Karty, or Yandex.Maps, services, and current road conditions are taken from the Yandex.Probki or Yandex.Trafficjams service.

"We have 3 million users and 3 billion messages from them every month. Our information updates every two minutes," head of the Yandex mobile department Tigran Khudaverdyan said Tuesday.

The same is true of Google Navigation — the system combines multiple sources of data to update traffic conditions every few minutes.

Yandex.Navigator and Yandex.Karty are separate services. Many car owners previously used Yandex.Karty as a car navigator.

"In the future we plan to make them [Yandex.Karty and Yandex.Navigator] one service," Khudaverdyan said, but "we do not want to make a big, clumsy monster. We want to keep our application simple," he added.

The new Yandex service features a vocal guide that can be set as male or female. It offers two routes for the user to choose from. It shows maps in ordinary and 3-D graphics as well as in day and night modes. It will also show nearby restaurants, shops, filling stations and other services.

"We have more than 2.5 million organizations in our database. And, of course, companies can be highlighted on our maps for a charge," Khudaverdyan said.

The new application from Yandex is available for free. It is intended for use only by car owners. Yandex.Navigator cannot map out walking or bicycle routes. It cannot be used without Internet access as information on it is updated continually.

In the future, Yandex will make it possible to just download maps and only then update information, Khudaverdyan said.

The Google application can be used not only by car owners, but also by users of public transportation and walkers in its beta version. It works without a web connection.

"Google Maps Navigation downloads map data for your upcoming route, so navigation will often continue to work even during periods of lost connectivity. However, rerouting and further searches will have to wait until you're connected again," Zabrovskaya said.

Google Navigation is available now in 100 Russian cities and 31 countries around the world. Yandex.Navigator shows only Russia and Ukraine.

"We have no plans now to made it available for countries abroad," Yandex's Khudaverdyan said.

And it works only in Russian.

"We will make a version in Ukrainian later," Khudaverdyan said.

The country's most popular Internet search engine, Yandex, saw its weekly search-market share drop to 59.1 percent in the week through March 11, the lowest since at least August 2010, while Google's portion increased, according to data compiled by Liveinternet.ru, an Internet service provider and researcher, Bloomberg reported.

Yandex's share was 59.3 percent the previous week and averaged 59.3 percent over the past four weeks. Google's share of Russian searches rose to 26 percent from 25.7 percent, compared with a four-week average of 25.6 percent. The share of Mail.ru Group, the largest Russian-language Internet company, was unchanged at 9.4 percent from the previous week and from a four-week average of 9.4 percent.

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