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Navigon Navigator Review

Navigon Navigator Review

Exactly a year ago this month my excitement about the new iPhone 3G started to heighten. The already excellent mobile internet device was about to get the GPS work over. Rumours of turn by turn navigation by TomTom and the use of Google Maps were rife.


Well one year on iPhone users finally get their hands on turn by turn GPS software. Anyone who watched the Developer Conference Keynote will know that TomTom software is promised “this summer” but Navigon have pipped them to the post.

Navigon in Action.

Navigon in Action.

I always found the Navigon maps to be excellent compared to TomTom that said I discovered the shipped maps are about 3 years old but hopefully Navigon will enable (free) updates via the Apps Store when relevant.

Navigon MobileNavigator for iPhone works pretty well for a first release application. I was able to enter destinations really easily although for some reason Postcode input is limited to 4 characters, this displays a list of possible streets and you select your destination from there (if you know the street).

n1The app ships with a single voice and although this has been criticised elsewhere I don’t really see it as a big issue. The voice is clear and understandable and I suspect Navigon wanted to keep the download down to an absolute minimum.

The application works equally well in landscape mode but I would recommend setting the screen lock time for a large value (or never) as it still kicks in when using MobileNavigator.

Picking up the current location isn’t quick compared to the Google Maps application although I think this may be down to Google Maps using cell tower information to get an initial location. Once connected the application works as described flawlessly getting me from A to B. I even noticed that when connected to my car kit (for iPod) the GPS voice works well over the music.

The directions are clear and the application is pre-programmed for road speeds and even warns you if you surpass the limit of the road (..not a confession).

I have tested the software over a few journeys and I despite all the TomTom talk I feel perfectly happy the Navigon MobileNavigator does everything I need and considerably more.

IMG_0033Features and range of functions:

  • 2D and 3D map displays
  • Can be used in portrait and landscape format
  • Precise voice announcements
  • Intelligent address entry
  • Reality View Pro (realistic display of motorway interchanges and exits)
  • Lane Assistant Pro
  • Real signpost display
  • Speed Assistant with adjustable audio-visual warning
  • Day and night mode for map display
  • Direct access and navigation to contacts saved in the iPhone’s address book

There is no doubt it is an expensive application compared to most of the software we purchase on the Apps Store but still for the first GPS solution on the market I am more than pretty happy with the investment.

It will be interesting to see how the TomTom application fairs when released later this summer, it will have to be something special for me to move from Mobile Navigator.

More Information on Navigon (iTunes Link)

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