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Discussion: Are free nav apps killing satnav?
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davemcwish
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Joined: Mar 01, 2005
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 19, 2012 9:19 am    Post subject: Recent experience Reply with quote

Recently I had a work trip out to the eastern parts of Essex. We got to the location ok using the driver's TomTom however on trying to get back the device couldn't get a GPS signal despite resetting. Of those in the car the only device that could get us back was my N8 running locally stored maps; the other smartphones needed 3g signals, which they couldn't get, to download maps in real time. Luckily my battery just held out.

On reflection, we did get back but the routing was somewhat different to that of TomToms takings us through small villages. In an emergency, Ovi maps did it's job but for me though, my TT940 is the current device of choice as I need the additional functionality of being able to add and update my own (custom) POI files.

I should add that I've not got or tried TT or other mapping on iPhone or Android so they may well have that functionality which could tempt me to switch (they would also need live services and contact navigation).
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peterc10
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 19, 2012 6:18 pm    Post subject: Re: Recent experience Reply with quote

davemcwish wrote:

I should add that I've not got or tried TT or other mapping on iPhone or Android so they may well have that functionality which could tempt me to switch (they would also need live services and contact navigation).

They do have full onboard maps and no data needed (except for live services of course).

My Sygic can also have live traffic using TT's own data (UK 8 per year Europe 17.50), but I don't use it. It also does support full navigate to contacts (and is much less picky about the form the address is in than TT6 used to be). And I get free updated maps (and app) for life. And I can install it on up to 5 different Android devices at the same time. I have it on both my phone and tablet. And finally it is cheaper than TT and uses their map data.
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M8TJT
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Joined: Apr 04, 2006
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 19, 2012 7:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

But their (Sygic) live traffic gives no delay time at the moment and it hasn't got automatic re-routing. But it does show up the jams on the screen as per TT's Live Traffic on the internet.
One major advantage seems to be the on-board maps, so you are not left in the middle of nowhere with no maps and no data comms to get them. That principle realy sounds like a disaster to me and about as much use as **** on a fish. I can do without traffic info, but no maps? Rolling Eyes
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Guivre46
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2012 5:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well no danger from this app.
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matthewj
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 08, 2012 2:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Had my first chance to really try the new navigation in iOS6 on Sunday. Really quite interesting. So I was heading to "Tarn Hows" in the lake district. Well known for bad POI info, Apple maps knew about it and where it was. Dead easy. Sensible route choice, and ready to go. I had to pick up something before leaving, and it was fine with re-routing when I diverted off course. What was more interesting was the TomTom 740 LIVE which I was going to compare it against. We've been there before, but I could not find a POI for Tarn Hows. And given I let my LIVE service lapse, and the lake doesn't have a postcode to find, I was completely stuck! Totally useless without going browsing the map trying to find it, and that isn't easy. Anyway, I set it to Ambleside, and my wife found a farm's postcode from some book on the way.

The Apple navigation worked really well for what it is - it was quite competent in getting us there. What didn't work well was the spoken instructions, which kept getting clipped, so it would say "in 300 yards, turn d go straight on". This happened in the middle of most instructions. The other thing is that I had the phone in the natural portrait orientation, which meant that the map was thin. Around one long left corner I had to turn left, but the corner bent off the left of the display, and thus I could not see the approaching corner. I tried it in landscape on the way back, but for selecting music, podcasts etc, portrait would be needed. The instructions are not as prolific as the TomTom either. You'd get "in 2 miles, take a left", and then at the junction (almost right on it once) you'd get a "turn left", but no "in 300 yards turn left" to warn you. The TomTom was quietly being more useful.

The final thing, and I think this applies to the Android one too, is that the roads are just too darned thin. In the map of a city view, when you have time to study, this is nice. But when you are just glancing, thin is non-existent. Even the main road you are on is quite thin. In comparison, the TomTom roads are big and chunky, and easy to see at a glance.

In conclusion, I think that the TomTom is streets ahead (pun intended) of the iPhone and Android "navigation" software. The phones are likely to get you there, but the TomTom makes it a pleasure - it is a tool designed for the purpose. Sure, it has faults, but everything does. PNDs will live a little longer, until the phones stop focussing on being pretty and focus on the task.
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peterc10
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 08, 2012 2:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

matthewj wrote:

In conclusion, I think that the TomTom is streets ahead (pun intended) of the iPhone and Android "navigation" software. .

Well that is interesting because the iOS6 mapping and navigation is by Tom Tom. By "Android" I assume that you mean Google maps? The iOS and Google navigation both need a good data service because neither have on-board maps, unlike the TT and other paid for apps on both platforms.
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matthewj
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 08, 2012 6:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Android I have is on my "reference" Nexus phone, with then latest OS.

Yes, the data does need to be downloaded, and I know that iOS uses the TomTom road data, not sure on Google's road info.

I forgot to mention that the PGPSW camera alerts sounded on the TomTom, but of course are not integrated into iOS nav. I could have run the separate app of course.

One difference that may be worth noting is the iOS navigation is able to use the TomTom HD Traffic info for navigation re-routing. That could be worth something. But the general experience is such that I've renewed LIVE on the 740 for another year as I have some driving to do this week.
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aj2052
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 08, 2012 6:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Having just tried TomTom on my desiure Hd, your comments on narrow roads are still valid and very difficult to read maps, although only tested on a twenty minute journey first impressions are of a very slimmed down product, another wierd thing is there doesnt appear to be able to orientate maps in a travel direction view, personally dissapointed and no match for a dedicated satnav unit.
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matthewj
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 09, 2012 4:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

matthewj wrote:
One difference that may be worth noting is the iOS navigation is able to use the TomTom HD Traffic info for navigation re-routing. That could be worth something.


Having set off on a journey today on the M6, with TomTom HD Traffic showing delays at points, I must unfortunately report that the iOS6 navigation knew nothing of such delays, and did not mention it ever. It appears as though it is as restricted as Google maps as far as traffic info is concerned - it can show it on the map, but not use it for routing. Given how few options it has - like you can control the volume of the speech, but it lowers a podcast too without pausing it, it is really a poor relation to a proper satnav app, and to a proper satnav. Pity, but the check-list item is checked so the iPhone won't lose in that comparison any more.
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