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REVIEW COMMENTS: PowerLOC Destinator 3
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Dave
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Joined: Sep 10, 2003
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Location: UK

PostPosted: Mon Dec 08, 2003 12:05 am    Post subject: REVIEW COMMENTS: PowerLOC Destinator 3 Reply with quote

We have completed our review of Destinator 3. Destinator 3 has some neat new features like Custom Maps, Multi-Part Journeys, Birds Eye View, newer high resolution maps (NavTech Q2-2003), avoid roads, complete country-wide maps (no more segments!) and a new Destinator Community just to whet your appetite.

Our Destinator 3 Review can be found here.
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mbd_int
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 08, 2003 2:17 am    Post subject: Re: REVIEW COMMENTS: PowerLOC Destinator 3 Reply with quote

Dave wrote:
We have completed our review of Destinator 3. Destinator 3 has some neat new features like Custom Maps, Multi-Part Journeys, Birds Eye View, newer high resolution maps (NavTech Q2-2003), avoid roads, complete country-wide maps (no more segments!) and a new Destinator Community just to whet your appetite.

Our Destinator 3 Review can be found here.


Thanks for the great and honest review, Dave.

I'd be interested to know more about the speed of acquiring satellites and how (if any) maps have improved since D2.

One thing that I don't like in D2 is driving in downtowns (with a dense grid of intersections). Destinator really slows down (redrawing map after a turn) and by the time you need to perform your next turn it is too late. Have tried D3 in this circumstances? How quickly does it re-plot the route if get off course while in downtown area?

Also, did you find "Avoid roads" feature working for you as expected?

That would be enough questions for now :-)

-Boris
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siwatkins
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 08, 2003 2:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dave,

As a GPS "Newbie" in the UK, I've bought Destinator3 and am having some trouble coming to terms with the software, and am wondering if I'm using the same version as you've reviewed. I'm showing 3.025 in the about screen.

At the moment I'm extremely disappointed in the software for the following reasons:

Roundabouts: Hopeless.
Simple Turn Left, then Turn Right voice commands are all I've had from it so far - even for straight ahead. The only time such simplistic commands can be correct are when turning left at the first exit. Going straight over a roundabout (ie the second exit say) can result in Turn Left, then Turn Left coming from the voice, which if obeyed would route you off the first exit. The same type of roundabout can elicit a Turn Left, then Turn Right, or even a Turn Right then Turn Right, all for the same straight over maneouvre! I don't get the roundabout symbology I see in your screenshots or the onscreen Roundabout info either. It is impossible to use on a UK roundabout in its current form - my family were in hysterics today listening to the girl get it wrong with the voice commands over practically every single roundabout we traversed.

Secondly, I've had conflicting advice from the voice versus the map. Twice today at different locations, the map showed a left turn. The route showed a left turn. The voice said turn right!

Thirdly, a couple of times today, the voice said nothing at all when arriving at a junction, and had said nothing previously. The map clearly showed the junction, the route indicated the direction correctly, but nothing from the voice.

Fourthly, flakey springs to mind. Crashes are too frequent imho for what is a v3 piece of software. Several times I've had to reset my 2210 when running Destinator, because it has locked solid.

Fifthly, and a point you pick up on in the article. Routing. Awful - the chosen quickest route from my house in Great Missenden to Watford took me through some very scenic countryside, which was pleasant enough as we weren't in a rush and it was a nice day. However, it took well over an hour, versus some 20-30 minutes or so that it takes via Autoroute's suggested Quickest. The route to and from my kids school is normally a 40 mile drive by shortest route. Destinator took 50 miles for the same route, with some very weird routing decisions through one of the villages!
Takes an age to let go of the route it has decided it wants to take you too.

Velocity information - Have seen it only briefly on the display. Despite having it enabled, it just doesn't show consistently/at all.

The worst of the above for me, is the relationship between the voice and roundabouts. The map shows everything ok, but the fundamental missing relationship between voice and reality just makes it impossible for me to use.

I've asked for an RMA for the software, as I don't believe it is usable (for voice nav) in its current form, and only barely usable because of the strange routing decisions if voice is turned off. I'm really disappointed that a V3 piece of software cannot cope with a UK roundabout, and thus I wonder if I've somehow been given a piece of Beta software, as it has that unfinished, buggy feel to it, that make me think that it has not been tested in reality at all, and certainly not on UK roads. Even the installer identified Release Candidate! All my above observations are AFTER having applied the latest patch from the Destinator Site.

I'm really hoping someone can tell me there is something dreadfully wrong, and that what I'm seeing is not release quality software, as I don't relish the thought of having to go through the selection process again.

Simon
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Yogi-Bear
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Joined: Dec 03, 2003
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Location: UK - Essex

PostPosted: Mon Dec 08, 2003 10:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I too had the same issues with D3 running 3.0.25 it is a bug!. The cd that i receieved Version 3.0.09 includes roundabouts "Circles" as they are known in V3.0.09.

Yogi
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nulusios
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Joined: 20/08/2002 12:49:16
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Location: Greece

PostPosted: Mon Dec 08, 2003 1:16 pm    Post subject: *I* have a comment yes Reply with quote

Angry once more. Seems GREECE is NOT considered Europe.

Strange enough since we are one of the first 10 in the European Union and even the NAME Europe is Greek.

I WONDER WHEN SOME COMPANIES WILL CONSIDER US "A MARKET".
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Dave
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 08, 2003 4:24 pm    Post subject: Re: REVIEW COMMENTS: PowerLOC Destinator 3 Reply with quote

mbd_int wrote:
Thanks for the great and honest review, Dave.

I'd be interested to know more about the speed of acquiring satellites and how (if any) maps have improved since D2.

One thing that I don't like in D2 is driving in downtowns (with a dense grid of intersections). Destinator really slows down (redrawing map after a turn) and by the time you need to perform your next turn it is too late. Have tried D3 in this circumstances? How quickly does it re-plot the route if get off course while in downtown area?

Also, did you find "Avoid roads" feature working for you as expected?

That would be enough questions for now :-)


Hi Boris, thanks as always we try to write the reviews as honest as possible, otherwise everyone would just slate us if we didn't Wink I have only seen slow downs when Destinator maps were sitting on an IBM MicroDrive. As soon as I transferred maps to my SD card I haven't seen any problems since, so this could be down to speed/performance of storage cards (which has been discussed a lot in the forums here). The tests I did were of about 50 miles out of one town, onto major motorways/A roads and then back into the center of another town, and routing wise I found D3 no worse than other applications, times were very respectible. I guess it depends on the route chosen though. Re-routing was around the 12 second mark, fairly respectable, it was up to about 50 seconds when using a MicroDrive though.

Avoid roads works, but are not as good as you would hope. Basically you can create a category say Motorways and then manually add specific motorways or other roads you want to avoid into this category and then activate the category for avoidance. You couldn't just tap and hold a road and say Avoid, which was a pitty.
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Dave
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 08, 2003 4:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

siwatkins wrote:
Dave,

As a GPS "Newbie" in the UK, I've bought Destinator3 and am having some trouble coming to terms with the software, and am wondering if I'm using the same version as you've reviewed. I'm showing 3.025 in the about screen. Simon


Simon to answer your questions, we were running an early release (3.0.04)

1) Turning left and turning right we haven't seen a problem with, driving over a roundabout you do get told "continue driving around the circle". Unfortunately PowerLOC have reverted to the American way and called it circle (not roundabout), and D2 did list it as roundabout. The text on screen is correct, but the audio is wrong.

2) We haven't experienced any opposite information via voice/screen, this could be down to a mapping error, and might be an idea to report this to PowerLOC, certainly South Central/South West we haven't had any problems with.

3) Again could be a mapping issue, the software may be seeing it as a valid route, but the audio engine may not for some reason, I would report this as a bug

4) I have witnessed no crashes whatsoever on a 2210, and that's even when under high processor and RAM load when using an MP3 player and playing audio back off an IBM MicroDrive.

5) Routing will be addressed I am told by way of a patch. I'm waiting to test this asap.

Bugs do happen, and certainly inconsistencies in certain areas of map data, and there may be some geodata issues in your area. TomTom/TeleType are bad in some areas of the UK and worse in other areas, but our test route tends to be okay. It's like they know where we are and make sure the data is perfect for this location. I know that's not the case, but sometimes you do wonder.
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siwatkins
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 08, 2003 9:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dave,

Thanks for the comprehensive reply.

1) Interesting - I get no continue driving around the circle at all. Just Turn Left, then Turn Left etc. I went over dozens of roundabouts yesterday, so it wasn't an isolated oddity - it was on all of them. I don't get the roundabout symbology on the Turn by Turn either when stepping over a route with roundabouts which is weird. I could live being told to continue driving around the roundabout, but I'm not even getting that.

2) I couldn't understand the opposite information from the voice - the map, and the route it had plotted, all presumably based on the underlying mapping information were all correct, it was just the voice that was wrong, but perhaps the turn information is stored as part of the mapping info too; however it didn't seem to make sense as it was the route that was at variance with the voice, and Destinator had chosen the turn itself. I have reported it to Destinator, but not had a response yet.

3) Reported as above.

4) Hmm, wondering if there's a release problem!

Cheers

Simon
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peteh
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 08, 2003 10:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Simon,

I have the same problem with roundabouts, d3 doesn't recognise them at all, it just tells you to turn left, then, turn left (although if its a big roundabout it just says turn left as you get to the roundabout, then as you are driving around it shouts turn left just as your passing the exit you want!) and as you say they don't show on the turn by turn either.
I did try e-mailing the support a couple of weeks ago but not heard anything from them. Its shame really because the maps seem more accurate than tomtom but in the land of the roundabout its pretty near useless.

Pete.
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siwatkins
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 09, 2003 1:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for confirming that it's not just me with a brain dead Destinator3 at roundabouts Pete! I'm unsure what to do now - I was going to return it, but if I'm not the only one, there is hope that Destinator may fix this bug, as it's unusable with this problem. Two weeks with no response from support eh? Hmmm, not confidence inspiring.

Simon
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Dave
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 09, 2003 10:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

siwatkins wrote:
Dave,

4) Hmm, wondering if there's a release problem!



Actually there is a problem, Lutz recently took a trip up to PowerLOC (we'll be releasing the article later today), and I do remember Lutz saying that there were crashing occuring on 2210's, although on the earlier version I had to test I haven't experienced any crashes. I believe a fix will be available for this soon (if it's not already)
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Dave
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 09, 2003 10:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

siwatkins wrote:
Dave,

1) Interesting - I get no continue driving around the circle at all. Just Turn Left, then Turn Left etc. I went over dozens of roundabouts yesterday, so it wasn't an isolated oddity - it was on all of them. I don't get the roundabout symbology on the Turn by Turn either when stepping over a route with roundabouts which is weird. I could live being told to continue driving around the roundabout, but I'm not even getting that.

Simon


Aha! Simon, which town/city are you testing this in ? I do get roundabout turns appear correctly for Poole, Dorset for instance which is one of my larger testing grounds because there's so many roundabouts and different exits I need to take. These show up fine in the turn by turn screens as a roundabout with an arrow pointing off at specific directions, so if you're not seeing this on your roundabouts it may be something wrong with the mapping (geodata) or the way Destinator is interpreting it. If plot a new start location on the map and then a new destination, take a look at the map and turn by turn instructions, if it's still not working for you, tell me where you selecting as your start and finish and I'll see if I get the same problem on the version I have here.
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siwatkins
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 09, 2003 1:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dave wrote:
Aha! Simon, which town/city are you testing this in ? I do get roundabout turns appear correctly for Poole, Dorset for instance which is one of my larger testing grounds because there's so many roundabouts and different exits I need to take. These show up fine in the turn by turn screens as a roundabout with an arrow pointing off at specific directions, so if you're not seeing this on your roundabouts it may be something wrong with the mapping (geodata) or the way Destinator is interpreting it. If plot a new start location on the map and then a new destination, take a look at the map and turn by turn instructions, if it's still not working for you, tell me where you selecting as your start and finish and I'll see if I get the same problem on the version I have here.


Dave, from Watford to Banbury - a fair swathe of the country. I've also tried plotting dummy routes to elswhere, including Poole, and roundabouts aren't handled correctly.

However, if you read other posts - I'm not the only one with this error. Specifically see the post about the D3 patch.
Now, Destinator as provided on the CD 3.013 won't route at all!!! It will not calculate a route (unspecified path error). Thus in order to get it to run, I have to install the software from CD, then install the patch. (That's pants in itself, thus I need to address that issue with Destinator - my disks don't work, thus I want at the least, a replacment set...).

With the patch installed it will route, but won't deal with roundabouts.
However, I switched to a French Map last night, and hey presto, roundabouts. So it looks like that for this version + patch to make it 3.025, it doesn't work in the UK. Can you try the patch available on the Destinator website for yourself and see if the problem occurs for you. I tried reverting to the CD version, but obviously can't route, so can't see if the error is gone when unpatched.

For reference, if you route from Stoke Mandeville via Aylesbury towards Bicester, you should find plenty of roundabouts on the A41 on the way out of Aylesbury. Like I say though, I can't find anywhere in the UK that it deals with roundabouts, but clearly haven't tried every combination Smile

Appreciate any quick help on this, as I'm very close to sending this back as being of Unmerchantable Quality. If you have any contacts at Destinator, then it would be useful if they could acknowledge this major bug and that they are working on it, as it appears their support doesn't respond to user support requests.

Simon
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Dave
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 09, 2003 5:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Can you

1) goto DESTINATE, ADDRESS enter POOLE as CITY, WALLISDOWN ROAD as STREET, 541 as NUMBER (don't tap OK, tap SHOW).

2) Tap TOOLS then SET AS ORIGIN followed by OK

3) Now tap DESTINATE, ADDRESS, POOLE, WIMBORNE ROAD, 241 then tap NAVIGATE

4) Now tap VIEW then TURN BY TURN

5) Tap on the first NEXT, the second turn should show you a roundabout sign with a left turn, do you see this, or is it just a turn left ? Tap NEXT

6) The next turn should be a roundabout sign (with Turn Right), do you see this or just turn right ?

If you can download MagicSS from our downloads page and install this, and take some screenshots for me.

Stabilisation of D3 is one thing, and there were some problems with 2210's but in the version under review (3.0.04) there have been no problems whatsoever. I'll check the latest patch once I have a full backup of my Pocket PC, but if you aren't seeing proper roundabout signs, then you may have some earlier maps but I would doubt it. I'll need to check this out with PowerLOC.

Also in OPTIONS | ALERT SETTINGS what do you have the visual notifications set to ? Do you have Verbal Visual Notification, Signs Visual Notification or No Visual Notification ?

One other thing to check, in OPTIONS | ROUTE SETTINGS do you have D3 set to Navigation mode or Planner mode ?

Have you applied any other skins ? I need to make sure that I can duplicate the exact same setup as you, it maybe just an option or two that's throwing D3 out completely, or it maybe something more heavier than this like some extra bugs that may have been implemented.

Can you record 4 or 5 screens with MagicSS and email them to me. Same goes for others who see this problem.
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russgunn
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 09, 2003 5:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Another great review guys! I have a few simple questions for you. Will Destinator 3 run on a PPC2002 system that already has TTN2 on it? Do you forsee any compatibility issues with running two types of navigation software? Is Destinator 3 setup to accept all types of GPS receiver, like cabled types and bluetooth types, or are there specific versions?

Thanks.
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