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Have iPhone will travel



Whilst visiting the popular holiday destination of Orlando Florida I took the opportunity to check out the iPhone's navigation capabilities last month. I set out with a view to evaluating a number of the Turn by Turn Navigation applications available for the iPhone to see if they were fit for purpose when travelling abroad on holiday. What I really needed to know was is it possible to travel abroad with just a passport, credit card and an iPhone? In 4 weeks I drove over 2500 miles using iPhone applications as my sole navigation tool.

Is the iPhone a credible device to use a navigation system on holiday, or could it be even better and rival the capabilities of a full blown PND? These were the main things I wanted to discover and I am pleased to reveal that my TomTom 940 didn't come out of my suitcase let alone make it into the car during this trip.


Comments
Posted by mountdora on Wed Dec 02, 2009 8:17 pm Reply with quote

Wow! G-Map doesn't know about the City of Mount Dora? We can't have that! We are a well known city that everyone loves to come visit. Do you know how I would go about getting Mount Dora known by G-Map?


 
Posted by MikeB on Wed Dec 02, 2009 8:31 pm Reply with quote

mountdora Wrote:
Wow! G-Map doesn't know about the City of Mount Dora? We can't have that! We are a well known city that everyone loves to come visit. Do you know how I would go about getting Mount Dora known by G-Map?

Well I did tell Xroad about it and they were going to look into it. I imagine that your beautiful city will be on the map again soon.


Mike Barrett
Editor, PocketGPSWorld.com

 
Posted by eonisbkuk on Wed Dec 02, 2009 9:08 pm Reply with quote

what about the uk and europe


 
Posted by MikeB on Wed Dec 02, 2009 9:21 pm Reply with quote

eonisbkuk Wrote:
what about the uk and europe

This article was specifically about being able to travel abroad using your iPhone for navigation rather than buying maps and taking your PND with you.

The apps are very similar for the UK and Europe as well. I have used Sygic in Germany with no problems. The main issue with all of these applications is the lack of support for 3rd party add-ons with non-jailbroken iPhones.

We will probably do similar reviews for individual apps at a later point in time. At the moment the apps are changing so quickly it is difficult to produce a full review before the next version of the application is released.


Mike Barrett
Editor, PocketGPSWorld.com

 
Posted by mostdom on Thu Dec 03, 2009 8:08 am Reply with quote

Nice review, a good read!


Dom

HERE LIES PND May it rest in peace.
Navigon 7310/iPhone Navigon&Copilot

 
Posted by flyingfuzz on Thu Dec 03, 2009 7:38 pm Reply with quote

what happens when a call comes in?


TT520 running App 8.351 & map UK&I v845.26345
Using Traffic TMC (round pin) & PGPS speed cameras.

 
Posted by MikeB on Thu Dec 03, 2009 10:27 pm Reply with quote

flyingfuzz Wrote:
what happens when a call comes in?

I am not that popular that a lot of people call me when I am on holiday... But I did get a couple of calls while I was driving.

When the call comes in the Navigation app is killed. The only apps that this happened to were TomTom and Navigon. In both cases when I had finished on the phone the navigation application restarted and carried on with the route I had selected.


Mike Barrett
Editor, PocketGPSWorld.com

 
Posted by bigfatjohn on Thu Dec 03, 2009 11:18 pm Reply with quote

An interesting read.

Back in September I made the same decision to leave my PND at home, and relied on TomTom on my iPhone for a trip to the US. Washington up to Pittsburg, down to Nashville, then back to Washington. All without setting a wheel on an Interstate.

After two and a half thousand miles in two weeks I only lost position a couple of times.

As a bonus, as I was using a powered mount, on a suction mount, my phone was kept fully charged at all times.

I agree with the conclusion, and will not be taking my PND to the US again. There's no need to hump the extra kit about.


 
Posted by andersonGPS on Fri Dec 04, 2009 5:36 am Reply with quote

Best review I've seen (and I've looked all over). And thanks for confirming my decision for Navigon.

A few random thoughts ...

After upgrading to a 3GS today, I can confirm a much better overall experience. On the 3G, I definitely learned to be patient with loading and working with the app; but the 3GS processor / memory handles the app very well.

And while I don't have TomTom app, I will be very interested to see how TomTom handles the traffic feature ... I suspect that they will use their "Live Services - traffic, fuel prices, etc" and require a monthly or annual cost - their current approach.

An interesting consideration with Navigon is that since they've shut down their US device operation, all focus is on iPhone app. That's good for the iPhone customer since they will be less distracted by supporting a lot of other device platforms like TomTom and Magellan. Navigon is pumping out updates almost monthly ... might not be able to sustain it but better than the others for now.

Thanks for the review. Very good.


 
Posted by MrGumby on Fri Dec 04, 2009 9:20 am Reply with quote

I've never taken a PND abroad, have always used a phone, mainly XDA Orbit, Orbit 2 and Guide, usually mounted on a Bracketron Nav-Mat. Software-wise, I've tried CoPilot but get on better with the far from perfect TomTom Nav. I'd hate not to be able to add custom POIs.

Re TT taking Mike 40 miles out of his way, am I the only one who thinks apps are desperately in need of "shortest within reason" and "quickest within reason" options? When I choose "quickest", for example, I don't want to drive an extra 10 miles to save a minute or two.


 
Posted by willis on Fri Dec 04, 2009 11:30 am Reply with quote

Quote:
The one area where all apps need to improve on is with custom POIs. Currently there is no capability on any of them to include external custom POIs.


So can't add the speed cameras from Pocket GPS then? If that's the case I was considering getting a tom tom mount and app from my ipod touch rather than a new device but if I can't have the speed cameras then it will have to be a seperate device.


 
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