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TomTom 600 vs iPhone App

 
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sixhundred
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Joined: Oct 11, 2007
Posts: 81

PostPosted: Fri Nov 21, 2014 12:04 pm    Post subject: TomTom 600 vs iPhone App Reply with quote

Having used the 600 for over a year I recently bought the iPhone App. Hereíre my thoughts on a relative comparison and general review.

(Note I run the app on an iPhone 6+. The size of the screen on the phone led me to buy the app)

Initial impressions of the App werenít too great. However now Iíve got used to it, I find it good and in some ways better than the 600.

The App user interface is better than the 600. The menus and specifically the ability to move menu options up and down the screen is great. I put all the most commonly used ones at the top. I find the general speed of the App is faster than the 600. For example to navigate somewhere on the App you tap the screen, tap Navigate, tap Favourite, tap the one you want. Itís very responsive.

The routing is quick on both. Iíd say the App is faster. Interestingly I ran both devices for a fortnight and they produce different routing. I have traffic on both so itís not different data. Sometimes the routings are significantly different between the devices. I canít explain this and Iíd have thought the algorithms would be the same.

The display of traffic on the 600 is better. On the app the righthand side bar shows the traffic spots but no information (other than Amber or Red dots). The 600 shows the delay e.g. 5 mins, at each incident. Itís a small thing. The App does show the total delay at the top of the screen.

Destination selection on the app is better. It has full postcode, POI, address, point on map, people (contacts), photo location, coordinates, events (calendar entries). The 600 has these apart from the ones requiring data on the phone e.g. contacts.

All route options are easily available on the app. e.g. avoid roadblock, travel via, etc. The 600 does these however the UI on the app makes them easier to use.

For those who want to the app can do Check Ins to Facebook or Foursquare. I don't use these.

The map display on the App is very good. In 2D and 3D mode you can pinch to zoom in/out and set an option to stop auto-zoom. This means I can zoom out to see quite a few miles ahead and it stays at this setting. The slight challenge is overall route view. The 600 screen, due to being in landscape and its size, does a good job of showing the overall route in 2D. I personally like this view when itís a route I know well. I can see the traffic hotspots way ahead. The app does the overall 2D view however the screen size makes this less useful (even in landscape mode). The App also seems to have a curious behaviour of always using black maps when you turn the traffic on when Browsing the map. In normal navigation mode this doesnít happen.

The traffic bar can be tapped on the app to show more details. Same as the 600.

The app map colours are configurable. It automatically switches to night mode (this can be disabled). Again, the map is easily read.

I donít use the voice navigation however did try it. All seems fine. There are a number of voice choices and some can read road names, numbers, etc. All seems present and correct. In terms of sound Iíve used the internal speaker and also the car radio via a direct aux connection. All works fine.

Both the 600 and the App find GPS quickly. The traffic download is equally as fast. No problems there. Having said that sometimes the App downloads the traffic and says ďNo delaysĒ, then 30 seconds later a number of delays appear. Not quite sure whatís happening there and may just be timing.

Battery life could be a challenge. Running apps with the screen always on will always be tricky. However on the 6+ Iíd say itís absolutely fine. The device has a bigger battery however on a 2 hour journey I use 10-15% of battery with the app and screen always on. At the end of the day I run my 600 with the charger, however with the App on iPhone I donít need to. This makes the cable count on my dashboard one less.

Whatís missing? I canít think of anything major on the App. During navigation thereís a quick access menu showing music control, voice on/off, day/night and 3D/2D display. Iíd like to see these configurable for example Iíd add a button to navigate to work in one tap. The issues with the 600 are the UI, itís just not very good nor responsive compared to the phone. Perhaps the more modern phone will have the edge however the 600 is expensive and it needs to be better. (Although cheaper than buying an iPhone I guess!!)

Conclusion. The cost of the App makes the decision to buy difficult. However, all things considered, Iím happy I did. After an initial learning period and setting up the App as I wanted, itís become my primary navigation tool. The major positives are the App UI is better and faster. The map display on 600 (due to huge screen) is better however the App is perfectly acceptable.

(TomTom app v.1.19.2. App version 8.300 (1701307). Map v937.5944)
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JLee
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Joined: Dec 11, 2005
Posts: 139
Location: Barnsley UK

PostPosted: Mon Dec 01, 2014 12:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thats really helpful. Thank you.

I have the TomTom XL Live Routes and can't understand why, when I've paid out so much for their device, am I charged £47.50 per year for live services and £49.99 for one years worth of map updates when an iPhone user who has invested more with Apple than with TomTom gets lifetime map updates and the live services only costs £18.99 per year.

Can anyone explain why someone who paid out so much to TomTom for a device is being charged so much more than an iPhone user?

One this is for sure, I won't be buying any more subscriptions for my device. I'll be using my iPhone when the subscription expires.
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M8TJT
The Other Tired Old Man
The Other Tired Old Man


Joined: Apr 04, 2006
Posts: 9754
Location: Bexhill, East Sussex, UK

PostPosted: Mon Dec 01, 2014 3:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

JLee wrote:
Can anyone explain why someone who paid out so much to TomTom for a device is being charged so much more than an iPhone user?
Business model? Or using more modern terminology (even if it is last century) "Because they can".
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JLee
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Joined: Dec 11, 2005
Posts: 139
Location: Barnsley UK

PostPosted: Tue Dec 02, 2014 6:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

M8TJT wrote:
JLee wrote:
Can anyone explain why someone who paid out so much to TomTom for a device is being charged so much more than an iPhone user?
Business model? Or using more modern terminology (even if it is last century) "Because they can".

Its not the smartest business model though when I'm never going to buy one of their devices again. I pay once on iPhone and that's me done except for £18.99 per year.
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