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McGuider 2009 Mini Update Review

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Joined: May 09, 2007
Posts: 454
Location: Worcestershire

PostPosted: Fri Dec 12, 2008 10:04 pm    Post subject: McGuider 2009 Mini Update Review Reply with quote

This mini review is based on only a few hours 'playing' with the new TeleAtlas McGuider 2009 release and is based on a Windows Mobile 6.1 platform.

TeleAtlas McGuider 2009 is the latest update to the original McGuider GPS solution released earlier this year for Windows Mobile and Symbian S60 based devices and is based on Sygic Drives mobile solution.

The most obvious changes are
    Updated maps to version 7.80 (dated 06/11/08)

    Application updated to version 7.70.1073

    McGuider Assistant Windows based update utility

    Inclusive speed camera warnings - no where near as good as the PGPSW ones

    A 4GB Micro SDHC card - giving 2GB of free space

In use the changes are fairly small but do make using the program easier. The changes start from as soon as you run the application as you no longer get a warning about using the program whilst driving.
The main interface remains similar to the previous version and is still similar to TomToms. Due to this it is easy to navigate around and use.

One of my major bugbears with the original was when setting the destination. You always needed to choose the country first and the highlughted country was always the first in the list. As a UK resident this meant plenty of scrolling down to get to United Kingdom before I could enter the rest of the details. In the latest version it is still necessary to choose the country, but the last used country is selected which is a start.
The available countries include Western and most of Eastern Europe. Coverage ranges from virtually 100% in the West to less than 50% in Croatia.
Navigating to a post code is still annoying if you are not going to one of the major towns. Since the keyboard only supports numbers or letters serarately the program tries to second guess which you need. In my experience this tends to be wrong, meaning I need to swap between numbers and letters quite frequently.

The routes chosen tend to be reasonable and it is possible to choose from fastest, shortest, economic, pedestrian and bicycle routes. As I only use my GPS whilst driving I have always used the fastest route.
The maps themselves seem to be reasonably up to date and I have noticed some speed limit changes have finally been done (one of the roads round here has been 60mph since it was built 20 years ago but ha always been set at 30mph until this release).

The speed cameras included within the program are standard TeleAtlas type covering only Gatso and some mobiles (oddly known as Semi-mobile). They are not very comprehensive though and any updates will not be available until January at the earliest.

There is also an added program called McGuider Assistant. This is run on your Windows PC to provide updates to the program and maps. I have been unable to get it to work correctly with the SD card in the phone and have to put it into a card reader for it to be able to recognise the installed versions. Even then it is still not working as the product code in my case keeps being classed as invalid by the application. TeleAtlas (in an odd case of speedy email support) have advised me that the update service will also not be available until sometime in January.

Being supplied on a 4GB Micro SDHC card is a bonus as there is now 2GB of free space available for user files (like MP3's and photos). The downside is not all devices can read SDHC cards so it may be necessary to copy the files onto a smaller card. TeleAtlas are also going to be supplying a version on a DVD suitable for these situations as well.

Overall the new version of McGuider is an improvement on the original, but for those who already own it, I am not sure it is worth the 60 outlay. For those who are still using TT6, McGuider provides a good alternative with much more up to date maps anda prospect of some official updates in the future too.
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Joined: Dec 21, 2005
Posts: 155

PostPosted: Sat Dec 13, 2008 8:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very useful early review. Many thanks scarymonkey.

Interesting point about SDHC cards. My PDA will not read SDHC cards but it is still possible to purchase 4GB non HC SD cards with which my PDA seems very happy. Only wish I had known about them sooner then I would have made my backup copy (only one allowed) to it rather than the 2GB card I did use. At least then I could put my MemoryMap maps etc on the same card as McGuider and so avoid the pain of having to change cards each time I change from driving to hill walking.

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Joined: Jun 07, 2005
Posts: 75

PostPosted: Sun Dec 14, 2008 1:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the review.

I'm tempted to upgrade to get the newer maps. Does the POI handling seem any better / different?

'Navigate to POI in City' would be very useful to me if it worked reliably, but it seems very hit and miss in the current version?


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Joined: May 09, 2007
Posts: 454
Location: Worcestershire

PostPosted: Sun Dec 14, 2008 5:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I haven't used navigation to POI in anger yet but it unfortunately seems to take as long as ever to generate the list. Once the list is built though it seems to be showing more results that I remember the original version doing.

Once I have installed some custom POIs I will be in a better position to play with this feature more. Until then my initial feeling is there is some improvement but not a lot. Do you have any specific kind of POI you are looking at? Assuming I can get a CSV of them and and idea of location, I'll give it a test with them if you want.
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Posts: 454
Location: Worcestershire

PostPosted: Tue Dec 16, 2008 5:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

After a few days use, I can say the improvements are definately better. Route planning is now stored over application restarts, rerouting appears to be quicker, the whole application seems to run much smoother (suggesting it is using less memory) and the maps are much better than the originals (a small roundabout built last year near me is on the maps now as well as the new bypass round Blunsdon in Swindon).

One of the less helpful changes is the eta estimates. In the previous release I found them to be resonably accurate but this time they seem to be wildly optomistic and use the speed limit of the road as the speed to be used in calculations. Unfortunately it is rarely possible to do long distances at the speed limit.
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Joined: Nov 07, 2003
Posts: 27

PostPosted: Fri Dec 19, 2008 8:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have had very extensive use of this latest version of McGuider, I'm currently using it on my Nokia E71 Symbian.

Good news for us guys with built-in GPS, is that it works perfectly and you can enable/disable A-GPS which is a bonus.

Using A-GPS I usually have full fix within about 15-20 seconds.

Currently there is a little bug in the SYMBIAN version that stops you using custom POI's, ie speed camera files, as soon as you come into a camera zone the application shuts down.

McGuider are very aware of this and are working on a fix as we speak.

Having done best part of about 800 miles with it this week up and down the country, I am more than happy with its operation, routing and the mapping, all performed faultlessly.

At one stage I had Tomtom 6 running side by side, and McGuider seemed to pick better routes.

Voice instructions are clear and you always get a few warnings of coming actions.

All in all I personally think this is set to be a wicked program, and certainly going to make the PDA/Symbian users very very happy.....remember these are the guys Tomtom dropped.

Definately worth the 60ish, and am waiting for the update on the Symbian version, soon as I hear, I will post up.

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