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You are here: MacNN Forums > Software - Troubleshooting and Discussion > iOS Apps > iphone Navigation Apps Tomtom vs Navigon

iphone Navigation Apps Tomtom vs Navigon
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Basharar
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Aug 17, 2009, 02:06 PM
 
so now since TomTom is out, which Navigator is better and why, I am in the market for one and very confused!
     
Simon
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Aug 18, 2009, 08:27 AM
 
So far I get this impression: TomTom and Navigon are bother pretty sophisticated. At $99 TomTom is ridiculously expensive. You can get a dedicated hardware/software combo for less. With the iPhone solution you'll be paying extra for their car kit too.

Navigon seems more reasonably priced ($69) and there's a chance TomTom's car kit hardware will work with it too. Up till then end of August Navigon is running a special sale (I think 1/3 off now, it will be $99).

If that's still too expensive there's CoPilot ($35) and G-Map ($20-$35). They're both definitely simpler than Navigon or TomTom.
     
stevesnj
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Aug 18, 2009, 11:42 AM
 
Well they are both in V 1.0 so im sure the battle of the feature updates will come fast and furious...I hope. If updates need to be paid for then that would be a big problem. Apple needs a native GPS app. Why haven't they made a Turn by Turn GPS made to work with the GPS chip not cell tower triangulation
MacBook Pro 15" i7 ~ Snow Leopard ~ iPhone 4 - 16Gb
     
Simon
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Aug 18, 2009, 12:13 PM
 
Originally Posted by stevesnj View Post
Apple needs a native GPS app. Why haven't they made a Turn by Turn GPS made to work with the GPS chip not cell tower triangulation
I don't understand what you're saying. Apple doesn't have a turn-by-turn GPS app. Period. Not with GPS, not with wifi/cell triangulation.

They do have a map app and that uses wifi/cell triangulation as well as GPS. But it's never only triangulation. GPS always kicks in when you have satellite coverage.
     
Steve SpotOn
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Aug 19, 2009, 03:38 AM
 
I've been using the Navigon UK app for a month and find it pretty good. I managed to get it on an introductory offer for £37.99 and I shared it with 2 colleagues so it only cost us £12.55 each - a bargain!
My criticisms of it:
- no full UK postcode search (you can only enter part of the postcode and then you have to enter street name and number)
- maps aren't as good as Google Maps (on a couple of occasions the Navigon app hasn't been able to find a street that Google Maps does find).
- had a couple of losses of signal in London (probably due to tall buildings). This is probably not a fault of the app just poor GPS reception (I wonder if the TomTom cradle will improve reception??).
A recent Navigon update has given us speed camera warnings which so far seems to work great (picked up 4 out of 5 on my way home). I'm only an occasional sat nav user so this is definitely doing the job for me.

Steve
     
Spheric Harlot
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Aug 19, 2009, 08:43 AM
 
Originally Posted by stevesnj View Post
Apple needs a native GPS app. Why haven't they made a Turn by Turn GPS made to work with the GPS chip not cell tower triangulation
As Simon said, they DO use GPS. Why else build it in.

The problem is licensing the maps.

TomTom has their own maps.

Navigon has their own maps.

Apple uses Google maps. Google's licensing agreements prohibit turn-by-turn navigation.
     
clarkgoble
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Aug 19, 2009, 06:28 PM
 
Check out xGPS via Cydia. It lets you download Google maps for offline use (for if you're in the Nevada or Utah deserts for instance). Not only that but arguably it's UI is superior. (You can easily rotate the maps, for instance)
     
Phileas
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Aug 19, 2009, 09:20 PM
 
I've been using Navigon for a couple of weeks now and it's really pretty good. The iPhone does lose it's GPS connection in downtown Toronto, when you're right amongst the office towers, and reliability goes out of the window.

In normally built up areas there's no problem. I am hoping that the TomTom cradle will support Navigon (there's talk that it will) and that the build in GPS signal amplifier will do the job.
     
Jamkas
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Aug 19, 2009, 11:53 PM
 
I don't think at the prices anyone is offering for a turn-by-turn GPS is worth it at this point. I just use Google Maps until the prices are lowered or I become extremely convinced in person. I would probably pick Navigon over TomTom because of the $30 price difference. I don't know if the iPhone GPS chip works as well as it needs to, to be a full fledged GPS unit. In my experience using Google Maps to navigate it does drop out often in the inner cities and out in country only really suburban areas have I noticed it working flawlessly.
     
Simon
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Aug 20, 2009, 02:46 AM
 
Originally Posted by Jamkas View Post
In my experience using Google Maps to navigate it does drop out often in the inner cities
That can be expected if your view is obscured by tall building for example. If the line of sight to the satellites (and you want at least four of those) is lost it will fall back to wifi/cell triangulation which is no doubt worse then 'regular' GPS.

and out in country only really suburban areas have I noticed it working flawlessly.
This I do not understand at all. Suburban areas may give you better cellular or wifi coverage, but one thing they don't do is increase GPS accuracy. In fact, they usually make it worse due to obstructions. In terms of 'regular' GPS the best thing you can probably do is go out on an open field far away from buildings. You don't need any data communication (cell or wifi) to be able to receive the GPS signals and get a fix (the blue dot). That said, the map under the blue dot does require data, but there's caching going on too. So assuming you're out on the country side and you eventually lose the data connection, if you have clear line of sight (no forest, steep mountains, etc.) Maps should behave just fine.

There are GPS systems that also use ground-based radio transmitters (DGPS) and that changes things somewhat (distance to source, interference reflections, etc.), but the iPhone (as all other cell phones and consumer GPS receivers) isn't such a device.
     
Phileas
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Aug 20, 2009, 08:23 AM
 
Originally Posted by clarkgoble View Post
Check out xGPS via Cydia. It lets you download Google maps for offline use (for if you're in the Nevada or Utah deserts for instance). Not only that but arguably it's UI is superior. (You can easily rotate the maps, for instance)
Apart from me not wanting to jailbreak my iPhone, this app also breaks the google map licensing agreement. I can't really see it become mainstream, without google stomping on it.
     
Spheric Harlot
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Aug 29, 2009, 04:01 AM
 
Hello and welcome to the forums.

This thread is about turn-by-turn navigation.
     
turtle777
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Aug 29, 2009, 05:02 AM
 
Originally Posted by defender View Post
Check out Wikimap. [...]

http://wiki.alumni.net/wiki/Wikimap
Wiki spam ?

-t
     
ghporter
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Aug 29, 2009, 10:05 AM
 
Originally Posted by Spheric Harlot View Post
Hello and welcome to the forums.

This thread is about turn-by-turn navigation.
While Wikimap does seem to be a nice little deal, it's intended for location, not navigation.

Originally Posted by turtle777 View Post
Wiki spam ?

-t
Don't quite see how...'cept that this user's only two posts are to advertise this Wikimap thing. Kinda convincing to me, so action will be taken.

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
Spheric Harlot
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Aug 29, 2009, 11:12 AM
 
Originally Posted by ghporter View Post
While Wikimap does seem to be a nice little deal, it's intended for location, not navigation.
exactly.

There's an ad banner on the site, though, that probably explains why it was posted.
     
kylef
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Aug 31, 2009, 01:05 PM
 
The family just contributed a bit each and we've bought TomTom Western Europe. No data connection necessary .. that's a relief. Massive app measuring in at 1.44GB, but first looks are excellent and it's easy to set up.
     
Phileas
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Aug 31, 2009, 06:00 PM
 
kylef, did you get the cradle too?
     
seanc
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Aug 31, 2009, 06:31 PM
 
I've been using Navigon on my iPhone.

It's a good app, I'm looking forward to the next update to hopefully get full postcode support, maybe an option to navigate around road blocks. I appreciate the fact that it lowers the music before talking to me.

In the first few weeks, Navigon was great, but in the past week GPS kept dropping out all the time, rendering it useless. Occasionally it'll wake up to tell me to turn somewhere, then die again.
I think the GPS working depends on having enough battery power, like my old TomTom. On the days it's been flaky, I've had low (18%) battery charge, but it has been hooked up to the car charger.

I'll be keeping an eye on it... but otherwise an excellent app with a lot more features to come!
     
kylef
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Sep 1, 2009, 04:47 PM
 
Originally Posted by Phileas View Post
kylef, did you get the cradle too?
I didn't even know that they had released it yet. No, just the very expensive app!
     
Spheric Harlot
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Sep 1, 2009, 06:13 PM
 
Originally Posted by kylef View Post
I didn't even know that they had released it yet.
They haven't.
     
DeeKat
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Sep 19, 2009, 05:23 PM
 
So far I'm very happy with Navigon. bought it a month ago, and since then they updated (free) the app with text-to-speech, iPod controls, and soon, live traffic (20$ in october). This app is great. I dont know TomTom, but I'd be nervous if I were them... Navigon is very aggressive and gaining market leadership. It's definitely the beat deal for your buck.
     
Phileas
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Sep 19, 2009, 06:13 PM
 
The text to speech update is excellent and made a huge difference. With the arrival of live traffic I can't really think of any missing features.
     
seanc
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Sep 19, 2009, 06:16 PM
 
Text to speech is good, a little fast at times.

DeeKat, where did you hear about live traffic? Their website still references the update that came/was meant to come in July.
     
Spheric Harlot
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Sep 19, 2009, 06:37 PM
 
Live traffic is 25€ here.
     
Simon
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Sep 20, 2009, 02:17 AM
 
Originally Posted by seanc View Post
DeeKat, where did you hear about live traffic? Their website still references the update that came/was meant to come in July.
CNET: Navigon GPS iPhone app to get live traffic
TUAW: Live Traffic comes to Mobile Navigator
MacNN: NAVIGON adds Traffic Live option to iPhone navigation
     
seanc
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Sep 20, 2009, 07:16 AM
 
Thanks for that.
     
Simon
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Sep 20, 2009, 08:36 AM
 
Sure.
     
i-vulcan
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Sep 22, 2009, 01:28 AM
 
I had a TomTom One in my car for several years. The maps got outdated, and the unit often could not find new addresses. To upgrade to new maps TomTom wanted 80% of the cost of the original unit. Map upgrade prices are steep and such policies are not helping their business. Google too has to update their maps, but they manage to do it for no costs to the customer in order to increase their client base rather than exploit them.

Look at the fine print on all iPhone navigation apps. There is NO policy established yet for upgrading of maps, although most deep in their web page descriptions state there will be a charge, prices yet to be established. So your $80-$100 high price iPhone app will tag on a fee that will probably put it on par with AT&T's ridiculous monthly fee. TomTOm, Navigon, and all the rest have this policy and stand ready to rake you early buyers for your money after you figure it out.

The only one that seems priced to move and not having built in Google updates is NaviCat. Losing six bucks is a far cry from a "C" note, since TomTom has already taken that much from me in the first round. Thank goodness for eBay, as someone else bought my TomTom and relieved me of a portion of the loss.

This map update policy is a rip off. Meanwhile, Sprint includes a full featured GPS in their Instinct and Apple needs to keep pace. Compared to the money the iPhone generates in sales and telephony fees, the mapping is a small cost to keep that pump primed.

I don't see why Google doesn't get in on this action. Their mapping only lacks voice, but is pretty solid on its own. I bet they buy NaviCat within a short time. TomTom is going to take a black eye on this app, and they deserve it. The company that does this for a reasonable price with a good implementation is going to get rich and famous quick.
     
ghporter
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Sep 23, 2009, 07:20 AM
 
Originally Posted by i-vulcan View Post
This map update policy is a rip off. Meanwhile, Sprint includes a full featured GPS in their Instinct and Apple needs to keep pace. Compared to the money the iPhone generates in sales and telephony fees, the mapping is a small cost to keep that pump primed
With an "apples to apples" comparison, Google Maps is free and updates the maps IN REAL TIME. While it doesn't give you lat/long or other GPS details, most other nav programs don't do that on their main UI either. And Google Maps will plot fairly good routes without any major problem. So comparing a high-dollar app to a freebie that comes with a Sprint phone really isn't illuminating.

One question: is the TomTom map update price STILL "80% of the cost of the unit" with CURRENT models? And related, what's the map update policy for their iPhone app? Old experience with different hardware really isn't useful, but if it's an example, you need to show how it's related.

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
i-vulcan
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Sep 23, 2009, 01:04 PM
 
Wow, asked to show how things relate. Okay.

First off, when you buy something, aren't you supposed to know (even roughly) the actual cost of use? How can you compare or know the value if the cost of use is not provided up front? Even when buying a car, we don't know the actual costs, gas, repairs, ins., etc, but we DO have a pretty good idea.

Right now, NAV apps are selling with NO policy regarding map upgrades that will render them obsolete in a few years. Are we expected to pop for a new app with every phone upgrade on the apps we already bought?

Here are some of the stated policies regarding map updates (usually hidden deep in the FAQ):

TOMTOM
"At the moment the app comes with the latest and most up-to-date map. In future we will provide regular updates and make it possible to update the existing map."

NAVIGON
"At the moment, the software has the newest NAVTEQ maps available. Questions concerning map updates will be answered at a later time."

IGO MY WAY
"You can update your maps by updating the application via iTunes. You are entitled to quarterly map updates until December 2010 - for free."

G-MAP
Nothing stated. A user on MacRumors forum listed this: "They have not stated anything yet about costing for annual map updates, and each time they've updated the Version, it has been FREE thus far. The price has gradually increased."

SYGIC MOBILE MAP
"Software updates within version 2009 are free of charge for all existing customers, however we can not provide map updates for free. Discounts for version 2010 will be provided to all existing customers: you will get the latest software loaded with plenty of new features and the latest map data for a cool price." This is contradictory to their main page claim, "No hidden fees. With pre-installed maps, it is always with you on your phone, without other hidden costs or data plans, with no additional subscription fee for maps or data transfer."

CO-PILOT
"Currently we are unable to offer map region upgrades for CoPilot single region iPhone versions. You can buy all of Europe or USA/Canada as a separate product via App Store."

NAVICAT & ROADEE
No stated policy, but assumption is that they use Google Maps so updates are assumed. That also makes one wonder about how long that situation is going to last.

Regarding the quick dismissal of the voice guided NAV app on Sprint, I'm not sure how many other cell phones add such abilities, but the key word here is "CONVERGENCE", this is what the iPhone is about, despite all that Apple has done to keep the system proprietary, regulated and revenue producing from every angle. When I got my iPhone, I dumped a load of stuff out of my car, my TomTom One included. A hot app deserves a hot stream of revenue, but be up front. If in the long run a dedicated GPS will be cheaper, then the consumer should know up front that the cost of convergence is too high. Not knowing at all is anything but a good thing, and seeing that ALL NAV App makers are doing this is concerning.

The issue of the 2 year life of a cell phone is also something to consider. Most assume their apps will transfer to a new future iphone, but that may not be true, or perhaps some more open platform whips Apple, all the money invested in Apps is gone. Okay, with most going for $0.99, no problem, but the $50-$100 price range of these NAV apps is truly tainting the value of a personal phone, and unlike a dedicated unit, you can't even sell them on eBay for a partial return.

I'm only asking questions here, but APP makers need to come clean up front about their update policies. I've been stuck on the road in the middle of nowhere enough by Garmin, DeLorme and Tomtom, despite trusting them with hundreds of dollars, some of those situations were even life threatening. I'll pay for safety, but doggonit, tell me the price UP FRONT.
     
Spheric Harlot
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Sep 24, 2009, 03:15 AM
 
TomTom Car Kit for iPhone 3GS - Apple Store (U.K.)

£99.95/€99.95, but that apparently INCLUDES the iPhone app (not to mention sales tax)?
     
Simon
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Sep 24, 2009, 03:23 AM
 
Seems a bit strange as at that bundle price the hardware would be essentially added for almost nothing. OTOH €100 for the hardware alone would be way too much too. Umm...
     
Spheric Harlot
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Sep 24, 2009, 03:42 AM
 
True, that's weird.

€100 for the hardware alone seems more in line with expectations.
     
ghporter
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Sep 24, 2009, 08:11 AM
 
Originally Posted by i-vulcan View Post
Wow, asked to show how things relate. Okay.
I had specifically wanted to know how your older stand alone car nav's map upgrade price would relate to unknown (and as you point out, sometimes even unstated) upgrade prices, but your post is really good, and really thorough.

I'd suggest that at the moment most of the companies releasing these apps don't KNOW how much upgrades will cost the consumer because they'll base that on volume of sales of their apps. Here's how that works: Company A sells an app that depends on external resources like maps. Map updates and licensing cost Company A a fixed amount. If Company A doesn't know how many copies of their app will sell, they can't "divide by sales numbers" and figure out their per-unit cost, so they can't figure out how much to charge until they know how many copies will sell.

No conspiracy, no intentionally hidden information, just "we don't know yet" as a reason. If you buy a car with a particular mileage rating, you can't truly "know" how much it will cost to operate because fuel prices fluctuate, sometimes wildly, right? Since the mobile platform app model is so new, there are a LOT of authors that don't know how much upgrades will cost them because they don't have existing business models to use to predict that information, just as you and I can't predict fuel prices 6 months from now.

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
Spheric Harlot
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Sep 24, 2009, 08:18 AM
 
Interesting point, especially consering that pure software is a totally new market for both contenders: while each stand-alone unit costs overhead in manufacturing, transport, storage, and sales, the cost of iPhone software (apart from updates and bug-fixes) to the manufacturer is zero.
     
Phileas
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Sep 24, 2009, 02:35 PM
 
Originally Posted by Spheric Harlot View Post
TomTom Car Kit for iPhone 3GS - Apple Store (U.K.)

£99.95/€99.95, but that apparently INCLUDES the iPhone app (not to mention sales tax)?

I am getting a 404 on that link. And a search for tomtom gets me nothing either?

Having said this, the latest Navigon update has improved voice from the iPhone so much that I really don't need an additional speaker. Unless your car is really noisy, the iPhone speaker works just fine.
( Last edited by Phileas; Sep 24, 2009 at 02:43 PM. )
     
seanc
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Sep 24, 2009, 03:05 PM
 
Originally Posted by Phileas View Post
I am getting a 404 on that link. And a search for tomtom gets me nothing either?

Having said this, the latest Navigon update has improved voice from the iPhone so much that I really don't need an additional speaker. Unless your car is really noisy, the iPhone speaker works just fine.
That's interesting to know - with the previous version, it became distorted when using the iPhone speaker, if it's better with the latest update, I might give it a try.
     
Spheric Harlot
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Sep 24, 2009, 04:18 PM
 
Originally Posted by Phileas View Post
I am getting a 404 on that link. And a search for tomtom gets me nothing either?
Well well well... They've removed it from the apple store.

It was there for £99.95.

AppleInsider | Apple lists TomTom Car Kit in Europe (€99.95), U.K. (£99.95)

TomTom Car Kit: Im Apple Store vorbestellbar [Upd.] | BenM.at
     
turtle777
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Sep 24, 2009, 04:47 PM
 
Pretty clear that it was a mistake. EUR 99 should be only the hardware, not incl. software.

-t
     
Simon
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Sep 24, 2009, 05:17 PM
 
Originally Posted by turtle777 View Post
Pretty clear that it was a mistake. EUR 99 should be only the hardware, not incl. software.
I believe you're right. But I wonder what Tom Tom is smoking. Who in their right mind is going to buy a €100 iPhone cradle together with €80 software smack in the middle of an economic crisis when dedicated devices are going for as low as ~€60?
     
Spheric Harlot
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Sep 24, 2009, 05:27 PM
 
The cheapest TomTom goes for €150 including shipping and taxes: TomTom ONE IQ-Routes Edition Europe (1EK0.002.12) Preisvergleich bei Geizhals.at Österreich

The cheapest Navigon goes for about €140, but that's bare-bones and has crappy GPS reception.

Also, who in their right mind is going to buy a €150 pocket computer/geek toy tied to a single telecoms provider with exquisite payment plans smack in the middle of an economic crisis when dedicated phones are going for free with €20 contracts?

Oh yeah - the same people willing to shell out €150 for a navigation solution that ****ing works. (And if it does, I am.)
( Last edited by Spheric Harlot; Sep 24, 2009 at 05:33 PM. )
     
juliasmith
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Oct 19, 2009, 07:58 AM
 
spam link removed
these might help. Lots of nav apps. There's a really good one for hiking called "Trails"
( Last edited by Thorzdad; Oct 20, 2009 at 11:13 AM. Reason: tag-team spammer)
     
ghporter
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Oct 19, 2009, 08:11 AM
 
Julia, I think you just linked us to something on your own LAN...

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Randman
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Oct 19, 2009, 10:19 AM
 
Navigon is far and way superior to the TomTom. Just look at features and updates and prices.

This is a computer-generated message and needs no signature.
     
seanc
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Nov 9, 2009, 07:26 PM
 
So the latest updates to Navigon came.
7 digit post code, at £1.19, OK, I can handle that.

Throughout development of 1.3.0, it's been said that the UK will be included in Live Traffic - sounds reasonable. Now that 1.3.0 is out, it seems to do everywhere but the UK. I just have to hope they include it in the future.
     
stevesnj
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Nov 9, 2009, 08:56 PM
 
1.3.0 is free here in the USA.. why charge elsewhere?
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seanc
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Nov 10, 2009, 02:47 PM
 
1.3.0 is free, but to get full post code (zip code) support, you have to pay £1.19 for an addon.
     
Steve SpotOn
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Nov 11, 2009, 04:09 AM
 
Lots of people on the UK iTunes Navigon App reviews moaning about having to pay the extra for full post code search feeling it should have been free. Also quite a few saying they are having problems since the Navigon 1.3.0 update.
For me .... I went for the post code extra and that works fine and also no issues with the new software. My only criticism is that I can't share the in app purchase with my colleagues (I do share the Navigon app with 2 colleagues).
No sign of the 'live traffic' yet here in the UK. I also have my doubts about how up to date and useful this feature will be.

Steve
     
moep
Senior User
Join Date: Nov 2003
Status: Offline
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Nov 11, 2009, 06:55 AM
 
I drove with a friend that had the newest Navigon on his 3G while I had TomTom on the 3GS running. Even with the difference in hardware, Navigon delivered a way smoother experience and was less confusing overall.
I really regret jumping the gun and buying the TomTom app.
"The road to success is dotted with the most tempting parking spaces."
     
seanc
Moderator Emeritus
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Cambridge, UK
Status: Offline
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Nov 11, 2009, 03:02 PM
 
I thought I'd regret buying the first navigation app (which was Navigon as far as I knew), but despite it's small flaws and occasionally costly updates, it's been good
     
 
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