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You are here: MacNN Forums > Software - Troubleshooting and Discussion > iOS Apps > [Review] Navigon

[Review] Navigon
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Phileas
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Jul 30, 2009, 09:51 AM
 
Price: $69.99
iTunes link
Navigon website
Compatible with: iPhone with GPS
Overall rating:
Graphics:
GPS accuracy:
Route calculating speed:
iPhone integration:


I've been waiting for a turn by turn GPS solution for the iPhone for forever. My last car had a built in GPS and I loved it. Didn't like the fact that there was no easy way to update data, so when it came to buy a new car I figured I'd wait for an iPhone solution that can grab new data whenever it becomes relevant, rather than me having to get a technician to update the data in a built in solution.

I was all set to wait for TomTom, but they are taking their sweet time. When I heard that Navigon had released their iPhone offering I decided to take a look. Navigon is a European offering, and seems highly regarded over there. The screenshots looked good and so did the user reviews. I figured that for $70 it would be worth a shot.

The install is 1.6 GB, so I was glad that I had upgraded to the 32GB iphone. Once downloaded and installed the app took a couple of seconds to open. The menu is extremely intuitive, even if you've never used a GPS before you should have no problems.

A couple of things I liked:
* Predictive Street input. You start typing in the street name and the software predicts what streets fit.
* Address book integration. Look up any name in your address book, and for as long as you have an address associated with the contact it will automatically insert it.
* Recent searches.
* Favourites.
* One button "take me home" functionality
* Very good GPS accuracy, even in the city, surrounded by high building.
* Extremely quick route recalculation if you decide not to follow the instructions.
* Map flips when you rotate the iPhone.

A couple of things that could use improvement:
* It takes the unit a couple of seconds to acquire a GPS signal.
* No spoken street names - this will be addressed in an update.
* Font on map hard to read.

Otherwise I am extremely happy with the unit. So far I have only used it in Toronto, so I can't tell how accurate the maps are out of the city, bu Navigon seems to have a good reputation there. If you're looking for an affordable GPS and have the space on your iPhone then this seems a good solution to me.





( Last edited by Phileas; Jul 31, 2009 at 07:08 AM. )
     
Demonhood
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Jul 31, 2009, 05:56 PM
 
and this is a GPS app that has a one time fee, instead of monthly fees for their "service", right?
     
Spheric Harlot
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Jul 31, 2009, 06:12 PM
 
Yes.
     
Big Mac
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Jul 31, 2009, 08:50 PM
 
Very nice review, Phileas. Regarding one of your negatives, it takes my GPS units far longer than a few seconds to acquire a signal (more like minutes), so from what I can see your negative is actually a positive.

"The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground." TJ
     
Simon
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Aug 1, 2009, 02:11 AM
 
Originally Posted by Big Mac View Post
Very nice review, Phileas. Regarding one of your negatives, it takes my GPS units far longer than a few seconds to acquire a signal (more like minutes), so from what I can see your negative is actually a positive.
That's not the same thing.

On the iPhone we're talking about assisted GPS. One of its advantages is that it is very fast to get an initial fix. Older dedicated GPS devices wich don't have A-GPS obviously can't get that quick initial fix by using the cellular network.

So if it takes the app several seconds on the iPhone, the thing to compare to is Maps on the iPhone (there, in my experience it takes ~2 seconds for the first rough fix) and not a Garmin or other dedicated non-A-GPS device. If Navigon takes longer I guess it has to do with the way they receive and display location data from the iPhone. Maybe they wait for several readings and do some averaging/interpolation first before they display a location. That could be what causes the extra delay. OTOH it could also just be a bug.
     
Phileas  (op)
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Aug 1, 2009, 06:30 AM
 
To clarify, it take Navigon about the same time to get an initial fix than it takes google maps to display a blue, pulsating dot.
     
Steve SpotOn
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Aug 19, 2009, 09:10 AM
 
A couple of Navigon negatives that may be specific to UK users...
- you can't input a full post code
- It does not recognise most (nearly all) of my address' in my contacts (may be something to do with UK post codes or UK address format)??? .... my mistake it seems the format for my addresses is set wrong in Address Book!

Steve
( Last edited by Steve SpotOn; Aug 20, 2009 at 07:50 AM. Reason: My mistake)
     
   
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