TomTom Navigator App 1.3 for iPhone Review

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First drafted: 10 March 2010
Last Updated : 02 July 2012

Tomtom have released another update to their iPhone/iPod Touch GPS application.  Now at version 1.3 (March 2010) the updated App does not have any obvious changes.  Hopefully I'll discover the not so obvious updates improvements over the next few weeks.

They say they've incorporated Google business search for the local area, auto decrease then increase of music volume when directional announcements need to be made, auto day/night colours and backlight, add locations from other Apps and store them as favourites. Yes not many new features or that useful for most people...

I think they reorganised the settings screen so that there are more options or should I say more logical or perhaps I have just gotten used to the setup.  Anyway regardless everything still works.  Even played around with the voices some better than others...

With the release of this version comes a concerted marketing push for the accessory Tomtom iPhone cradle with another built in GPS receiver.  The Tomtom cradle has the major flaw of being unable to accommodate the iPhone or iPod Touch if you have a reasonable protective case. Since 99% of people have some sort of case for their device the cradle becomes pointless.

Considering that they are now marketing a Tomtom cradle that has another GPS receiver for GPS-less iPod Touch and iPhone for around $149 price tag in some shops is a bit rich for my liking.  Considering that you still need to purchase the $99 dollar app makes the package $250 at least!  You can purchase a decent stand alone portable GPS navigator for that sort of money.

Some more problems:

The map data is not the most up to date available since major new roads that I have travelled on have been open for some time are still not included in the database.  I see problems if updated map data is not included in the purchase price.

The flashing screen when you browse the map is also highly annoying and is unpolished compared to other far more graphic intensive Apps that are trademark smooth.

A simple method of reorganising the menus would be a welcome option.

Overall application summary and ratings.

Accuracy of route calculation 8/10
GPS hardware accuracy 7/10
Relevance of route 7/10 (ie not the quickest or easiest)
Ease of use 7/10
Price for features 5/10

Although I am getting used to the App and it does seem to do almost everything a basic stand alone navigator would do, however I still cannot whole heartedly recommend the Tomtom App for the iPhone.  This is expensive an expensive App and as I've discovered does not offer anything more or better than a stand alone system made by any manufacturer including Tomtom.  It is getting better though as I use it more.

Check out the Tomtom Iphone App Vs the Garmin Nuvi review I've written to see what I mean.

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