Monday, August 17, 2009

GPS applications for iPhone

2 1/2 years ago, I bought a Garmin Nuvi 360 instead of an iPhone, choosing to wait till the iPhone had the features I wanted. I was glad to make that decision

I bought an iPhone 3GS 2 months ago, and still love it. Great to have email,Google and some wonderful apps in my pocket

Two major GPS apps are now available for the iPhone, both have major negatives based on reviews I have read.

1. Navagon - $69.99 till August 31. Then $99.99
- Won't do text to speech - ie doesn't name streets
- Voice is too low in volume for many reviewers.
- Street names are in hard to read font.
- May have trouble maintaining satellite contact
- Does not have "Apple" like interface
- Not well integrated with CONTACTS

2. Tom Tom
- Won't do text to speech
- POI database seems out of date.
- Heavy battery drain
- Announces turns to make too late for some

3. ATT Navigator
Universally hated because
- Very slow - dependent on ATT Network to pull data for maps
- Monthly $10 fee.

4 Months ago I sold my Garmin 360 on Ebay, and between what that brought in and the savings not having to buy a new map, I got a Garmin Nuvi 760 from Amazon effectively free.

Advantages of Garmin 760 ($200)over iPhone apps.

- Identifies street names - has excellent text to speech
- Has a larger screen (4.5 inches)
- Can play music (built in MP3 player), handle phone calls
(blue tooth), and keep navigating.
- Known update policy - Both Navigon and Tom Tom are vague about
availability, timing and pricing of updates . Thats major for me.
i.e. When and at what price will Text to Speech be available?
- ie "Make right turn in 200 feet" or
"make right turn on Telge Rd in 200 feet".
- in iphone GPS reviews, folks who have used stand-alone GPS units
complain iPhone GPS apps aren't there yet. Folks who have not used
GPS units before generally like the iPhone apps.

Already 50 reviews posted in the App store after TomTom only
being for sale for 12 hours.