iPhone Nav App?
December 27, 2009 10:54 AM   Subscribe

What's the best iPhone turn-by-turn navigation app?

I have an un-jailbroken iPhone that I want to use for turn-by-turn GPS-based navigation. What's the best app for this? Or, alternatively, if you've used only one such app, how happy are you with it?
posted by lore to Technology (10 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
Honestly, the Maps app that comes with the iPhone is the best I've seen.

But I also have a TomTom for back up.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 11:05 AM on December 27, 2009


I have MotionX GPS Drive. It's $3.99 for 1 month of voice-assisted turn by turn directions. It's just OK, really. It provides the standard 2 or 3D view and is pretty much like any other GPS system. However, it loses the satelite connection more often than I'd like, has compass interference, and is a bit slow making for the occasional sudden turn.

That said, it's cheap, not terrible and definitely more GPS'y than the Google Maps app. I'd recommend trying it if voice directions are important to you. Otherwise, stick with Google Maps.
posted by bluejayway at 11:27 AM on December 27, 2009


I would like voice directions, if there's a decent app for it.
posted by lore at 11:40 AM on December 27, 2009


I've been happy with the Navigon app; it seems to generally work ok.

One issue is that it's just about a second late on the final "turn here" warning- it would be nicer if it were a few seconds earlier (but you get plenty of alerts leading up to the turn, so it's not really a big deal). I suspect that with an add-on GPS cradle / windshield mount (Tomtom has one that works with any app, navigon is supposed to release theirs soon), this will be less of an issue.

Navigon has real-time traffic at extra cost, which is pretty useful if you are near a major metro.

That said, I'd suggest that a dedicated GPS unit will probably be a better idea- it will work better, won't disconnect while you take phone calls, etc. If this is just a backup system, it's fine- but if you are looking for it to use as a serious navigation aid, the dedicated GPS units are still better.
posted by jenkinsEar at 12:05 PM on December 27, 2009


Just read a review of MobileNavigator, $60.
posted by Mick at 12:08 PM on December 27, 2009


It's not the best, but you can check out Roadee for only $2. It uses the Open Street Map data, so it will get presumably get better as that is improved.
posted by sophist at 2:04 PM on December 27, 2009


Tom Tom App is probably what you are looking for, I've had it for the last 30 days (along with the dock), and I've used it full time (granted, this was replacing my dedicated 3 year old Tom Tom).

Pros:
Fast
Turn By Turn directions are clear, the voice is good
Route IQs, while not integrating with traffic, it will use average traffic / route congestion information based on the time / day to route you better.
Use your contacts as destinations

Cons:
It's a big app, 1gb or so, for US and Canada.
No freeform paste (yet*) so you can't just copy/paste an address into a field, you have to select by city / street / number, etc.
No extra voices (yet*)
Voice does choke on some names, notable Los Angeles gives it pause. Also Santa Monica.

*Both freeform paste and extra voices would have them do a bit more changing of how the app works, right now it looks more like a rough port of their other apps (extra voices would have to be an instore purchase, or downloadable content, which previously you added to your tomtom via syncing with your desktop). Both of these things I would imagine being changed in future updates, as TomTom gets feedback and works on the app some more.

No matter what navigation app you are considering getting, the TomTom dock is really quite excellent, and provides a much better GPS chipset than the iPhone's built in one. It works by integrating with the iPhone OS location services system, so any other application that uses it can tap into the dock, not just TomToms. As it stands, I dock my iPhone into it even when I am not running the TomTom app, as it is a great charger and hands free bluetooth set (but once you have paired the phone with the dock, you can disable the pair and things will continue to operate, so you can still use your headset if you wish).

So in summary:

Buy the dock no matter what (you can find it for $90, steep for just a dock, but for dock + faster gps + bluetooth hands free, it's not so bad).

Consider the TomTom app also, it is $50 until tomorrow evening, if you just want the US version.
posted by mrzarquon at 4:40 PM on December 27, 2009 [1 favorite]


Check out the gizmodo comparison, part one and part two.
posted by Lazlo Hollyfeld at 6:47 PM on December 27, 2009


I'm not sure what the best one is, but you should at least check out Waze and Bing (yes, there is a Bing app).
posted by chairface at 4:15 PM on December 28, 2009


I decided to go with TomTom. So far, so good, it seems to have all the features of the Garmin Nuvi I was using and then some.
posted by lore at 10:03 PM on December 28, 2009


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