Navigon GPS should be out tonight

Tinman

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Jul 16, 2007
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#2
Well it's no longer tonight in most all of N. America so I don't think it made it, at least for Tuesday.

I'm on the fence about spending $100 for a navigation app when stand-alone units can be had for around $100 too (granted Navigon is to be on sale for a few weeks at $70). I'd say my limit would be around $25-$50, mainly because I see near-$100 units at Wal-Mart, Staples, etc.

I probably wouldn't mind if Navigon Lite that I've "tested" (not much of a test as it is just a demo) really blew me away. But it didn't really. The main driving screen didn't let me zoom in or out, which seemed odd compared to most iPhone apps (touching the screen takes you to another kind of view).

It also doesn't do text-to-speech so it was the old "turn right" which doesn't help much when there are two streets close together. Much better to have "turn right on Elm Street." Navigon states that that feature is coming, later this summer.

Also, if I got a phone call, or needed to use my iPhone for something quick, Navigon started from scratch again--right back to its home screen. While this is probably Apple's fault for not allowing multi-tasking, if you are going to buy an app for $100 I don't think you should have to put up with that. Made me think I'd be better off with a dedicated GPS. (Note: Backgrounder can help here, but you need to jb to get it. Even while browsing in Safari I still got the voice prompts.)

On a brighter note I liked the speed-limit data that included every street I tested (even small side streets). The POI functionality was very good too.

So, I don't know. On one hand I think even $70 is too much when I already have Maps, the free xPGS, and of course regular GPS (stand-alone, vehicle).

OTOH I wonder if I'll change my mind and then it'll be $100.



--
Mike
 

Europa

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#3
I'm holding out for Tom Tom. The stand alone GPS units are the same price, but I'm going with the app because I love only having to carry one device. All in one is soo nice. I'm willing to sacrifice a little so I don't have to tote a phone, a camera, an iPod, and a GPS unit around.
 

termleech

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#4
I'm holding out for the TomTom as well, mostly because I want to use their car mount which they've designed to help with some of the deficiencies of using the iPhone (weak GPS, no background app, etc).
 

Tinman

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#5
How would the mount help the no background operation? Also what was meant by weak GPS? My 3GS seems better and faster at grabbing a fix than my other GPS devices, so I am curious.

Oh yes, another thing I noticed about Navigon: while you can of course have music playing while running it, the music is not lowered, muted, or paused during voice prompts. If a prompt came during a high point in a track, you might miss it.

My big thing about price is mainly the principle of paying the same yet getting less. Yes there is a benefit to having it in one device, but in the case of having your phone do double-duty as a GPS there are drawbacks too.



--
Mike
 

termleech

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#6
I'm trying to pull up the article I read, but the major points were that with the window dock, the GPS in the dock will continue to track even if you close down the TomTom app and do something else (ie answer a phone call, etc) and will be like the app was running the background. Also, it seems that the GPS in the phone does not track well when you are in between very large buildings however the GPS they are putting in the window mount is stronger and can help with those issues. Now that could certainly just mean that for those without the 3GS (which has a compass) it's nothing more than integrating a compass but that I'm not sure of.

Combine that with the built in speaker for directions (separate from the iPhone's so it's much louder) and the charger and I just think the TomTom has a nicer package to offer.
 

skipere

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#7
Navigon for now is $70.00 very tempting
 

trnsilver

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#8
It is tempting, but I do not travel enough to need this. If I was to go on a trip, maybe I'd buy...or maybe I'd buy one of the subscription ones (hate the concept). or maybe I'd just buy a $125 GPS rather than the $100 app...?
 

cabinets

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#9
I am downloading now. Over an hour left. I'll report back later.
 

RS1001

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#10
I too looked at this product also, not bad, but the roads are hard to read with the greys fonts, and being 2 feet away, I had to set it to nightime in order to read them.
I will stay with my Garmin until the app drops to under 30.00, it is crazy that the app cost 70.00 when a separate unit is 125.00
 

iMerlin

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#11
Yeah, I just saw this on the app store. $69.99 isn't as bad as I thought. By the way it says the price is only good till August 15th.

My wife and I are really wanting to get something. She wants a Garmin, even though she has the 3Gs. I keep telling her to wait for something like this. This looks very promising.

Does anyone know if this is like any other app in that you can download it onto multiple devices without having to pay for it more than once? I think this was one of the only reasons I didn't try out the AT&T navigator, 2 monthly subscription fees will not cut it!

Anyway, Ill be keeping an eye on this thread. Anyone who buys this sucker, please post up some screen shots if you could!
 

downsized

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#13
I too, like the thought of having only one device, but I own a TomTom and it works fine. That, and $100 for the app?
It's a great concept, but too pricey for my needs.

Hopefully, the app will mature, and drop in price.
 

eye-Fone

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#14
I'm holding out for the TomTom as well...
I wonder if the delay is related to their illegal use of Microsoft patents, algorithms, and other intellectual property. TomTom recently settled this lawsuit, so there may be a delay in many of their products to conform to the agreement.
 

skipere

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#15
I bought it last night and regret, it is worst than G-map. GPS was inaffective. The route I test with Gmap was fine, but with Navigon failed half way through because they cannot grap GPS location. There you go , save the money and hope Tom Tom is better.
 

cabinets

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#16
I bought it last night and regret, it is worst than G-map. GPS was inaffective. The route I test with Gmap was fine, but with Navigon failed half way through because they cannot grap GPS location. There you go , save the money and hope Tom Tom is better.
Works fine for me. Has some very new streets loaded and smooth and easy use.
 
Jul 16, 2008
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#17
It's interesting you guys have conflicting experience with this app. I'm holding out for TomTom too but am curious to hear what others who choose to buy Navigon will report.
 

Tinman

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#18
I was surprised it's not getting better reviews at the app store. I figured the early buyers already knew about it and then jumped. Right now it's only at 3.5 stars.

A common complaint seems to be the GPS signal. Reviewers stated that Navigon lost signal whereas the built-in Maps app was just fine. Weird.

Other complaints echo what I posted earlier, and then some:

No text-to-speech.
No zoom in driving mode.
Start from scratch after phone call, etc.
Music is not lowered or muted during voice prompts.
Poor or outdated POIs.

I've used the demo and was VERY surprised that leaving the app, then returning (even immediately) caused the app to start for scratch. To me this was unacceptable. The free xGPS that I am testing doesn't do that (it saves its state--and I did not use Backgrounder).

So to those who have purchased Navigon, what happens if you leave the app and then return to it. Are you back where you were, or back at the starting screen? (Without using Backgrounder, naturally.)



--
Mike
 

Santa

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#19
I too looked at this product also, not bad, but the roads are hard to read with the greys fonts, and being 2 feet away, I had to set it to nighttime in order to read them.
I will stay with my Garmin until the app drops to under 30.00, it is crazy that the app cost 70.00 when a separate unit is 125.00

I'm not one who usually complains about the cost of apps. I'm usually happy to pay for something that's going to help me out in some way.

But the costs of these apps still surprises me. Maybe it's just the need to recoup the initial dev costs and then the price will come down. But the price of these apps is too close to stand alone apps to be attractive to me.
 

iMerlin

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#20
I was surprised it's not getting better reviews at the app store. I figured the early buyers already knew about it and then jumped. Right now it's only at 3.5 stars.

A common complaint seems to be the GPS signal. Reviewers stated that Navigon lost signal whereas the built-in Maps app was just fine. Weird.

Other complaints echo what I posted earlier, and then some:

No text-to-speech.
No zoom in driving mode.
Start from scratch after phone call, etc.
Music is not lowered or muted during voice prompts.
Poor or outdated POIs.

I've used the demo and was VERY surprised that leaving the app, then returning (even immediately) caused the app to start for scratch. To me this was unacceptable. The free xGPS that I am testing doesn't do that (it saves its state--and I did not use Backgrounder).

So to those who have purchased Navigon, what happens if you leave the app and then return to it. Are you back where you were, or back at the starting screen? (Without using Backgrounder, naturally.)



--
Mike
I went ahead and bit the bullet. I have to say some of the things people are complaining about can be fixed or simply shouldnt be a complaint. All in all, this is an excellent first offering from Navigon.

No text-to-speech - This is a valid complaint, but it isn't a deal breaker if you ask me. Especially since Navigon already said it will be in a future release.

No zoom in driving mode - Im not 100% sure why you would really need this. The navigation is perfect as it is, I have yet to find the need for zooming in while in driving mode.

Start from scratch after phone call, etc - Not altogether true.
I tested this yesterday with both Backgrounder enabled and disabled. Both times I took me right back to my route, it took a second for the app to load but once it did I was right back on my route.

2 things here....
1. JAILBREAK YOUR iPhone PEOPLE. Then go and download Backgrounder... issue solved! With backgrounder active I didn't even have to wait for the app to load, I tapped the icon and I was on my route. Also, the voice commands continue when backgrounding is enabled. For example, I tested going into email and the voice came over the speakers and told me "Caution!" I found this to be funny, I was going 10 over hence the caution warning, but the timing was so perfect I got a chuckle out of that.

2. If you are not willing to JB, here is a suitable work around... If you are driving and get a call, take the call, as soon as you are connected, hit the home button and head back into Navigon, then you don't miss anything. Just takes a few seconds for the app to reload but once it does, you are right back on your route.

Music is not lowered or muted during voice prompts - Personally I like this and hope in future releases they allow you to choose the style you prefer. To me, the voice doesn't over power the music, but is loud enough to hear and still hear your tunes easily.

Also, about music... someone else mentioned setting your Home button double tap to open iPod controls. This is a great idea and allows you to fire up music while in Navigon. However, if you don't set your home button double tap to that, you can still use the iPod controls as long as you start your music before opening up Navigon. My double tap is set to camera, but if the iPod is playing, the double tap in Navigon goes to iPod controls. Hope that makes sense.

Poor or outdated POIs - Valid complaint. I also don't like how there is no interaction with the POIs. For example I would love to be able to click a POI and either save it, call it...whatever. I would also like to be able to add my own. So far I haven't found a lot of incorrect POIs though.


But with all that said, I think this is a fantastic app. Ive used it to route 3 trips since yesterday, all places I know how to get to. It was dead on for 2 of the 3. The first was Take me Home which gave me basically my normal route home. But I decided to change it up a bit and see how it handled redirection. Im not sure about the complaints re: rerouting because this took a matter of seconds. I got off at the wrong tollboth and by the time I was through the toll, it had already rerouted me.

However, it did send me in a crazy route to get to the gym this morning. Not sure if that was my fault or what.

The UI is very nice and easy to use while in the car. Especially if you set up the contact first and skip entering the address in Navigon. Landscape is excellent. Lane assist is excellent. Real street view is excellent when available! Speed warning is excellent or annoying depending on how fast you drive!

As mentioned, the POI interface needs work. I would love the functionality of the built in Map app so I could just type in the businesss name and it will find it close by, and then be able to route to it. Hopefully this will be a later release. Here again though, work around... search for the place in maps, save it as a contact and then route to it in Navigon. Works like a charm.

I don't like entering addresses in the app at all. Seems a little backwards and usually has a hard time finding the address I was looking for. It seems to function better if you have a contact already set up and route to that.

This is the first release so Im hoping all the issues will be fixed at some point. Ive used this since yesterday and to be honest Im really impressed. I love the look and feel of it. I hope it will integrate better into the maps app in the future.

Once again I will reiterrate... JAILBREAK! Putting Navigon in the Background is excellent. I had it running in the background yesterday while listening to Buehrle's perfect game with MLB At Bat and went back and forth between the apps without losing either audio signal. At one point I heard Ed Farmer calling a strike and then the Navigon lady kindly told me to turn soon.

Sorry such a long post. I just wanted to cover all the bases.