8 Navigators for Cell Phone Tested

We have tested eight different sat nav software for your mobile phone.

Copilot Live

On the other side of the sound is Copilot the big navigator program and now it starts to make inroads here too – primarily via Apple’s App Store, but also as preinstalled software in HTC’s phones. CoPilot is a well made and colorful interface. Sometimes I think that it goes a bit over the limit and becomes cluttered, but that’s only if you move through an area with extremely many points of interest. The own position appears as a large red puck that turns into an arrow when you begin to move. “there is also a view that displays motorway junctions – much like with our site and Navigon.

The data fields are clear and customizable. You can choose between one or two lines of information and which variables you want displayed, such as time, distance, position, or nearest town. CoPilot is installed together with their maps – for Iphone via App Store and for other systems either via download or on the finished card. An interesting feature of the Copilot’s Web service where you can follow a vehicle in real time and send messages from the Web directly to the navigator program. Perhaps more fun than useful for most, but I can imagine that the smaller trucking companies and courier companies can take advantage of this feature. However, I had rather seen the Copilot turned on their traffic information service and the search service also in Sweden. In addition to the Web services have Copilot a Facebook connector and weather forecasts.

It is pleasant to find in the menus, but it would have been even easier if Copilot followed mobiles interface better. On the Iphone, it does not, for example, to switch the page by swiping your finger or to zoom through multitouch in all views, but here it is the application’s custom icons. Although it is quick to learn how it works, I do not understand why the software manufacturer is developing a custom solution when your phone’s default is at least as good.

Fortunately, the Copilot not attempted to modify text input or other more difficult deranged habits. In the beginning, it was tricky to remember in which menu function is available – from the map view, there are two menu buttons. A button labeled “Menu” and one that is symbolized by a wrench. Wrench menu contains mainly features linked to the present route, but the distinction is not entirely logical. CoPilot has both car and pedestrian mode, but also special modes for RV, bicycle and motorcycle. iphone Edition is updated with support for multitasking so quickly comes back after phone call or using other apps.

Plus: Neat interface. The Web service.

Minus: No traffic information.

 

Navigon Mobilenavigator

NAVIGON has done well with recreating the experience from their standalone navigation devices in a program for your mobile phone. The menus are clear and well adapted to the mobile operating system – for example on Iphone with lists and five shortcuts at the bottom. 2D map with Navigon is unfortunately quite cluttered with different text sizes and icons mixed. Zoomed in close to street level, it still good to orient itself, but looking at the whole neighborhoods, it becomes cluttered.

The S60 ‘s pedestrian mode better with a “compass” shows a straight line to the destination while an arrow indicates the direction to move in. “it’s pretty clever because it may not always takes exactly the way that navigator program suggests when you are walking and it becomes easier to find back to the route when there is always information about which way the target is located. the 3D view and navigation mode, however, is significantly better than the 2D map. On the Iphone and Android have Navigon real 3D views Where the road is drawn up after the height differences in the landscape. Icons with logos for different gas stations, restaurant chains make it easy to attach the map to reality and color choice and the Visual effects do that program is really neat to look at.

3D view shows the route as an orange line and the next maneuver is shown as a rather generous icon in the lower left corner. The fields with the time and distance could usefully have larger fonts, but the contrast between text and background color are good. NAVIGON has a speech synthesizer that reads the names of streets and signs – a really good feature that is unfortunately rare in mobile applications. A tap on the screen during the process opens a menu with features such as milestones and points of interest along the route. There is also a lane Assistant makes it easier to find the right at highway intersections.

Route calculation is fast, but there are some delays when navigating through the menus and to start up the application on the Iphone is annoying slowly – especially on the old 3 g model. Online services have received a big boost and now includes traffic information also in Sweden as well as weather and Google search.

You can search either by address or by interest section from the main menu. POIs are retrieved from the map provider and Google search is not as sharp as for example Eniro – a weakness compared to competitors as Our site Navigator and Wisepilot. The program will best into their own when travelling abroad – because the maps are installed on the memory card need only minimal data transfers in mobile network. A trial version, limited to two weeks, are available for download from Navigon Web page – but not for the Iphone. iphone Edition support for multitasking.

Plus: Interface. Speech synthesis.

Minus: Limited online search

Ndrive

Portuguese NDrive is relatively unknown to the Swedish market, but the company has developed the navigator program since 2001 and have solutions for most platforms – including Samsung’s Bada-system. On the Iberian Peninsula sell NDrive even standalone navigation devices and Windows Mobile phones under its own name, but we have tested their software for the Iphone. Installation is done in the usual way by buying the application on the App Store.

Ndrive is installed with all the maps, so it is possible in most cases, the fastest to use computer and the usb cable during installation. Ndrive doesn’t seem to really have decided about the Iphone version of the application will be available in Sweden – during the test period, the program disappeared from App Store then come back. Other versions are available via the Web page that is open, without geographical restrictions and the program includes Swedish voices.

Ndrive has a clear and neat navigator location-map display is not entirely different from the interface in the Garmin Nuvi devices. Below the map is a dashboard with time and distance, as well as a road sign inspired symbol for the next operation in the route. Ndrive also shows with clear arrows which lane is best in multi-lane intersections. Information fields have white text on a black background and is easy to read — even in the distance. This mode has a similar appearance on all platforms – nothing wrong with that – but it seems that the NDrive has tried to even press the same menu structure regardless of the mobile system.

The main menu is good with clear icons, but for the on-screen keyboard and presets the program uses homemade sales material with solutions that work as well as the operating system’s default. When it comes to bells and whistles is a rather sober program in the NDrive version that is available in Sweden right now. Traffic information is promised in the upcoming version 10, while other features are only available for Spain and Portugal. During navigation, NDrive a neat and clear program, but setting views and text input are unnecessarily tortuous.

Plus: Clear directions

Minus: Get features. Complicated settings

 

Ovi Maps

Nokia created a lot of headlines last winter in conjunction with the launch of free navigation in the version 3 of Ovi Maps. Speed functions applies only to apply to a little over twenty of the brand’s models, but if you have any of these, it is of course a plus to get the feature at no additional cost compared with having to pay £ 100 per year. The program comes preinstalled in most Nokia phones, but which features included vary from model to model, so check what comes before purchase. If the application is missing or needs to be updated, there are several different ways to install it on Nokia Software Updater, Ovi Suite, Ovi Store or download from the Web. To install it via Ovi Suite while syncing your phone is smooth and then there’s also the possibility to download maps to your memory card – a feature that can save a lot of money if you want to use the program abroad.

Maps that are not found in the phone is automatically downloaded via the mobile network, but the program warns of cost when you are outside your home network. All available maps require more than 5 GB of space on your phone, so with a fairly large memory card, it is no problem to preload everything. The program works both with and without the touch screen and has a clear main menu with search functions, mapping, guide services and weather. There is also the menu item “Events” that shows concerts, biorepertoar, sports and other nearby events. The information is far from complete, but the events listed seems to reconcile with reality.

The same goes for guide services in the form of Lonely Planet and Michelin – there are many gaps in the database. Traffic information and online services was a problem area in old Nokia Maps, but now it works fine. I am not related to more search engines than the usual interest points, but it is easy to choose your destination and your application uses the phone’s normal menu structure so the learning threshold is low. Navigator mode is good and has a different structure depending on whether you select pedestrian mode or run mode. In mobiles with magnetic compass, such as the N97 and E72, the map automatically rotates in the right direction even when standing still. The map display is not as neat as in for example, Navigon, but zoom and scrolling are flowing nicely.

There is the possibility to share the position via social networks, but everything goes through an Ovi account, so it’s not as smooth as in the programs that are directly linked to Facebook or Twitter.

Plus: Available in some phones. Travel guides. Clear interface.

Minus: Only for Nokia mobile phones. Limited onlinesök

Route 66 Maps

Route 66 is a classic among navigator programs, but unfortunately they have not found until the new platforms without application is only available for S60 and Windows Mobile. Route 66 is available either as a download or on a disc, and the actual installation to your phone takes place through a program on your computer. Via Route 66 Sync software to buy and choose which maps to appear in your phone and add content like votes, navigator features and speed cameras.

Via the sync application, you can also plan routes and refuel over to mobile. Apart from the time required, it works great and it needs no accessories in addition to a usb cable or a memory card reader. Route 66 will need about 500 MB space on your memory card and ports in its own folder in your phone’s applications menu. In the folder there are a number of different icons with shortcuts to various functions in the Route 66 as route planning, traffic information, weather and map view. Setup recommends that you should format the memory card before the installation, but I skipped that step and has not detected any problems as a result.

The map viewer and navigator mode has a fairly clean look compared to the competition, but Route 66 is getting away with this without making it look out of fashion. The map has the 3D mode with models of buildings. The data fields can be adapted to the size and content, and compared to previous versions of the program, it has become really fast – the delays when zooming and scrolling of the map is gone.

Online services of the programme consists of traffic information and weather. It is also possible to purchase content directly from the menus in your phone. Onlinesök and links to social networks are conspicuous by their absence, so at that point reaches Route 66 not quite up to today’s top layer. The menus follow the operating system’s structure – good and intuitive in most positions, but not ideal if you want to use your phone as a car navigator.

The connection to the phone book works quickly even if you have an extensive contact list. The usual search features are linked to the map provider’s database and address mode is quite cumbersome to use – address must be divided in several different fields. Free text search is a better option.

Plus: Smart Installer. Quickly and clearly.

Minus: Missing online search. No connection to social networks.

 

Wisepilot

Appello’s navigator software is available under three different names in Sweden-Our site Navigator, Telenor Navigation and Wisepilot. The difference between the various versions primarily pricing, but also characteristics that Telenor uses maps from Tele Atlas, while the content of Our site and Wisepilot comes from Navteq. The programs also use of different voices that read out the instructions. With Our site Navigator and Telenor Navigation is included in data traffic in Sweden in the subscription cost of the program, however, with Wisepilot is charged the DataSet as usual also in Sweden. The program retrieves most easily via the Web page.

By entering your mobile phone number to get a text message with a download link. We have also tested the upcoming Iphone version of Wisepilot and the will of course delivered through the App Store.

The start screen of Wisepilot consists of a menu that is topped by the most important features – search page, favourite places and map view. Further down on the list, there is a shortcut to settings and the “more” menu which contains weather forecasts and travel reports. If it so wishes, Wisepilot log all travel and it is easy to note the meter readings and divide the journeys between private and official business if you have the need to account for it. you can then Reports login and download via the Wisepilots Web service.

The interface design is adapted to the respective operating system. It’s very thorough and the S60 looks Wisepilot prettier than most built-in programs. Even in the Iphone Edition utilizes software platform and supports magnetic compass and the automatic screen rotation. The search features are linked both to the map provider’s addresses and points of interest, and to other databases – mainly Eniro and Wikipedia.

However, it appears that the program is only looking for English language Wikipedia articles, so the number of items can be a bit churlish in Sweden. Eniro-search, however, is really useful. You can enter a phone number and get the right address as the destination. Of course it is also possible to input the destination in the usual way in the form of a street address, intersection, or latitude and longitude. Search option “close to me” ranks the hits by distance and there is the possibility to search by categories such as restaurants, ATMs, monuments etc. Points of interest found in Eniro’s database lists even with opening hours, telephone numbers and ratings.

The map view is simple and transparent with information fields that can hide if you want more space for the map. Traffic information and safety cameras included in your subscription and Wisepilot works well in both car and pedestrian mode. The main menu of the program have shortcuts to add milestones and customize your route after the traffic situation during the process. New in the latest version are the link with Facebook and more map options. In the basic charge includes road maps and satellite imagery as nautical charts and topographic maps cost extra. iphone Edition support for multitasking.

Plus: The search features. Report features. Great menus.

Minus: No option to pre-install maps.

Our site Navigator

On most points is our site Navigator identical with Wisepilot, but there are some differences that make Our site version a bit sharper. Pedestrian mode, go to supplement with a search for local traffic. I tested the feature in Gothenburg and there found the program quickly good bus and tram links to reach my destination.

A problem with similar services tends to be that they are simply looking for the nearest stop and then proposes insane routes with a large number of changes, but the function of our site Navigator works really well. Unfortunately, you will find the search engine not relations over longer distances–for example, SJ or Oresundtrain. In addition to local traffic has Our site Navigator extra search features to show the way to our site’s stores and hotspots. iphone Edition support for multitasking.

Plus: The search features. Report features. Local traffic.

Minus: No option to pre-install maps.

 

Tomtom Navigator

It is easy to identify with the TomTom software for mobile – most of it is like from the interface in the brand’s freestanding units. TomTom Navigator is available for Iphone and Windows Mobile and the program included when buying some HTC phones. It is quick to install Tomtom. In HTC phones where the application is preinstalled only requires an activation of kortorna and where it is supplied on the memory card, it is enough to push the card into the phone for it to show up in the menu. With the Iphone is done the installation via the App Store and it’s a large file to be downloaded and transferred to the cell phone, but aside from that is the installation easy.

TomTom uses a very clean interface, but has many useful features, such as the ability to input the desired arrival time in order to see how long before or after the schedule they are. The main menu is designed for mobile and consists of a list in a column instead of a grid of icons. Input using the phone’s usual on-screen keyboard and switching between menus is made with a nice fluent animation, but the program is drawn with some delays. For example, it takes a few seconds from clicking on the menu item to enter an address into the search box will be shown.

The option “navigate to” on the main menu to open the search features. At the top of the list is the “home” button that selects a custom home address and then there is the possibility to search on, among other things, addresses, postal codes, points of interest and addresses from the phone book. It is easy to reuse earlier search results via the “Previous destinations”. Link to contacts has been much faster than in previous versions and now makes it unnecessary to wait for the list to be loaded on phones with well-stocked phone book.

On Windows Mobile, you get access to TomTom’s online features, such as traffic information, weather and speed cameras. Iphone programmet has no connection and hence traffic information, but an updated list of speed cameras are included when the program is installed.

The map with Tomtom is very simple and clear. It’s fast to browse and there’s multitouch zoom on the Iphone. When the Tomtom start is shown a map in 3D mode that turns after the driving direction. A tap on a map, open the main menu and you can choose from the ‘ Browse map ‘ to locate places graphically. 2D mode is clearly with bite-sized fonts and outlines of buildings, but it can get messy when many points of interest such as petrol stations, will be shown at the same time. A press the “i” icon in the right corner opens a menu where you can configure the map display, so the problem is easily corrected. iphone Edition support for multitasking.

Plus: Good interface.

Minus: Get features on Iphone