As I mentioned installing maps for each country is done via the Destinator console. How many can be installed depends on the capacity of your card, and the whole of the UK and Ireland map with take up 128MB of space. If you want to mix and match maps you can. The software makes it easier to make the best use of the space available thanks to its map cutting feature. This enables you to create a smaller part of a map for upload. It works well and you can drag the pointer around so you aren’t limited to an expanding box.
Destinator has quite a different look and feel to other GPS software. It uses the full screen area of the portrait display, which is a good thing. Your location is marked with a green icon which changes depending on whether you’re in a vehicle or pedestrian mode. It also has a shadow on one side to indicate in which direction the sun is facing. Your route is highlighted in blue. You can choose between a 3D and a 2D view and a night and day colours, which you can scroll through by pressing on a screen icon. Rather than using Windows like menus Destinator has a series of these icons running round the screen. The idea is that this provides quick one touch access to the various functions without you having to use a stylus, though it is easier with one. The disadvantage is that as there no description on any of the icons it’s just not very intuitive.
Once you get used to it, it’s pretty swish with all the icons fading into the background after a few seconds. The key icon is that of a car- this provides entry to the menu system.
This provides many options such as Address, where you can start to plan your journey. Again the layout is quite odd, and it takes some time to work it out. Searching for an address is done in a specific order – first the city, then the street then the number. This makes sense but it’s not that obvious that once you’ve chosen the first that to move to the next one you need to tap the word which runs across the top of the screen.
You can also move between these using the arrows in the top left and right. You can also search by post code but to do this you have to hit an icon located just under the left arrow. Who knew? And rather than using a QWERTY or individual keyboard layout you have to multi-tap the letters which are laid out like a mobile keypad. It does make it easier to get to the letter you want with a stylus when in the car (pulled over of course) as each button is larger than it would be if it were separate. When, finally, you’ve found your chosen address you want to tell the software to navigate there. Whatever you do, don’t select the ‘ok’ button at the top right as this will drop you back out to the menu and you’ll then have to start over the whole painful process once again. Instead you select Navigate button, tucked away at the bottom.