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ALK CoPilot Live 8 for iPhone - ALK CoPilot Live 8 for iPhone

By James Morris



Our Score:


CoPilot can warn you of approaching safety cameras but by default this facility is disabled so you need to turn it on in the settings. Similarly, map POI display is turned off during motion by default as well, so you won’t see the exact location of the safety camera onscreen until you enable this feature. But having all the POIs marked onscreen does slow down screen updates in urban areas, so you may want to do without.

One feature you don’t need to enable is the full-screen lane guidance graphic. This pops up at complex junctions to tell you which carriageways to be in, and includes more than just major motorways. In many instances, the signposts to look out for will also be illustrated, to make doubly sure you go the right way.


ALK’s CoPilot Live 8 for iPhone was already shaping up well merely because of its extremely keen price. But it’s also comprehensively featured. Even with a year’s subscription to the Premium Live Services, it’s still cheaper than the alternatives from TomTom and Navigon. If you only want occasional navigation, CoPilot Live can turn your iPhone into all the sat-nav you will ever need for much less than a standalone unit, even when you factor in the cost of a screen mount and car power cable. Add in the Live extras, and it’s almost as powerful as devices costing closer to £200.

Overall Score


Scores In Detail

  • Value 10
  • Features 8
  • Design 8


January 12, 2010, 4:58 pm

What about a review of the iGo My Way for iPhone, it is an excellent navigation application



January 12, 2010, 5:25 pm

@Ofer - They review products that are sent to them, they don't buy products for review. It would cost them hundreds of thousands of pounds ;-)

CoPilot was the first Nav program I bought for my iPhone 3GS and found it to be terrible. It cannot string instructions together properly so if you leave a roundabout and there is another turning within the next 5 seconds it does not bother telling you about it. The routes it takes you on are also bizzare.

My second program was Navigon. Instructions were better but routing was even more bizzare than CoPilot.

My third purchase was TomTom 1.2. Instructions and routing are excellent. The only problem is that TomTom's maps are not as up to date as the other two programs and POI are terrible. This is the program I use every day as I find the routes it sends me on are much better than the others.


January 12, 2010, 6:01 pm

You seem to imply the TomTom came out before Co-Pilot, I remember it been the other way round.

I've been using Co-Pilot since it came out, and I have to say for £26 it's a bargain. Some people complain about lock on, but I've never had any troubles (Iphone3G).

They has also been a number of updates since buying, one thing I didn't like about the original version was it's proprietary keyboard, nice to see it now uses the default Iphone one.

Also for a nice quick way of getting Music & powering your Iphone in the car, I've used the Griffin RoadTrip, works really well once you hack it into US mode, as the EU has some stupid law were the FM frequency changes every-time you power on. Please Please at the next election can some anti-EU party win, or at least have a referendum like was promised from the current set of scam merchants.


January 12, 2010, 6:05 pm

They dont come cheap and Den, you're the perfect customer for Apple.

For those who dont have a external speaker/tomtom kit etc, xmi mini2 I believe is a perfect partner to boost the sound on iphone for satsav nevigation... works on battery lasting over 7hours & really portable & loud


January 12, 2010, 6:30 pm

I must admit that I was pretty surprised to see CoPilot get such a high score. I had it on my 3G and found it to be pretty lacklustre (probably more due to the poor hardware) and no where near as intuitive as *any* other sat nav program. Cancelling a route was a convoluted nightmare and the refresh rate of the iPhone satellite receiver is shocking...even with a full signal, most it's instructions were retrospective!

TomTom trounces it in terms of usability and the iGo software i'm now using on an HD2 is even better than the TomTom equipment I've been using for years. I just spend too long trying to figure out how to permanently remove the CoPilot software from the HD2 - annoyingly it's cooked in to the official ROM!

It is amazing value though and it will get you to where you want to go, eventually - I found it favoured some crazy long routes through London at peak times, that were just stupid. Just a shame Copilot won't allow people to transfer their licences from one device to another, ie iPhone to WM, which I think is pretty mean.

10/10 for value and a 3/10 for performance on the iPhone (i'd give it 6/10 on the HD2 as the hardware is so much more sensitive that it can get a full solid signal anywhere, even inside sometimes).


January 12, 2010, 7:17 pm

@lifethroughalens: I'm sure not all IPhones can be made equal, it sounds like yours had lots of problems. Co-Pilot on my Iphone certainly doesn't tell you after the event, the screen updates are as smooth as silk, the routes it picks seem fine (but this could maybe be area specific) and this by the way is on a 3G, not a 3GS. The only other thing I can think of, how often did you do a hard reset?, I've found the 3G likes a hard reset every now and again (not just a soft reset). Also I've never Jailbroken my Iphone, and I believe you did so maybe they could have been issues there.


January 12, 2010, 8:40 pm

@xbrumster - my moto is buy cheap, buy twice. In this case 3 times lol.


January 12, 2010, 8:49 pm

@ Keith - yes it was jailbroken and I hadn't done a hard reset in ages. That may be something to do with the poor experience I had with the CoPilot software.

I'm glad it works so well for you. The final straw for me was the continual crashing of the software. I'd be driving along for 20 mins or so and then wonder why it was so quiet, only to glance down to see that it had crashed ages ago and when I re-booted it the route was no longer active. It did this almost every time I used it for long (1+ hour journeys) especially when it was pulling mail in the background and if I was taking calls / texts whilst using the Bluetooth connection. All of which should be do-able on a non jail broken phone.

I just got the distinct feeling that with all that going on that the hardware just wasn't up to the job...not by a long shot. It was all too slow and unresponsive. I am a much happier bunny with the iGo on the HD2 and as I said the CoPilot Software was much better on a more powerful platform. Good job I sold my 3G for loads of dosh :)

Lee Marshall

January 12, 2010, 9:03 pm

@lifethroughalens: ALK do allow transfer of licences. I have a WM licence which I transferred to my Android (Hero) with just a phone call to ALK. Really easy.

Although I have never used Co-Pilot on an iPhone it runs quite nicely on the Hero and I am very happy with it. It doesn't always make the best choices with routing (the old Sat Nav in my Renault is better) but the instructions are clear and timely.


January 12, 2010, 9:49 pm

@Den: I had a similar experience. I bought Co-Pilot due to its lower cost. But I found I was getting some strange routings. More importantly, a lot of the people I visit are in industrial estates, and Co-Pilot didn't seem to cope with these.

I had used TomTom on a WM phone, so I though I would give it a go, even though on principle I disagreed with the whole cradle fiasco (I bought an £8.00 cradle that fits the iPhone brilliantly, and I have the sound coming through the stereo via an FM transmitter - no line in in my car).

Since moving back to TomTom, its as good as the WM version, with updated maps, and finds all of the postcodes I enter on industrial estates!

The POI's on TomTom are rubbish though. Good thing Google Maps is also installed on the phone!


January 12, 2010, 11:22 pm

@ Lee Marshall - unfortunately, like most things Apple orientated, with the iPhone your not able to transfer licences at all - from ALK.com support page. It also seems to say that you cannot cross transfer Android to WM and visa-versa, so you did well :)

Q. I'm going to buy another device in a month's time, can I move CoPilot Live 8 to another device?

A. You can move your CoPilot Live v8 license from a Windows Mobile or Android smartphone to another Windows Mobile or Android Smartphone. Simply deactivate your license by selecting Menu > Settings > Licensing. You can then re-install CoPilot Live on the different phone. Please note you cannot move a CoPilot Live v8 license from or to an iPhone.

Quite why I can transfer my license from my iPhone to my WM device is beyond me. I will blame Steve Jobs though. Just because that makes me feel better ;)


January 13, 2010, 12:26 am

Maybe this is a good product in the UK but buyers beware in canada . The maps are the worst i've ever seen , EVER. I've called tech support and have gotten absolutely no help whatsoever and they don't even seem the slightest bit interested in helping anyone or giving information regarding updates on the maps. All i can say is if you live in north america don't go by my word , read all the reviews on it if you go to purchase it in itunes. There's alot of really ticked off people there!!


January 13, 2010, 3:17 am

The days of the standalone Sat Nav are truly numbered. My Tom Tom as been retired, period. 'Co Pilot' in my experience has been excellent on my 3GS. No issues, no crashes whatsoever. Alk have continually updated the software since its release. The price point of £26 is an absolute bargain! Why anyone would pay double for the Tom Tom app software is beyond me.

Jon Williamson

January 13, 2010, 1:46 pm

(Not sure if this is submitted twice ... I'm on a train in the snow!)

I have CoPilot oin my iphone, and a TomTom Go 720. I bought CoPilot because the iPhone does not support data tethering to the TomTom. I used to receive live TMC traffic updates to my satnav though my Nokia E71, as the TMC aerial TomTom supplies is worse than useless). CoPilot provides traffic updates, although the implementtion is not as good as on the TomTom.

In terms of routing, I trust the TomTom more than CoPilot, but am still trying them both out - in fact I often have both running (I drive a lot for work, and need to keep myself entertained somehow!).

Any idea when the TomTom for iphone software will have Live! services enabled (or when TomTom will enable data tethering to my TomTom!)?



January 13, 2010, 3:03 pm

you know, i JUST dropped thr £50 for the tomtom app only yesterday. I needed to bike (bmx) from london euston station to paddington station - and i wasn't completley satisfied, it kept making my music jump about, and wouldn't tell me if i'd reached my destination (i used it in my pocket, rather than try and mount it somewhere)


January 13, 2010, 3:06 pm

@Soops - I think it will be a good few years before standalone Sat Navs will become obsolete. I only a very small percentage of people I know have phones capable of running Sat Nav software.


January 13, 2010, 3:27 pm

@lifethroughalens: The final straw for me was the continual crashing of the software.

I must admit the earlier versions I suffered with it crashing, but when you re-started the previous route was still there, you just closed the first dialog that appeared. Newer versions seem much more stable, not had it crash for a long while now.


January 13, 2010, 3:53 pm

Having owned this application since the day it came out, I can vouch for the fact that the early versions were pretty awful. The current version, however, is devoid of stability problems, is faster, really easy to use, and I've had no problems with routing. Not that I have any other sat-navs to compare routing to, mind. My only issue at the moment is how long it can sometimes take to find a signal but that's not the software's fault.

James Morris

January 14, 2010, 9:14 pm

CoPilot does occasionally take a while to find the GPS signal, but I've found that with all iPhone sat-nav apps, except TomTom's when it's using the proprietary cradle. During testing, I only had it freeze up once, and that could well have been because I was being a bit indecisive about which input commands I was giving it. For the rest of the time it was faultless.

Wayne 6

January 18, 2010, 4:46 am

I'm interested in views of iPhone 3gs owners. I am undecided between CoPilot on my iPhone 3gs or buying a basic TomTom unit. This is for occasional use in a car and on a motorbike (with appropriate charger / holder).I'm not worried about voice prompts as I turn them off, even with my wife's TomTom.

There seem to be such mixed reviews on this product which could be down to the fact that unhappy users tend to be more outspoken. I am keen to hear about accuracy of maps, route calculation, how quickly the map updates at complex junctions etc.I like the look of it but if it's really so problematic, I'd rather buy a basic TomTom for £80/100 than waste £26 on something unreliable.

Oh, and if anyone has found a way to plan routes on Google maps and import them (or TYRE, for those familiar with it) , please do tell although I understand that's not possible at the moment.


January 21, 2010, 2:52 pm

@Wayne - I would certainly recommend the CoPilot, I don't use it daily, but when I am planning routes to new places or finding new routes, it works fine. The on screen maps are good and they do a good job of directing you to the correct lane with the new assistance screens they have.

A lot of people bought the product when it came out, myself included and it was a bit hit and miss, but it's had several updates and continues to get better with more features all the time. The addition of the safety cameras is great and it does a good job of telling you the speed limit for roads anyway.

All in all a great system now they've got the updates.

Not sure about the use on a bike though........

George Styles

February 5, 2010, 3:49 pm

DO NOT BUY. Their DRM is horrible - legit (£30) purchase wont activate on Milestone, says trial over. They ignore support emails (2 sent and ignored for 2 weeks and counting...). Phoned them up on an expensive 0871 number, and after being on hold for 10 mins, they said they would email me the 'solution', but didnt bother. Shame, because when it works the actual product is very good, but its killed by the DRM. Next step is to initiate a chargeback from my credit card. Error is "Activation Unsuccessful"

Wayne 6

March 2, 2010, 1:17 am

I tried it : it's deeply flawed. The main problem is that many, many streets are missing even for roads that have been in existence for 30, 40, 100 years. Often, I was shown as being on a road parallel to the one I was actually on.Route calculation is painfully slow and satellite signals are easily lost in built-up areas. The interface is cluttered and illogical. Luckily I got a refund and put the money towards a TomTom unit which is what I should have done in the first place.

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