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ALK CoPilot Live 8 for Windows Mobile review




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ALK CoPilot Live 8 for Windows Mobile
  • ALK CoPilot Live 8 for Windows Mobile
  • ALK CoPilot Live 8 for Windows Mobile
  • ALK CoPilot Live 8 for Windows Mobile
  • ALK CoPilot Live 8 for Windows Mobile
  • ALK CoPilot Live 8 for Windows Mobile
  • ALK CoPilot Live 8 for Windows Mobile
  • ALK CoPilot Live 8 for Windows Mobile
  • ALK CoPilot Live 8 for Windows Mobile


Our Score:


A number of manufacturers have stopped developing their PDA and smartphone apps in the last couple of years, including Navman, which was one of the first to enter the market. But one company which is continuing to go from strength to strength is ALK Technologies. CoPilot Live dates back to Windows CE PDAs with GPS jackets, but it is still the top-selling sat-nav software for smartphones. Whilst Navigon has turned its attention to the iPhone, with TomTom soon to follow, ALK launched the latest CoPilot Live initially on Android, making this the first fully featured sat-nav app for this platform. It has also just launched an iPhone version. But Windows Mobile is still its main focus, and latest in the line is CoPilot Live 8, which has the same core features as the Android and iPhone versions, but with some important extra benefits.

CoPilot Live has taken advantage of smartphone integration for a while. But the latest version gets even closer to the current benchmark of sat-nav mobile data integration - TomTom's LIVE Services. Traffic updates over GPRS were available in CoPilot 7. These were bundled for T-Mobile customers or cost £34.24 for two years if you were with a different provider. CoPilot 8 includes basically the same capabilities, which also work over Wi-Fi, and pricing is currently the same as version 8. You can call up a listing of current traffic incidents, and when navigating you will be offered the choice of rerouting round jams if desired, dynamically as they build up. However, the Android and iPhone versions of CoPilot don't currently offer live traffic, with this being promised in a future update.

Live Link was also available in version 7. This is like Google Latitude, allowing you to track friends who also have the CoPilot software, and then navigate to their current location. This could be handy for finding family members, or tracking co-workers also kitted out with CoPilot-enabled smartphones, but probably won't be the most significant feature for most users.

However, there are some useful new Live Services. There's Live Weather, which gives you a five-day forecast for your current location, or any other destination you choose. The data comes from Accuweather.com, and you can click through to the latter's site for a more detailed hour-by-hour forecast. ALK has also added dynamic Fuel Prices, which will let you find the cheapest petrol in your vicinity or any other location, although the service wasn't operating yet in our early review sample. It's also a premium service like the traffic updates, requiring an (as yet undisclosed) extra fee.

m memmory

August 17, 2009, 1:00 pm

Will you be reviewing the Android version separately as I'm definitely interested in getting that for the HTC Hero.

Martin Daler

August 17, 2009, 2:50 pm

I use CoPilot 7 on my iPaq PDA, its definitely the most used application, so its great to see continued support for the product (unlike HP themselves). The lack of QWERTY is a real pain however and seems inexplicable given that ALK make the specific claim to have improved the UI. On the plus side, they have kept the great choice of destination input methods, including OS grid references, which I used recently to navigate to a location I found in a guide to swimmable rivers - much more appropriate than a postcode.

ALK also seem confused as to whether CoPilot Central 2.0 (the desktop companion software not mentioned in your review) will be compatible with WinMo (it says Android only on the download page) and with 64-bit Vista (Central 1.0 is only 32-bit compatible). Perhaps TR could dig a little deeper and find the answer?

I do find that CoPilot 7 makes the occasional slip of the tongue, for example telling you to take the wrong number exit on a roundabout (go the the end of the A55 on Anglesey, all in the name of journalisitc investigation of course, for one example) and has a tendency to take me on some strange routes sometimes, so I was hoping TR might have had more to say on the actual routing engine in this review, but I didn't really get the feeling from the review that you had done much more than rephrase the speil on the back of the box and maybe try out the demo mode. Be honest guys/gals - how far did you drive?


August 17, 2009, 3:11 pm

@Martin Daler: Did you even watch the video review? The app is quite clearly in use while James is driving.

As for finding all the quirks of a particular routing engine, that can be very dependent on where you happen to be driving. We only have devices/apps/whatever it may be for a short period of time so to find and point out all these issues is sometimes just not possible.

@m_memmory: I doubt we'll be reviewing the iPhone and Android versions seperately (though that's not a definite) as for the most part they seem to be pretty similar. Certainly, comparing this WinMo version to my iPhone version, they seem near identical.


August 17, 2009, 3:21 pm

My street in a new development in Essex where development started in 2004 and finished in Dec 2007 is missing from Copilot Live 8.

I have a slight problem though. I have screen lock set up on my phone (HTC Touch Pro 2) at 5 mins. When Copilot is running I expect the screen to stay unlocked as the phone is in use but it still locks out at 5mins. This definitely didnt happen when I used Copilot 6 on my previous phones (Charmer or TyTN 2). Anyone with a solution to this problem?


August 17, 2009, 3:21 pm

My street in a new development in Essex where development started in 2004 and finished in Dec 2007 is missing from Copilot Live 8.

I have a slight problem though. I have screen lock set up on my phone (HTC Touch Pro 2) at 5 mins. When Copilot is running I expect the screen to stay unlocked as the phone is in use but it still locks out at 5mins. This definitely didnt happen when I used Copilot 6 on my previous phones (Charmer or TyTN 2). Anyone with a solution to this problem?

Martin Daler

August 17, 2009, 3:38 pm

Actually Ed, I was going to ask where was the video review, I just get a blank page!

See here to see if you get what I get:


Martin Daler

August 17, 2009, 3:42 pm

Ed - it could be a little local difficulty with AdBlock Plus, I have now found the Video!



August 17, 2009, 4:55 pm

Hmmm, I thought everyone at TR hated the TG01?! :P

Ten Ninety

August 17, 2009, 4:58 pm

Does the Detour/Avoid function actually provide an alternative route in this version? It never seems to work at all for me in V7, especially when trying to avoid traffic - it just gives me the same route as originally planned.

Martin Daler

August 17, 2009, 9:28 pm

I see ALK has cleared up my confusion by adding the words "and Windows Mibile" to the download page for Copilot Central 2.0. So it is now billed as working for both Android and WM, for both 32-bit and 64-bit Vista. Good news!

m memmory

August 18, 2009, 2:47 am

@Ed Thanks for the info. If it's similar on the iPhone I would assume (hope) that it's the same on Android as well. I think I could be very tempted to get this and a nice in car mount - a full on sat nav for about £50 in total. Much cheaper then a stand alone device.


August 18, 2009, 5:22 am

I used TomTom Navigator 6 on my MDA Vario for 3 years before I used CP7 on MDA Compact IV. I also installed TomTom which worked well, (once I had help from CS installing it). Now I use only use CP7 on my Compact V, (Diamond2). I used a 'proper' TomTom from work yesterday, as a comparison, on a known route, whilst still using my device. I can safely say that the TomTom is better for the actual instructions, but the maps on CP7 look better, and the unit responded slower than my device, running several apps alongside!

CP8 looks impressive. I like CP Central, especially the ability to EASILY create journeys and send to the device. It is much better than the TomTom equivalent, but I did like TomTom weather on my device.

Also Nav6, with BT receiver cost around £100. This is only £20 ish without. That's VERY impressive isn't it?

I got CP7 free with my phone for 18months. Still a great deal!

dan pugh

September 1, 2009, 8:15 pm

i used to use mcguider on the e71 which was pretty faultless except for lack of touchscreen.

ive used copilot 8 for a week now. Here are my comments:

1. support have not answered any comments

2. it crashes often. gps lock is often (every journey) lost requiring restart of the app.

3. its not possible to download all the maps or select individual maps e.g. turkey, egypt, switzerland etc either on the phone. via copilot central you have to buy the maps for a second time as it doesnt recognize items bought in android marketplace

4. it often directs cars down footpaths which are obviously unroutable.

5. there is no way to return once you have found it doesnt work...

i have yet to be able to make a successful journey without one of the above issues...


September 1, 2009, 9:38 pm

I'm having a lot of issues with CoPilot 8 on my MDA Compact III that I didn't have with CoPilot 6. I have the problem with the screen lock coming on (like someone else has), plus the app crashes. Also it said the wrong exit for a roundabout (I've only used it twice). Plus I keep finding bugs on the website - I couldn't pay for it initially, then I couldn't register it (due to a missing stored procedure) and just now I tried to add safety cameras and the instructions are wrong plus the link to sign up to the feed doesn't work! I have had to email support at every turn and I have to say they are spectacularly inept! I would say to anyone with an old version to hold off buying this one for now - they clearly have a LOT of bugs to iron out (and a good deal of staff training to do). Oh yes and you can't get live traffic updates yet.


September 3, 2009, 5:11 pm

Minty has got it right - I'm suffering similar problems to those cited in earlier posts, so I'd leave well alone until ALK sort out the mess. Note you are also likely to lose any remaining subscriptions, favourites or trips you had in earlier versions, you may suffer problems with the way the program handles your GPS receiver, and the desktop companion software (Co-Pilot Central v2) seems to have lost the ability to plan a trip on your PC and then load it onto your mobile. Version 8 may well end up very good value, but it won't be until ALK sort these problems out.


September 6, 2009, 1:06 am

I bought this for my HTC Touch Pro 2. Disregarding the price I would rate this product as poor. First of all, the map is old -- at least the map for the USA. I would estimate it to be about 5 or 6 years old. The reason I say this is that I live in a residence that is about 5 years old -- relatively new. This means that the street names does not exist before that. I typed in my address to look for it in CoPilot 8 and what a disappoinment -- it does not exist. I verified this again by typing the address of a friend whose residence is also new -- about 3 years old. Again the address does not exist. I have contacted support about this and so far all they can tell me is to re-install the product.

There is still bugs I think in the product, I have a few crashes already especially when I hide CoPilot do something else and then come back to it. I also wish that they add "tracks" feature in the product. This feature leaves trails on where you actually drove through.

My only wish is that CoPilot 8 updated the maps -- for free of course.

Besides that, because of the price, I still like this product. It is feature rich. I like the Walk mode. If you could hold off buying it though, I say wait until they update the maps and fix some of the bugs.


September 14, 2009, 11:44 pm

I purchased Co-Pilot v8.0 (Europe) for my Sony Ericcson Xperia. The outcome has been a bitter disappointment which leads me to believe that ALK have released this product version before they have sorted numerous bugs. At no time have I been able to view the maps and the product either crashes or hangs indefinitely between screens. How it gets such glowing reports from reviewers is beyond me. My advice - steer clear.

Customer service and Tech Support services are abysmal, often with inadequate interest or informnation and in refusing to allow refunds to dissatisfied customers they appear to be exploiting their remote and anonymous position.


October 17, 2009, 10:46 pm

Worth an update I think. Windows Mobile thinks nothing is running when Co-Pilot 8 is running and locks the phone (if you have that security feature set). ALK admitted this bug very quickly but has yet to issue the promised fix. ALK have confirmed that any previous traffic or other subscriptions you may have had in Co-Pilot 7, plus any trips or favourites you may have saved, will be lost when you upgrade to Co-Pilot 8. ALK has also confirmed that Co-Pilot Central version 2 no longer has the ability to plan trips on your PC then transfer them to your phone. What it largely seems to be now is a central point for buying additional things from ALK! (To be fair, it does also have useful back-up features.) Note also that I had made at least three corrections to Co-Pilot 7 mapping through their support site, but none of these have been incorporated into the maps for Co-Pilot 8. The only thing I got wrong on my previous post relates to the use of my GPS receiver - that wasn't an issue related to Co-Pilot 8.

Michael Gannon

October 18, 2009, 7:18 am

Comment lombardo8 said on 17th August 2009

I have a slight problem though. I have screen lock set up on my phone (HTC Touch Pro 2) at 5 mins. When Copilot is running I expect the screen to stay unlocked as the phone is in use but it still locks out at 5mins. This definitely didnt happen when I used Copilot 6 on my previous phones (Charmer or TyTN 2). Anyone with a solution to this problem?

I found a solution to the problem first you need to download 2 programs called (slide 2 unlock) (phm Registry Editor)

here is the download links (slide 2 unlock) (phm Registry Editor) http://www.phm.lu/downloads...{940B734A-C437-41C7-ADED-2A4418802FD3}

install slide to unlock first then phm editor

the edit the following key with phm editor

Edit the Registry, under \HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\A_C\S2U2,

add key ExceptionEXE0 (STRING) with the name of the application (e.g. iexplore.exe).

A total of 10 (0-9) ExceptionEXE can be added.

Set ExceptionEXEisFG to 1 for checking if it's running in foreground only;

while set to 0 for checking if it's running in foreground or background. Remember to restart iLock2 after the changes.

Regards Michael


December 3, 2009, 7:36 pm

I just purchased an HTC HD2 with a free 15 day trial of CoPilot 8. The idea sounds great but performance is horrible. Thinking that the purchase would work better, I bought the program. North American maps will not load. CoPilot support is an endless run-around. I have given up and am now trying to get a refund, that also appears impossible as CoPilot refuses to communicate. This company is headed the way of the other navigation program companies and the sooner the better.


December 19, 2009, 4:22 am

PLEASE PLEASE read the reviews on this product before you go and waste your money. ok, i suppose there are some people out there that have this operating fine but if you are like me and many many others that haven't then your only option is to contact ALK morons at customer sevices and this i'm afraid is a total waste of time so think about it people, i'm waiting for this crowd to turn up on watchdog, rogue traders or my own show, sat nav software selling morons from hell. i,ll add this bit on and hope i don't make trouble for myself. in my time searching round the net to read other comments on crashpilot i happened to come across a torrent of copilot 8 and it works a treat so get looking round some torrent sites and save yourself the money and stuff this crowd cos they don't seem to mind robbing us.


December 21, 2009, 11:27 pm

Hmm. The only issue I have had is with the screen locks. As I use S2U2, all I had to do is list this app as a lock exception. Other than that, it has worked better than any other Nav app I have had on a mobile phone. I Have run Palm and Windows Mobile phones, and have used several versions of the now defunct Mapopolis and TomTom programs (TomTom is only supported and available on the iPhone/iPod Touch platform at this time), as well as several versions of OnCourseNavigator which is the US version of IGo which is also used on the Mio and some other PNDs. I had Mapopolis on Palm and Windows Mobile. Mapopolis only had support for regional navigation, and it was a pain to manage the maps, as well as memory management if you loaded too many. It was a basic flat map nav program with basic TTS spoken guidance, and no POIs. That being said, it accomplished it's task, which was to get me to a specific address without getting lost. Their tech support was first rate, they responded to emails withing 24Hrs, sometimes even on the weekends, and some of my suggestions for improvement actually made it into the program. I also had TomTom 4 and 5 on Palm, and TomTom 6 and 7 on Windows Mobile. Not much need be said, a huge improvement over Mapopolis, TomTom really hasn't changed in a long time. It works, but Map updates and support for smartphones really, really sucked. Oncourse Navigator 6 and 8 for Windows Mobile was next. Much better than TomTom. Tech support was ok, but not great. It took a loooong time to load. Had more complete 3d features, and a huge POI database. It had some bugs, which were resolved, but updates were slow to appear, map updates were generally behind, and difficult to manage until version 8, where we got NaviExtras, with an application similar to TomTom Home or Copilot Central. It worked very well however for managing updates, and purchasing extras. OCN had basic 3d elevation data, giving you a view of hills and such. OCN8 allowed you to purchase and load detailed elevation data files, which provided detailed elevations. It also provided simulated elevation data for overpasses and bridges. Also optional 3d landmarks, and a very extensive POI database. But it was only available on serialized SD cards, and you had to or could only purchase the sizes they offered at a bit of a premium for the card size. And currently I am switching from an ATT Fuze to an ATT Tilt 2, OCN8 does not support it, and I would have to upgrade to OCN8.3 for full price. Basically repurchase at retail. Also OCN does not have any free map updates, so if you get a card that is outdated, your only choice is to RMA it with the vendor, or bite the bullet and purchase a full price map update. Though they do guarantee you the latest maps if you purchase directly, at a premium over other online vendors.

Now on to my CoPilot Live 8 experience. I purchased and downloaded the program with maps for North America (US 50,Canada, Mexico) for $19.99, and Premium Live Services for $19.99 for 1yr. It was installed according to instructions. I re-used an old 2GB microSD card by reformatting with FAT32. There was a lot of junk on it, and formatting was much faster than deleting and I wanted to improve storage by using FAT32 instead for FAT16. Mapsure map updates are free for the life of the product plus 6 months into a new release. Full Map Updates are issued quarterly, and map maintenance updates are issued monthly. For US Maps ALK provides a web based map error/correction reporting function, which once verified will be incorporated into the next available monthly update. I have CoPilot Live version and it came with the previous quarter's maps. I used CoPilot Central to update the maps to version 4.2009. for NA Grid data, version 4.2009. for City data, and version 4.2009. for POI data. ALK claims 6 million POIs for the NA maps. ALK uses NAVTEQ map data for North America. Map corrections are incorporated by ALK. This is similar to TomToms map share correction system. CoPilot 8 does maintenance updates over the air. You can chose to do this automatically or manually. The Live services are awesome. Live Local Search uses Microsoft's Live/Bing engine to look for additional "POI" data, which you can then map, add to custom POI's, and even call from within CoPilot Live. This is a truly awsome feature as you can search for any available Business, Landmark, whatever is available as such on MS Live/Bing search as an address. Live weather is pretty cool if basic, but it does let you check the weather of your location, or any other (like your destination or locations along the way) without leaving the program. In about a weeks constant use and playing with it, it has never crashed, bogged down, or otherwise misbehaved. All the somewhat limited routes I have driven, it has routed at least as well as OCN8 or TTN7. It has not lagged in tracking my position, and the default anouncement and warning message lead times were appropriate for the roads and turns I was taking. They can also be customized. I have successfully minimized and maximized the program, as well as answered phone calls and read emails while it was running (and I was stopped), and resumed the program when done. I did have a problem updating the maps, which I believe was due to a "Naming Glitch". The original maps were named "North America" and the updated maps were named "NorthAmerica". Notice the missing space. I believe this caused Copilot Central to think these were different maps, and not delete the old maps, and because I only have a 2GB micro sd card, the transfer failed. I deleted the current map data, and re-transferred and it worked. I also received one of the monthly OTA maintenance updates from within the program. As is this has been one of my best experiences with a Mobile Nav package. I have not yet used their tech support, so I cannot comment on that. All that being said, the program is not feature complete as of this writing. Two features I am looking forward to are not available on the Windows Mobile platform as yet. That would be TTS for speaking street names, and Voice Command for operating the program. TTS is to become available this month. It is already available on the iPhone.

By and large I am pleased with the performance of this program. For those people having performance issues or other glitches on windows mobile phones, I recommend making sure your phone has the lates firmware available, dumping the cell carrier crapware that comes on it (esp ATT versions), making sure you have sufficient storage and program memory available after installing, making sure you have a reasonable precentage of free space on your storage card after installing the data, and check if you might have installed some widget or program that could be interfering. I do run a lot of stuff on my WinMo device, but I do my best to keep the device as clean and free of junk as possible.


December 29, 2009, 4:39 am

I'm happy to find this thread - it seems to be the closest thing there is to a Copilot Forum. Is that really true, does anybody know of a real Copilot forum site? It seems a little odd that ALK don't host one. One might wonder if they don't want that much customer contact...?

I was a long time user of Tomtom Nav 6 on Win mobile. Like Falko above, I also used to use Mapopolis on Palm, those were NOT the days. Although it worked and never routed me wrong. Also TTN6 worked fine, some strange routes sometimes on things that were barely roads, but trustworthy and never got me lost.

I gave up on TTN6 due to their abysmal support for win mobile. Who can blame them, WM is hardly the mobile OS wave of the future and may tank in the next few years. But anyhow win mobile 6.5 convinced me to stick with it for now and buy a new phone, Acer s200/F1. I decided it was time to ditch TTN6 for Copilot8, helped by ALK Thanksgiving sale. How can you lose for $20?

I am still adjusting to Copilot. There should be a tutorial for TTN refugees how to do the things you need to do. The Copilot "manual", basically a website, is very rudimentary and mostly states the obvious about what the different menus do. It has no graphics, strange for a graphic-driven program. There are things that appear in the program, like a funny little lock icon sometimes on the top left under the options menu, that I have no idea what it does. Also while on a route there is a blue line that goes directly to the destination like a vector, what is that about and why is it there? Is there any user control over it, or if not why show an internal program calculation to clutter up the screen? Anyhow, no word about any of this in the, umm, "manual". Fortunately the program is pretty easy to use without docs.

Basically Copilot seems pretty good. Stable, nice looking interface & maps. Copilot Central desktop is WAY better than TT Home, which was pretty crappy. The update system seems pretty good. I just updated some program & map updates without a glitch.

I like the Copilot itinerary system of adding stops, 2 or more, to make a trip, better than TTN, which was easy only for point a to point b. I think after a month of relatively light use I can do everything I used to do in TTN, and at least as well. The only thing I haven't quite figured out is how to enter a place (address, POI, etc) and browse the location, including other POIs near that place. For example, I might want to find the closest subway station or cafe. It looks like you have to enter the place as a destination, go to Plan or Edit Trips, then select that destination, then select Show on Map. This is cumbersome, and also has the problem that the address you just entered as a destination is not highlighted or indicated in any way on the resulting map. So as you scroll around the map, it's easy to lose orientation of the destination you just entered. One other problem is that if you enter a POI as a destination, the POI no longer appears on the route map, including that you can't see or call the POI anymore as long as it is the destination.

Anyhow, it may just be that I'm not used to the program yet, or these may be bugs, but not severe ones in my opinion. Mostly I am happy with this program and think it works pretty well and I don't miss Tomtom.

I don't use Live Services b/c that's US only and I'm mostly in Europe. However, 3D building landmarks are supposed to be available in Europe, and the updates this week had Landmark data files included. But I don't see any evidence of 3D landmarks on the maps, not Paris or London but didn't look other cities. No word on ALK site about Landmarks either.


January 26, 2010, 4:28 pm


I am using Copilot Live 8 on a HTC HD2 (windows mobile 6.5). I must say: I was stunned by the graphical interface and ease of use. I depend on a good navigation system so I have been using copilot for a few weeks. I have purchased the Europe-map license and I must say that I am surprised about all the positive reviews. Hasn't anyone noticed that the maps copilot uses, are way out of date? Streets aren't listed, routes are planned through streets that don't exist anymore..... I have had contact with the support desk and they say that the Navteq maps are updated once a year.

My opinion is: the looks are great, but the maps are far outdated compared to similar navigators as TomTom. Don't buy unless you take outdated maps for granted.


June 7, 2010, 1:33 am

Hi i have just downloaded co pilot live 8 to my pc then transfered it to my sd card to use in my htc tattoo, took around 30 minutes to do that then you need to go online with your hand set with android phones to complete the setup and enter key number thants sent by email which is on the instuctions you get when brought, opened it up and works fantastic, have used it loads with no probs so far and would say it works aswell as my garmin nuvi i have which is great to. if i had to have one negative on the co pilot it would be the voice intructions come quite near the turns now and then but not a problem as i always have a little glance on the screen anyway but dont let this put you off as this is a good bit of kit.

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