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ALK CoPilot Live Premium review




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ALK CoPilot Live Premium
  • ALK CoPilot Live Premium
  • ALK CoPilot Live Premium
  • ALK CoPilot Live Premium


Our Score:



  • Live features
  • Traffic option
  • Great value


  • No IQ Routes or similar
  • Navteq traffic not as good as TomTom HD traffic

Key Features

  • Drag routes to change waypoints
  • Bing Local Search
  • Wikipedia location search
  • Facebook and Twitter integration
  • ActiveTraffic for £9.99 a year
  • Manufacturer: ALK Technologies
  • Review Price: £29.99

ALK is one of the longest-running players in the sat-nav app business. CoPilot Live dates back to before the sat-nav became a separate device. CoPilot Live Premium is the second incarnation of CoPilot since it crossed over from Windows Mobile with version 8 to the current leading smartphone platforms, Apple's iPhone and Google's Android. It's a major overhaul, both in its interface and underlying functions. This week we took a look at the iPhone incarnation, although the Android version arrived first and there's an iPad build too, for those who fancy a 10.1in sat-nav screen.

CoPilot Live Premium was previously announced as version 9, and the annoying news for owners of the previous edition is that there is no upgrade offer available. With such a major update, this is likely to be a major irritation. The changes are obvious right from the more aesthetically pleasing startup splash screen, and the map is easier on the eye too. The menu still pops up over the map, but here again the design is much more graphically streamlined than before.

There are a number of enhancements to the routing capabilities. You could already navigate to a full UK postcode, which is a premium addition for Navigon's iPhone app, although it's also a standard feature on TomTom's app. Routes can be calculated for recreational vehicles, motorbikes, bicycles and walking as well as cars. But you can also now navigate to a GPS-tagged photo stored on your phone, which might actually prove useful considering the iPhone camera app tags its photos automatically.

An absolutely unique feature is the ability to browse the calculated route and drag it to another waypoint, or away from an area you wish to avoid. CoPilot then recalculates an appropriate new route. It's not necessarily a feature you would use every day, but certainly handy if you want to avoid an area or go a specific way, perhaps through the city suburbs instead of out to the ring road.


July 27, 2011, 6:09 pm

This review cannot have been properly and thoroughly undertaken! More likely a quick rehash of a v8 review. Just look at all the problems at:


including APPALLING routing, estimated journey times being massively understated, no traffic updates. It is a duff update, and almost certainly not properly tested before release. Beta at very best.


July 27, 2011, 7:29 pm

Sadly, henryg is right - the product is a long way from being ready for release.


July 28, 2011, 5:36 am

I cannot comment on the premium edition reviewed here but I have tried to use Co-Pilot Live in two different cities, York and Leeds, and in each case found its directions so bad they were positively dangerous as it was determined to send me the wrong way down one way streets, through restricted areas, or along roads that had been closed off. In each case I just gave up and wound down my window to ask the way. Literally, worse than useless.

James Morris

July 28, 2011, 4:47 pm

I wouldn't say CoPilot Live was worse than useless at routing. I would also suggest, henryg, that your implication that my review is a quick rehash of a v8 review is close to libellous. Did you read it and watch the video? You will see, in the video, an actual traffic update appears. So there is clear evidence there that traffic updates work. I actually tested CoPilot Live Premium MORE than I usually do, as I had a lot of extra journeys during the testing period. I even managed to test it against a TomTom device, so was able to ascertain that the traffic updates are inferior to the TomTom HD service. I would also say that, whilst routing isn't perfect - it still gets the "postcode inside an industrial estate" issue wrong, for example - it does get you from A to B. As I said in the review, there's nothing like IQ Routes here. So it will be using nominal road speeds for calculation, not a real reflection of traffic speed. So ETAs will be off, as they are with all sat-navs not using this kind of technology. Go into the full menu, then Route, then Vehicle Preferences, then Custom Routing and you will see the speeds CoPilot uses for various types of roads. They're rather off by default, with 55 used for motorways, for example. Tweak these to more realistic settings and the routing will be considerably more effective, although still not as good as with IQ Routes-equipped devices.

Jon Williamson

July 28, 2011, 5:29 pm

I think these comments are a bit over-negative. I have been using CoPilot v8 on an iPhone 3GS for 18 months and upgraded to v9 a week or two ago. v8 replaced my TomTom Go 720 which I finally sold last week.

Whe I got CoPilot I was driving 20,000 miles a year. It is perfectly adequate - mapping and graphically as good as the Tom Tom, with the occasional issue around updating the car's poistion. It got me all over England and Wales without a hitch... The only real issue is that the arrival times are woefully pessimistic, and v8 sticks to arterial routes - this seems to be fixed in Premium - or at least you are presented with three options. The only issue with Premium at the moment is that the traffic subscription does not work - but a fix is being developed.

So I agree with the review - a bargain compared with a dedicated unit and other apps.


October 21, 2011, 7:50 am

I was a fan of copilot so long, then you let you signature product go to crap (slow, bad routing, inaccurate voice command, crash), causing your customers so much inconvenience. And instead of improving the product we already bought and charging us incrementally for map upgrades or features, you are trying to swindle us into a new product whose reviews are just as crappy.

Shame on you. You have lost a family of long time customers permanently.


October 21, 2011, 7:53 am

You obviously took one trip and submitted the article. Though it might have been close to the end of the month, just because your rent is due does not mean you get to rave about such an obvious horrible product - have you read the app stores and web user reviews?


January 6, 2012, 5:02 pm

Hi James Morris, "I would also suggest, henryg, that your implication that my review is a quick rehash of a v8 review is close to libellous" Wow, is this how you take criticism by using threats? I would suggest you either turn the comments if you cannot take the occational bad comment. I would expect a more constructive response from a professional, if you are one?

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