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Navmii Navfree review

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Navmii Navfree
  • Navmii Navfree
  • Navmii Navfree
  • Navmii Navfree
  • Navmii Navfree
  • Navmii Navfree
  • Navmii Navfree
  • Navmii Navfree
  • Navmii Navfree
  • Navmii Navfree
  • Navmii Navfree
  • Navmii Navfree
  • Navmii Navfree
  • Navmii Navfree
  • Navmii Navfree

Summary

Our Score:

8

Pros

  • It’s free!
  • Lots of map regions available
  • Google Local Search

Cons

  • Quirky POI system
  • No address keyword search
  • No traffic updates

Key Features

  • Extensive world maps
  • Points of Interest system
  • Google Local Search
  • Facebook and Twitter location sharing
  • Optional safety cameras
  • Manufacturer: Navmii
  • Review Price: free/subscription

The standalone sat-nav was born from peripheral attachments to the now obsolete PDA. But it’s under increasing pressure from the same competitor that killed off the PDA – the smartphone. This is particularly the case when you can get functional satellite navigation for free, such as the Navigation facility in Google Maps on Android phones, or Drive on Nokia’s Windows Phones. But iPhones have not had anything so potent available gratis. Enter Navmii’s Navfree, which promises premium-grade sat-nav functions for the princely sum of nothing.

This isn’t the first free iPhone satellite navigation app. Waze has been going from strength to strength, and it’s not alone. But these are still very much community projects. Whilst Navfree relies on mapping data from OpenStreetMap, this has been converted to its own format, and the app provides an interface with many of the features of software normally found in smartphone software costing £20 or more. Navmii has made this possible by serving ads within the app, although you can pay £1.49 to remove these.

Navmii Navfree Navmii Navfree

You also pay £1.99 for each additional map you install within the app, although curiously you can avoid this by installing multiple versions of the app, one for each country. You then have to load different apps for different countries, so travelling across Europe would be annoying, but this still means you can navigate large portions of the world for free. Aside from Europe, versions are available for South Africa, North America, and even India. Best of all, the maps are stored locally, so you don’t need a data connection to access them.

Navmii Navfree Navmii Navfree

The icon-driven menu makes the majority of features very easy to find. Navfree offers the usual ways of entering a destination. You can drill down from city, to street, to house number, although there is no keyword option for finding a street without knowing which town it’s in. You can also search for a full UK postcode. It’s possible to search for an address from your iPhone contacts, but Navfree isn’t entirely reliable here. Some contacts work fine. But if there’s no country defined, and sometimes even if there is, Navfree will say there isn’t and refuse to find your destination.

henryg

March 23, 2012, 8:29 pm

Do eg the Portugal app still require an internet connection to plan a route/navigate to a destination? If so, as good as useless for most people overseas.

James Morris

March 24, 2012, 4:08 pm

Nope - only for POIs and Google Local Search. The address database is stored locally.

Traveler

July 12, 2012, 2:02 am

To say I was unhappy with this product would be an understatement. It constantly left us lost or stranded in Italy. It showed us at the airport when we were in the middle of downtown. It could not find a route to the main airport in Rome. While many GPS programs have some issues in Italy this program was a complete waste of money and cost us valuable time and aggravation. I would not give it to my worst enemy.

amanuensis

November 8, 2012, 4:23 pm

Hi

I have downloaded Navfree but it will not accept post code for destination, must type in full address. Secondly doesn't seem to warn of cameras. Help

David

May 19, 2013, 5:39 pm

WAZE is *NOT* open source. Please get your facts straight. WAZE was NEVER open source. The company advertised it as such and opened some of the core tech behind its client app but no one could ever rebuild it because the Israeli company waze did not fully release the source code. Some people from the meamo community had to reverse engineer parts of the client just to get it rebuilt.

James in the future please do your homework.

David

May 19, 2013, 5:39 pm

WAZE is *NOT* open source. Please get your facts straight. WAZE was NEVER open source. The company advertised it as such and opened some of the core tech behind its client app but no one could ever rebuild it because the Israeli company waze did not fully release the source code. Some people from the meamo community had to reverse engineer parts of the client just to get it rebuilt.

James in the future please do your homework!

David

May 19, 2013, 5:42 pm

Respectfully.

I also ask that you update your review with a disclaimer at the bottom stating as such. This is quite infuriating.

Kyle

July 11, 2013, 7:54 pm

Wow I don't believe it, a perfect straight forward app with no lies or manipulation to get you to buy full functioning apps. I looked for ages to find a app like this. This is literally the only honest app I have found in Crapple's imperialistic capitalist gestapo organisation. Thank you. It feels so good to be able to share knowledge without some hawk eyed uncle Sam sniffing your but to see what your doing all the time. Apple, pay the developers and your child labor in 3rd world nations, you make more than enough money to do it. And you say the pirates are evil, oh, no, your propaganda greed and unsubstantiated control on individuals everyday lives is unacceptable. The Chinese are going to milk YOU like an old goat. Thanks for this awesome app, now, with this kind of functionality I will donate, more than the most expensive navigation app within itunes. Just because I think it is people that develop an app like this and give it for free, that deserve true honorary status. AWESOME. ROCKING N ROLLING, BRILLIANT!!!

steve

August 30, 2013, 11:12 am

Downloaded this app on to my Nexus 7, took up about 500Mb for the UK and ROI map.
Decided to test it out with my journey to work. Followed voice instructions for about 3 miles and then decided to deviate from the suggested route. System never recalculated the journey and no further voice instructions were issued.
What is the point of an gps navigation app that does not work if you deviate from the suggested route. Seems a load of crap to me

Tom

September 6, 2013, 4:26 pm

Tried contacting Navmii for some support on this product. Logged a call with them 3 days ago and have not heard anything from them yet.
Mapping is very good, but their customer support is rubbish, which is sad, cos it lets down a very good product

Mike

October 29, 2013, 10:21 pm

I paid £19.99 for a satnav system in 2010 after iso7 does not work and removed from Apple App Store , great when it worked but Navmii and apple have let me down ,customer support totally rubbish

mike

November 6, 2013, 3:17 pm

Very unreliable,system keeps locking up It will unlock its self only to lock up again minutes later.Have tried reinstalling several times no improvement.also map be comes misalined for no reason giving a feeling of going backward very strange. i will stick to my TomTom.

William

March 10, 2015, 4:18 pm

Navfree worked the update to Navmii does not Navfree worked the update to Navmii does not. Navfree was not a problem and worked well. Since this update to Navmii the app fails to load. Navmii support is not good. Emails not replied to, called the twice told some one will call me and they would answer emails. No so done nothing. The link I found on there forum to the older version does not work. Wasted money on paid additions.

Roger North

March 30, 2015, 11:08 am

Since getting a Nexus 7 and discovering Navmii I've ditched my old TomTom satnav. For a free app it's excellent but of course nothing's perfect. No user manual and enquiring about it to Navmii was ignored. I drive in the UK and Spain (it seems to allow me both maps at once for free). A great feature for me is where it allows me to set up a theoretical route in Spain when I'm in the UK and then it will Demo the route with the spoken navigation so I know what to expect when I do it for real. But this seems to have a bug. As it navigates along it keeps flipping the view back to where the Nexus really is in the UK. Difficult to watch! Does anyone know how to stop it doing this? I hope I'm just missing something.
EDIT: Just got the answer to this myself. Turn off Location in Android settings and then fire up Navmii. It will complain that it won't work if GPS is disabled and insist that you re-enable it but if you persist anyway then the demo route function works perfectly. It was just a conflict between the theoretical route and the true position of the Nexus 7.

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