If dedicated touchscreen devices are to remain relevant they really need to make two critical changes. TomTom just made them both...
The new 'GO LIVE 1000' is being touted by the company as "the first in a whole new generation of navigation devices" and becomes the first sat nav we know to incorporate a capacitive touchscreen (that's change #1). The transition should mean a display which is far more responsive to contact and should hopefully eliminate the aggressive prodding we have come to expect is required when programming our GPS units. Sadly there is no word about multi-touch support since pinch to zoom would be kick ass.
Backing this up is also a new Webkit based user interface with improved graphics and "richer more detailed" maps covering 2m kilometres more roads and addressable locations across 45 European countries. A new 'Park Assist" feature automatically informs drivers of car parks near their destination as well.
Secondly is a switch from the usual TomTom subscription model, or - to be more -accurate - there isn't one. Instead all users will get a 12 months of services out of the box (change #2). This includes the likes of IQ Routes and HD Traffic.
Lastly new a new routing algorithm has been developed which continuously scans the road network for the fastest routes by constantly checking IQ Routes and HD Traffic data. According to TomTom the results are a much faster and more accurate service. We can't wait to put this to the test.
The TomTom GO LIVE 1000 will launch in the summer, but as yet there is no RRP. Keep this reasonable and we could have a new favourite sat nav...
In related news TomTom has also released the 'Urban Rider', a variation on its glove friendly Rider. This adds in IQ Routers and the same simplified menu seen in the Rider with two buttons: 'Navigate to' and 'Browse map'. It has a rugged construction for obvious reasons and will launch at the end of May for £249.99.