Aside from navigating to an address, there’s a standard category-based Points of Interest (POI) system available. Well, it’s standard in format, but not in operation. For a start, the actual database is online, so a mobile data connection of some sort is required for it to work. There are also some very clear holes in its coverage. Whilst searching for local cafes and bars returned a very respectable list of nearby feeding and watering establishments, our quest for a local bank was met with suggestions of financial institutions over 3,000 miles away in North America, which won’t be particularly convenient if you’re just after the odd tenner.
Fortunately, Google Local Search is also available. So you can search for “bank” with this instead, and the list of suggestions is very respectable indeed. Although there’s no standalone option to search for POIs or use Google Local Search near another location than your current one, this can be achieved via a slightly circuitous alternative route. Once you have found a destination, its Options include searching for nearby POIs and Google Local Search. This isn’t as intuitive as the usual direct methods provided by sat-nav apps and devices, but it does the same job.
The navigational experience is pretty similar to mainstream sat-navs. You can use a 2D or a 3D map, a night option is available that switches automatically, and there’s a decent level of information available onscreen. The top line illustrates your next turning and the road name to look out for, whilst the current road is named along the bottom. A slightly small box on the bottom left shows the distance to your destination and the estimated time of arrival. Above that a marginally clearer box illustrates your current speed.
Clear voice commands are provided. A wide variety of languages are available for the verbal directions, and for £2.99 you can even have Snoop Dogg direct you, which is rendered even more bizarre by the fact this is the only premium celebrity option. Routing settings include a comprehensive selection of vehicle types, such as car, motorcycle, bicycle, and three types of truck. There’s also a walking mode, and you can opt to avoid toll roads and motorways.