And there are plenty of other nice touches: I particularly liked the way Navigator allows you to easily switch between browsing and waypoint addition modes, making it easy to add points to your route without having to enter a postcode or address first. Zoom in close enough in this mode and you can even see street numbers – something I haven’t spotted on any other sat-nav software. The software also allows you to download and use third party speed camera databases (though no info is installed as standard), add your own POIs (points of interest) and a TMC receiver for traffic information.
Where it does fall down, however, is in ease of use, and it takes a lot more getting used to than, say, a TomTom product. The menu system for route finding and calculation isn’t particularly logical, and the software keyboard used for entering address information requires the use of a stylus because it’s so small and squeezed into half the screen. It’s also irritating that, whenever, you power down your PDA or phone, the software won’t restart the GPS receiver when you turn it back on again – you have to switch it on manually.
I couldn’t, hand-on-heart, say how useful the truck mode would be either. In an attempt to test the feature I specified a route in Epping Forest where the shortest, fastest route would take you down some narrow lanes with sharp corners – not an ideal route for an articulated lorry – and found that the software simply didn’t seem to take either factor into account. And, several test routes later – across London, to north Wales and short routes in the country in Essex – I still hadn’t managed to find a route that was calculated differently in truck and car mode.
Finally, the POI database isn’t the most wonderful in the world either. Petrol station and travel information seem to be quite good, but try to ask it where the nearest supermarket is and you may well be disappointed.
Directions Ltd has come up with an interesting piece of software in Pocket Navigator 7. It’s competitively priced, has some interesting and genuinely useful features, and in general works pretty well.
If you’re looking for sat-nav software for your new Windows Mobile smart phone this will definitely do the job, and though there are annoyances and niggles there’s nothing that’s a big deal breaker here. It’s just a shame that the truck mode isn’t all it promised to be, as this may well have turned an adequate score into an award-winning one.
Score in detail