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TomTom for iPhone Sat-Nav review

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Summary

Our Score

8/10

Review Price free/subscription

Pricing: UK maps £59.99; Western Europe £79.99 (either from Apple iTunes/App Store); Car Kit: £99.99 (from TomTom)

Since the release of the third iPhone OS generation, a slew of full-bodied sat-nav apps have been announced for Apple's all-conquering smartphone. The first to hit the TrustedReviews testbed was Navigon's MobileNavigator, and there's an iPhone version of ALK CoPilot 8. But the biggest headlines have naturally been garnered by the biggest name in personal navigation devices. TomTom announced its own iPhone offering months ago and now we finally have our hands on the complete package.

TomTom has already distinguished its iPhone implementation by providing car kit hardware as well as software. You can buy the two parts independently, and even use one without the other. The hardware consists of a screen mount with built-in SiRF Star 3 GPS. This can be used with any iPhone, even the original one, so long as it has OS 3.0 or later. The software is only officially compatible with the iPhone 3G or 3GS, but we have seen it running on the original iPhone as well, although not had a chance to try this ourselves.

Aside from including a GPS receiver, which allegedly provides better performance than the one built into the iPhone, the car kit adds a number of additional and improved capabilities. A mini-USB connection hooks up to a car charger, and there's also a minijack for piping the audio output through your car stereo. So you can listen to music from the iPhone as the app navigates.

However, the music is paused during voice commands, which is a little annoying - particularly as our beta hardware didn't appear to be outputting its voice commands via the 3.5mm jack, instead just inserting periods of silence. If you don't use this connection, there's a speaker on the mount which provides greater volume than the iPhone's own one. There's a built-in microphone as well for hands-free calling.

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Tim Sutton

October 26, 2009, 5:34 am

An INCREDIBLY generous review!





Features and value marks in particular bemuse me.





With the car kit it costs more than a TomTom One, with less features. No traffic alerts, no lane guidance (!!) no weather updates, no text to speech on road names.





These are basic sat-nav functions, the lack of which could probably be excused if the price of the product reflected the reduced feature set, but here that's just not the case.





And it's not as if these features can't be made to work on the iPhone, Co Pilot Live has them all except text to speech. And it costs £26.





I'm really sorry, and this is the first time I've ever thought this, but this is a poor review by Trusted standards.

Retset

October 26, 2009, 1:41 pm

I looked at the costings & simply bought a One IQ Routes Europe for £145 a couple of months ago. Works great, can utilise the PGPSW speed cam database and leaves the iPhone free to display Google traffic (I do not want to pay for HD traffic as on occasional user) whilst playing some tunes. Nirvana would be to get rid of the iPhone interference over car speakers (although tin foil inserted into the mount has much reduced it!)

James Morris

October 26, 2009, 1:51 pm

The scores reflect more the software on its own than the mount, which I agree is ridiculously expensive. The software works very well, though, and in usability terms is better than Navigon or CoPilot Live. Sadly, I haven't been able to try the iPhone version of CoPilot Live, only the Windows Mobile version, which is excellent (and excellent value) but the iPhone version lacks some of its features and overall the TomTom interface is considerably easier to use. The lack of lane guidance is a surprise, I agree, but I've been using it for a few weeks now and found it mostly as good as a budget standalone sat-nav, plus you only have to carry one device around.

D-Unit

October 26, 2009, 1:53 pm

7/10 for value....?! Come on chaps...

Keithe6e

October 26, 2009, 2:00 pm

Co Pilot: £26.00


TomTom: £59.99





So marginally more expensive = 230% increase. :)





Also is it me or does the TomToms interface look bland compared to co-pilot. I suppose keeping the interface simply is a good idea, but I do like having the next 2 turnings on the co-pilot instead of just the next.





I suppose I'm an occasionally Sat Nav user and the price difference is important, if your somebody who uses Sat Navs day in day out, then maybe the extra is worth it. But doesn't this mean TomTom have really missed a trick here, selling en-mass to the occasionally user, I've never had the urge to buy a Sat Nav but @ £26 I went for the co-pilot but the £59 to me was silly money for occasional use.

PSV

October 26, 2009, 2:24 pm

@James: The thing is though, you don't really carry a sat-nav around; you leave it in your car, or at least most of the people I know that own sat-navs do. Hence, I feel that it kind of makes the argument of only 'carrying' a single device around redundant.

lifethroughalens

October 26, 2009, 4:51 pm

The biggest rip-off since cinema popcorn and funfair candy floss!





This should have got 3 for value and 5 for features...at most!

lifethroughalens

October 26, 2009, 5:12 pm

I should say also that if Apple opened up the Bluetooth features so that it actually worked properly, we could all use the excellent bluetooth GPS units available for around £30. My Qstarz BT GPS unit is very accurate and precise and I have used it on 2 nokia handsets now to improve the GPS signal when driving with the TT software.





Instead Apple lock it all down and give people the only option of paying through the nose for the extra hardware to make up for the dismal GPS receiver already built into the unit to begin with. Then it's get an 8/10 for an overall score from TR's?!





What with vastly superior stand-alone units available for the same price - with software included and maps (!) - I can't help but want to discourage anyone from wasting their money on this. And besides, what happens when you want to upgrade your phone to a non-iPhone? You're left with no satnav, a £100 bit of plastic and no ability to sell your software on.

James Morris

October 26, 2009, 5:27 pm

You leave your sat-nav in your car? I'd never do that - far too easy to steal.

Ofer

October 26, 2009, 5:56 pm

I did no see any review of iGO navigation software, which is a very good one, and it is also work in iPhone:


http://igomyway.com/en/


Is it becouse the company is based in Israel ?

DrDark

October 26, 2009, 6:45 pm

To everyone:


Please ignore the bait!

Ofer

October 26, 2009, 7:46 pm

Why ?


Why isn't a simple answer good enough ?


There are many cases that this happen in the UK, I would like to know if this is one of them

DrDark

October 26, 2009, 9:15 pm

@ofer:


Oh, sorry, here you go then: "No".

Ofer

October 27, 2009, 9:19 am

I don't think this is a laughing matter.

Geoff Richards

October 27, 2009, 12:11 pm

Maybe I should clear this up...





@Ofer - there is no reason why we haven't (yet) reviewed iGO My Way for iPhone. TomTom is the #1 brand for sat-navs in the UK, so naturally we wanted to review their iPhone version.





As long as a product is available to buy by UK consumers, there is no other reason why we couldn't choose to review something; the country of origin is irrelevant.

Ofer

October 27, 2009, 12:33 pm

Thanks for the replay


I enjoy very much reading your site


Ofer

frog99green

October 29, 2009, 1:51 pm

Can you confirm you cannot upload your own POIs (Like most standalone satnavs)?





Thanks.

Smokemonkey

November 21, 2009, 2:29 am

Tomtom App for iPhone updated 19-11-09 version 1.2





Some of the 'gripes' previously mentioned have been addressed - the lane guidance is rather good.


Although my install of the upgrade went without a hitch, three of my friends upgrades either crashed the iPhone or deleted contacts.


The IQ routes have also been updated, in my opinion not for the better as I was sent on a wild goose chase today!


The app has the familiar friendly feel, but takes a long time to load.


The app is very heavy on phone resources and whilst on a call using bluetooth headset and tomtom app, the iphone struggles to recharge, certainly not at an acceptable rate!


overall 6/10

springbk

November 28, 2009, 4:59 pm

All right we know TomTom can make the actual Satnav unit. When will they create an updated version of TonTom Home for Mac Snow Leopard

springbk

November 28, 2009, 5:03 pm

The Audio connection does not give a lot of choice as my car audio head unit has a Apple iPod connection i.e. an Apple docking plug and I notice that his does not allow me to use this thus not allowing me to be able to play my music through my car audio system.

Les

March 6, 2014, 12:31 pm

can this product be used on a motorcycle

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