Best app over £35
- Clean interface with detailed mapping
- Maps stored on the device (UK & Ireland)
- Packed with features
Garmin’s smartphone app has plenty in common with the company’s standalone sat nav units, and this familiarity makes it appealing to customers familiar with the brand.
The app takes up 268MB to download, and then requires a further 400MB for UK and Ireland maps. It’s available for iOS and Android, and has plenty of features built in, including lane assistance, safety cameras, speed limits and a function called PhotoReal, which gives you a true-to-life representation of the junction ahead. There’s also the option for weather alerts and a ‘Where Am I?’ function to show your exact latitude and longitude in case of an emergency.
Getting directions to your destination is really quick, with users given the choice of a search bar, or inputting an address, point of interest, favourite, or town. It includes millions of points of interest, including petrol stations, restaurants and supermarkets, and you can have shortcuts to your most common searches.
The map, which has both day and night mode, is really simple to understand, with icons for the major features. The spoken street names and directions it gives are clear and succinct, while the lane guidance is a real advantage in town. One of the best features is the ‘Exit Services’ tool, which can be accessed by swiping right on the screen. It allows you to quickly see services such as restaurants, petrol stations and hotels that are available along your route – without sending you on a detour.
Admittedly, there’s no pedestrian or public transport navigation, but the trip planner allows you to create a route with multiple stops in advance, and you can automatically get the most efficient route, or manually order your destinations.
Petrolheads will love the trip computer, which includes a compass, odometer and journey details such as your average moving speed. Like using a Mac or a PC, it’s personal preference as to whether you prefer the look and feel of Garmin or TomTom. A bigger concern is that it’s difficult to justify the cost against rivals, which are significantly cheaper.