You can activate it over the air. I was up and running in a matter of a couple of minutes on my test device, Orange’s SPV M700 with built in GPS antenna.
There are some simple but very neat things about the revamped user interface, which is designed very much on the dual principals of ease of use and space saving rather than cramming all sorts of info onto the screen.
Take the menu buttons, for example. These are large and very easily thumb-tappable, though the use of big buttons inevitably means there are plenty of submenus and you will need to get used to the nesting of menu options if you want to get around quickly.
I like that when you run the software the first thing you see is a set of four options: Destination (enter a place to go), Favourites (places you’ve already saved as faves), Drive (yep, the software opens into its map screen and monitors your progress), and Settings. You get to the main menu with all its settings from the map screen.
Another goody is the way the software handles things like ETA, distance to destination, altitude and heading info. Sat-nav systems tend to like to cram as much of this info as possible onto the main screen. But here a small row along the bottom of the map screen is all you get for this info, and you choose what you see from no less than nine options by tapping the map screen. It does mean that you can’t see speed and distance and altitude and heading at the same time, for example, but on the other hand, it does reduce map screen clutter.
Like other aspects of the device the map screen has been reworked. There are 2D and 3D map views of course, and you can force the software to use your preferred style at turns. This is great as some people prefer 2D and others 3D for the fine detail of junctions.
The map screen itself is clearer than it was before, with a simply vast icon showing your current position, yet it does manage to handle a seriously large amount of information.