Once you have loaded MobileNavigator from the App Store and started it up, the initial screen is essentially the same as the version for other phones. You can enter an address, starting with either the postcode or city, and then drill down to street and door number. However, you can’t enter a full post code, just the initial letter/number cluster and the number from the second cluster. So navigating entirely via postcode is not possible, a continuing deficiency with Navigon sat-navs.
Smartphone integration could have paid dividends at this stage, as you can also find a destination from your Contacts. However, we found this didn’t link into postcodes properly, instead using the town name. So our address in Bramley just outside Guildford provided suggestions for Rotherham and Tadley – nowhere near Surrey! This is a sadly missed opportunity.
A database of Points of Interest is also included. Three icons are available for rapid access to a trio of categories, which by default give you direct listings of petrol stations, parking lots and restaurants nearby. But you can swap these for any of the 25 types of POI. Unfortunately, as we have found so often with POI databases, information is not as up to date as the map data, which in this case is NAVTEQ’s 2009 offering. For example, MobileNavigator’s POI database lists a petrol station in East Finchley in London which has been closed for nearly two years, and is now a block of flats.
Once you are on your journey, the navigational experience is virtually the same as with MobileNavigator 7 or Navigon’s standalone devices. The map is clear and easy to read, listing the estimated time of arrival at the top and the name of the next road you will be using on the bottom. The next turning is shown as a graphical icon on the bottom left. Some of Navigon’s latest onscreen widgets are available, too. Lane Assistant Pro pops up on the bottom right at complex junctions, so you know which lane to be in. Reality View Pro provides a full-screen graphic at multi-lane motorway intersections, so you can get in the right carriageway with plenty of time to spare. We also found the interface switches smoothly between portrait and landscape as you reorient your iPhone.