Other than these new features, the Start2 is essentially the same as the original version. The main start-up interface has been simplified compared to more premium TomToms, and now only presents two icons. One simply leads to a 2D map, which you can browse to find destinations or examine the local road system. The other icon calls up the menu for finding a destination, which sports the usual options. You can enter an address via full UK postcode or by drilling down from city to street and house number. But you can’t search by keyword, as is now possible with devices from other manufacturers, most notably Mio with its Navman Spirit 500.
There is a keyword search available in the Points of Interest (POI) section, although this doesn’t stretch across an entire country. Instead, you can find POIs in a city, near your current position, near your destination, or along your route. This will satisfy most needs, and make it much easier to find a POI than having to guess how the sat-nav manufacturer is likely to have classified it. But it’s still possible to browse POIs by category in the traditional manner, if you’re just looking for any restaurant near your destination, for example.
It’s also possible to save a home location plus a list of favourites, and TomTom’s extremely useful recording of the recent destinations you have used is available. There’s a rudimentary route planner, which allows you to specify a start point and destination, and even lets you choose an alternative date and time for travel. This means TomTom’s IQ Routes system can call upon its database of historic traffic speeds to provide a realistic estimate of journey time, which varies depending on whether you’re driving during rush hour or at 3am on Sunday morning. But you can’t save routes for future use, although you can add waypoints to a route that is currently active.
There’s also a strip of secondary icons along the bottom of the main home screen. These provide rapid access to toggling audio and night modes, plus a sundry collection of other functions. The Help icon reveals details of your current location and calls up a quick listing of nearby POIs in a selection of key categories, such as garages and medical facilities. You can also browse the phone numbers for a similar list of POIs, including local police stations.
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