It sounds good in theory, and at first glance all is well. The main home screen has six simple icons on it allowing quick access to settings and route planning tools either by using the touch screen on your phone or the D-pad, if your handset has one.
Entering address details is very flexible: you can enter addresses in the usual manner – by country, postcode or street name and so on – by selecting an entry from your contacts list, or by entering free-form text. Text entry can be carried out using Webraska’s own on-screen touch sensitive keyboard or your phone’s hardware keyboard. In this instance I found it far quicker type address details in using the Palm Treo Pro’s QWERTY keypad.
The free-form search is particularly impressive. Instead of tying you to simple address searches, you can use it to look for places you may not have the address details for. To test it I ran a search for the Museum of London and was surprised to find that it appeared as the third item in the results list. Searching is pretty quick, too, and once you’ve chosen your route optimisations, which include whether to include tollroads or a voice traffic, you’ll soon be on your way.
Once you start to use Webraska for navigation, however, you will quickly discover its weaknesses. The map view, for instance, is poorly designed and laid out. A huge information bar runs along the top of the screen, and a smaller one along the bottom, severely limiting the amount of space left for displaying the map.
To make matters worse, the map itself isn’t very clear. Roads are very skinny, the screen update is slow and jerky, and turnings aren’t particularly obvious. At least the next turning icon, displayed in the top left corner, makes up for this – especially at roundabouts – displaying lots of detail about which way you should go at the next junction and there’s a good variety of different views: 2D, 3D plus a view where only the next turning is shown on-screen, with the moving map displayed in a small box at the top left-hand corner. However, in general it’s a far cry from the crisp and clear graphics of CoPilot Live 7, Wayfinder and Telmap.
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