If you haven’t heard, the iPhone now supports turn by turn navigation apps. These apps essentially turn your iPhone into one of those portable navigational devices which people refer to as “my navi” or “my GPS”. Overall, the apps are quite good. They work well, they look great, and having a turn by turn navigational system on your cell phone is highly convenient. The Palm Pre, unlike the iPhone which requires purchasing an app from the App Store, comes equipped with one of these apps, and it’s free with the Sprint service plan. The Pre’s app, “Telenav By Sprint”, is quite frankly the perfect turn by turn navigational app for a cell phone, and we compared the 5 most popular American navigational iPhone apps to the Pre app.
Update: See our Comparison: Google Maps Navigation Vs iPhone GPS Apps
Look below for a detailed table comparing the applications on 20 different parameters.
Note: For these applications you will 100% need a car charger and an in-car iPhone cradle. These apps drain the iPhone’s battery like crazy. Without an in-car iPhone cradle the apps will be pretty much useless. TomTom will soon start selling a car kit which may even be sold as a bundle with the application.
click to enlarge or click here for full size table
Below are brief overviews of each individual application with screenshots and iTunes links. Please let us know in the comments which app you bought and how it has been working for you.
TomTom is the leader of the GPS world, and there’s a reason. They make a good product, and that didn’t change for their iPhone app. The app works great. Just like their portable devices, the map itself looks ugly…with a thick red line over a beige background, and occasionally some jagged edges. But quite frankly, it’s not there to be modeled, it’s there to guide you and give you functionality. That it does.
Navigon MobileNavigator (B)
The Navigon Mobile Navigator may be the best option in the App Store right now due to the fact that it has been dropped to $70 until August 31st, when it will go up to $100. The Navigon app will guide you wonderfully, but there are a few things missing. For one, you can’t see the route summary. There’s also no traffic feature…but that shouldn’t stop you from buying the app.
AT&T Navigator (C+)
The AT&T Navigator application is an excellent app except for 3 things. It requires an internet connection, since the maps are always downloaded fresh from AT&T’s servers. That means it takes a while to load and reload. Also, there is no landscape mode, which is silly for a navigational app. Lastly, the $10/month pricing will lead to an extremely expensive application if you keep it for a while. But if you’re okay with that, the app offers a vivid and attractive map, and a few other great features: traffic and search for lowest-priced gas.
CoPilot Live North America (C)
CoPilot Live North America is the cheapest of the 5 applications, costing only $35. However, you pay for what you get. Many expected features are missing, and some of the present ones don’t work. The POI search, for instance, needs a lot of work. Also, users have been complaining about app stability. On the plus side, if you just need an app to guide you from point A to point B, CoPilot will do the job. And the map looks great.
Sygic Mobile Map US (C)
For $40, Sygic Mobile Map US seems like a bargain. However, while the design is quite sharp, this app is lacking when it comes to actually guiding you on the road. The app often takes a while to lock a GPS signal, and often runs slow. While it hasn’t happened to me, many users have complained that it has taken them the wrong way. There’s also no contact integration. The good thing about this app is that it offers 26 different languages to guide users in.