December 27, 2011

New iPhone or iPad? Navigation Apps to Consider

There are a lot of iPods, iPhones and iPads that were gifted this year; I saw the iTunes servers slow down on Christmas day, did you? There are a lot of navigation and associated Apps out there these days, here are a few to consider:

Start with a free/almost free navigation App (iTunes App Store Links):

  1. Waze - They used to bill themselves as a crowdsourced mapping program, but now talk of themselves as a traffic app "Outsmarting Traffic. Together." Good navigator, not great, but worth a try if you are looking for free.
  2. GPS by TeleNav - A free navigation App that is a little hobbled as a free version - but you can try it out and if you like it, you can upgrade for just $10 in the first year. Good little App from a company that knows navigation - they make the navigation for the Ford Sync system.
  3. MotionX GPS Drive - OK - this one is $0.99, but packs a lot in. It's an award winning App that delivers a lot for a low price. The interface is new and different, but well worth checking out.

All of the above require that you have a connection to your network so you can download the maps. The Apps do not come with maps, which means the App is only a few MB, whereas the Apps with US maps are over a GB.

If you want to move up, there are a few very good navigation Apps you can consider:

  1. Garmin StreetPilot - on Sale at $39 - this is a very good App with a lot of the best features from their standalone personal navigation devices: Junction View showing you details of which lane to be in when you come up to difficult interchanges, Trip Computer, Google Search for points of interest, and more.
  2. TomTom - Also $39, and a pioneer in the iPhone Navigation space. Still a fantastic application with a lot of features. A big plus is that you can add their HD Traffic on for a few dollars more through in in-app purchase allowing you to route around the worst traffic issues.
  3. Navigon - various prices - Navigon was a German company, but they are now a subsidiary of Garmin. What I like about them is that they offer lower priced regional Apps where you can get the Eastern US, Central or west for just $19. The navigation is good, with lots of options for customization - a plus if you want it, a downside if you want simple.

One more App for you to consider is another freebie that lets you see some of the best traffic coverage out there:

  • Inrix Traffic has potentially the best traffic coverage out there and is the engine that feeds a lot of the navigation traffic information that you see on a regular basis (TV Stations, etc). With millions of miles of coverage, down to secondary roads, it can give you a great picture of what's happening in a traffic-jam situation. Award winning and well worth the price.... it's Free.

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Posted by Scott Martin at December 27, 2011 11:16 AM

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