MobileNavigator North America in Review- Navigates to the first spot on my SpringBoard

When the iPhone was first released, there were no GPS apps at the AppStore. The closest thing to a true GPS on the iDevice was the included Google Maps app, unlike its cousin on the Droid, isn’t a real GPS. However, after the release of Navigon/MobileNavigator, things started to change. Four months and a few major updates later, Navigon has proven itself worthy of taking on the role as a complete GPS device replacement and now sits pretty atop my springboard.

After coming out of a bad experience with my LG LN735, I was skeptical about GPS on the iPhone, and unwilling to shell out more cash. Navigon is another story. It is chock full of things that I’ve never even knew existed on a GPS, such as Speed Assistant – which tells you your current speed and even how fast you should be going. If you go above it, be prepared for a caution.

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Navigon comes pre-loaded with maps for the United States as well as Canada and takes up a whopping 1.4 GB. Finding directions is as easy as entering the city, street, and number. If you don’t know the exact address and partially know the street name, Navigon will recommend similar addresses which might be relevant. As long as you know the name of the city, you can enter specific locations such as stores and landmarks, and Navigon will get you there with ease. For example, I went to Yankee Stadium a couple weeks ago but didn’t know the way. After entering New York for the city, I tested out Yankee Stadium for the street name, and sure enough, Navigon was up to date with location and even telephone number.

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Navigon has 3D and 2D (bird's eye view) map options

Navigon also has the ability to search for POIs (points of interest) which are broken into specific categories: gas stations, restaurants, banks, ATMs, etc.. Although there are POIs for just about every restaurant and store imaginable, I did notice that a few were outdated. Still, the POI feature which automatically refreshes, is amazing.

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Navigon can be used in either portrait or landscape

Navigon makes use of 2 crucial facets that weren’t possible prior to OS 3.0. The first connects to the Contacts app and extracts address information for easy directions. The second lets you play music from your iTunes library. You can also enable night mode, which shows the map as though it were nighttime.

With the latest update, traffic can be updated live for the one-time sum of $25. Once live traffic is enabled, Navigon will periodically update with the latest news on traffic congestion, closed roads, and even sporting events which might attract a lot of visitors. All live traffic updates can be manually viewed from within the Traffic section of the app, but show up live on the map for instance reference. Of course, Navigon will also update based on best routes with the least traffic.

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Unfortunately, Navigon doesn’t spell out route summaries, so don’t be surprised when “turn right on Moose Rd., go straight for 0.5 mi.” doesn’t show up. Even my hunk of junk LG had that feature. You also can’t click POIs to extract realtime details such as phone number.

When it boils down to it, Navigon is the golden goose egg; it is la crème de la crème (corny, yes, I know). I have never come across a GPS as superb as Navigon. It works great and has a strong GPS signal which is picked up quickly. Live traffic updates, tons of POIs, and ease-of-use makes Navigon as one of my favorite applications.

Navigon drives home safely avoiding accidents, road congestion, and definitely escapes a low app rating with its extreme helpfulness.

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App Summary
Title: Mobile Navigator North America Developer: Navigon
Reviewed Ver: 1.30 Min OS Req: 3.0
Price: $89.99 App Size: 1.46 GB
  • Landscape and portrait support
  • Ability to play iPod library
  • Live traffic updates (via micro-transaction)
  • Tons of POIs
  • 3D and 2D map options
  • Speed warnings
  • Easy to use search function
  • POIs cannot be checked in real-time and some are outdated
  • No route summary

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