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 Although there are POIs for just about every restaurant and store imaginable, I did notice that a few were outdated.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 AmericaDeveloper:Navigon
Reviewed Ver:1.30Min OS Req:3.0
Price:$89.99App 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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  • Mhbsma

    It’s not working on my 3G iPhone,all most all the time it lag plus crashs and more than anything no gps signal I get, read review from people on this app. Ok how about communication with company? no support at all, I lke my money back, don’t buy this seriously if you have 3G.
    I hate this company and I don’t really like your review either

  • Harold Whipps

    GPS (GLOBAL POSITIONING SYSTEM) on smart phones? Not really. Most use cell tower triangulation to give you your location. If your phone can give me my location when I’m in the middle of an ocean, then I will say your phone has GPS. The key word is “GLOBAL”, plus GPS uses 20+ satellites in orbit and requires reception from several satellites to give you your position anywhere on this planet. If you have poor cell reception or leave a coverage area, your APP will not work.

  • J.M.S.

    The iPhone 3G and 3GS do have genuine GPS. I’ve tested this way up in northern Minnesota, where there is absolutely no cell phone coverage. Not only does the Navigon provide accurate and very quick and continuous GPS information, the maps all display correctly because they are downloaded permanently to the iPhone as part of the app. It’s not cell tower triangulation.

  • Harold Whipps

    That’s good to hear. I would love an iPhone, but I will not switch to AT&T. I have been on Sprint for 10 years and am very satisfied with their service. I get service in the mountains of TN where I bought land to build. Right now I am paying $198. a month for unlimited Data, Text messages, 1500 minutes for calls, FREE calls to ANY cell phone regardless of service. That is for four phones. Have not had a dropped call for several years. At least from my end.

    So, I stand corrected as far as the iPhone goes. One more thing. I have the Samsung Instinct and it sucks as a smart phone.

  • James Haden

    I’ve been using Navgion’s Mobile Navigator now for just over a week on my iPhone 3GS. In all honesty, I think that it is quite a good GPS. Not perfect, but certainly good enough to get me from point A to B. In fact, I gave my Garmin Nuvi250 unit to my brother after finding this app to be more than sufficient – no need to have two GPS units in the car with my iPhone following me everywhere I go.

  • http://www.touchmyapps.com/author/tma_matthew/ Matthew

    Hey J.M.S., thanks for replying to Harold for me – I couldn’t have said it any better myself! I would have replied yesterday but I broke my hand, so typing is a real pain now.

    Anyways, Harold, $198 for 4 phones is a very good deal, considering all the features you get with it. My phone bill is over $100 a month (for 2 iPhones), and that only covers unlimited data and a family minutes plan! If AT&T didn’t offer the iPhone, I would have dropped them like a hot potato and moved on to Sprint or Verizon.

  • http://www.touchmyapps.com/author/tma_matthew/ Matthew

    Hey Mhbsma, sorry to hear about your difficulty with Navigon. Several 3G users have reported issues with it, but luckily I don’t have any of the problems that you described on my 3GS.

    My personal experience with Navigon thus far has been great. I receive a signal within a minute and it rarely ever drops (maybe for only a couple seconds max).

    I haven’t had to contact their customer support, so I don’t know how it is. Have you tried reinstalling Navigon and is your iPhone jailbroken? I wish I knew how to fix the problems you’re experiencing, hopefully you’ll get things sorted out with them.

    Cheers!

  • http://www.touchmyapps.com/author/tma_matthew/ Matthew

    Hey James, I’m glad you’re enjoying Navigon as well! It is a very reliable GPS and the best I’ve tried. It does in fact take the job of eliminating the need for any other GPS units you may have. I’m happy I sold my LG LN735!

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  • http://iphone4ever.eu tobiCOM

    i prefer NDrive, the Price is nice and the Features are also amazing! :)

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