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TomTom Releases iPhone Navigation App 289

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the hit-the-road-tom dept.
andylim writes "Today TomTom released its long-awaited iPhone app that allows you to use your iPhone 3G and 3GS as a GPS navigation device. Recombu.com tested it out on video this morning and concluded that it works well but if you receive a call while you're driving then the app does cut out — it will restart once you've finished the conversation. The app costs £60 for the UK & Ireland version, £80 for western Europe, £45 for Australia and £60 for the US and Canada."
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TomTom Releases iPhone Navigation App

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  • by MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) on Monday August 17, 2009 @11:11AM (#29092195)

    So here is the question I have for many of you who own iphones and such. If you pay for an app and your phone dies, or something, will that app be transferred to a replacement phone or do you need to re-purchase the app for the new phone?

    The truth is, I don't know. But I can tell you this: I have an iPod Touch and an iPhone. I've purchased apps on the iPhone and have been able to use them on the iPod Touch, too. It would appear as though that it's all about the iTunes account you use on the device.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 17, 2009 @11:12AM (#29092203)

    The apps you buy are tied to your account, not the iPhone/iPod Touch.
  • by horatio (127595) on Monday August 17, 2009 @11:14AM (#29092243)
    I've had to get my iPhone replaced twice. Neither time did I have any issues transferring my purchased items. The store (Apple or AT&T) will not transfer any settings, contacts, music, apps etc for you. However, iTunes (OS X, I assume Windows version will behave the same) recognizes this is a phone it hasn't seen and asks you if you want to restore this new phone from the last backup.
  • Re:What's the point? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anubis IV (1279820) on Monday August 17, 2009 @11:16AM (#29092279)
    Voice navigation is not in Google Maps. Also, I think many (but perhaps not most) would argue that it has better algorithms for determining the route to take. It also doesn't rely on having an Internet connection, since you're downloading the entire map with TomTom, so it would work even out in the boonies.
  • by AnotherShep (599837) on Monday August 17, 2009 @11:16AM (#29092281)
    Yeah, it just shows up on the new phone. All you need to do is sync it to the computer with the apps on it.
  • Re:What's the point? (Score:5, Informative)

    by CrankyFool (680025) on Monday August 17, 2009 @11:20AM (#29092341)

    The GPS component of Google Maps suffers pretty drastically compared to ye olde average GPS device:

    1. No voice navigation;

    2. No "OK, you're coming up on the turn, take the NEXT right turn";

    3. No "Oops, you've missed it, OK, the next street is a one-way street, so go two blocks .. " (i.e. automatic route re-calculation);

    4. No ability to specify preferences such as "I want to take that bridge, not this one" (maps.google.com lets you rejigger your route quite nicely, but not the app on the iPhone);

    5. Doesn't help you at all if you need to control your iPod component right now (so the app isn't in the foreground);

  • Re:!GPS (Score:3, Informative)

    by twoshortplanks (124523) on Monday August 17, 2009 @11:20AM (#29092353) Homepage
    I think you're confused. A iPhone 3G / iPhone 3GS certainly does have GPS signal receiving hardware in it. It was, along with the new look and 3G, the main differences between the iPhone "Classic" and the new model.
  • by SydShamino (547793) on Monday August 17, 2009 @11:22AM (#29092381)

    Yes. Which means that if you and your wife both have iPhones and share an iTunes account, you should both have the app for the price of one.

  • by alen (225700) on Monday August 17, 2009 @11:22AM (#29092395)

    you can download any app you bought for free on the same account as many times as you want. all the apps are downloaded as .ipa files into your profile in windows and you can even easily back them up yourself so you don't have to download them again.

    i have 2 iphones. one for myself and one for my wife. i just put the ipa file on her computer, add to itunes library and next time it syncs she gets the app

  • Re:What's the point? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Brandee07 (964634) on Monday August 17, 2009 @11:27AM (#29092475)

    The built-in Google Maps does automatically display the next direction when you reach a turn, it does not reroute when you go off course, and it does not do anything aloud- everything is displayed in small text.

    I have been using the Google Maps in the iPhone for about a year, and it is definitely useful, but it's not a TomTom equivalent. It requires a navigator to be used effectively. Someone other than the driver needs to press the next button and read the directions aloud- otherwise it's like trying to text while driving.

  • Re:Prices (Score:5, Informative)

    by Brandee07 (964634) on Monday August 17, 2009 @11:35AM (#29092595)

    It's up on the US app store now:

    US & Can $99.99
    Western Europe $139.33
    Australia $79.99
    New Zealand $94.99

  • by webreaper (1313213) on Monday August 17, 2009 @11:36AM (#29092607) Homepage

    Rumour has it there might be, but in the meantime you can get CoPilot for Android (and iPhone) for about half the price of TomTom.

    http://www.alk.eu.com/copilot/android

  • by Pieroxy (222434) on Monday August 17, 2009 @12:09PM (#29093223) Homepage

    since that also prohibits developing turn by turn voice navigation applications

    This is a thing of the past. Plenty of applications do turn by turn navigation nowadays. I believe it is now possible since OS3.0.

  • Re:What's the point? (Score:4, Informative)

    by tlhIngan (30335) <slashdot@ w o r f.net> on Monday August 17, 2009 @12:12PM (#29093291)

    Yes, all of this. Also, apparently the GPS chip inside the iPhone isn't "good enough" to do turn-by-turn navigation, so the cradle that TomTom sells has a chip inside it that is better suited. Now, this might be a big fat lie, since the app will work without the cradle albeit not as well if the marketing literature is to be believed.

    Given there are many more navigation apps in the App Store (MobileNavigator for one), I think the GPS chip in the iPhone is "good enough". It uses aGPS to get fast time to first fix (seconds, since the almanac can be transferred via AGPS faster than downloading it from the satellites).

    No, the reason for the enhanced GPS cradle is twofold - firstly, the iPhone doesn't have advanced GPS features like WAAS support, and most importantly, you don't need an iPhone. The latter is important - for TomTom's app can work on the iPod Touch which lacks GPS. So now, if you don't have an iPhone (for whatever reason - hate AT&T, what have you), you can use your Touch in your car. Plus, the iPhone's speaker isn't that loud, so a nice loud speaker for directions, and if it supports voice command, the Touch needs a microphone.

    TomTom's niche will be the millions of iPod Touches that were formerly cut out.

  • by firefishy (598589) on Monday August 17, 2009 @12:24PM (#29093513) Homepage
    OpenStreetMap is the Open Source data provider to a number of free/cheap iPhone applications. http://www.roadee.net/ [roadee.net] being one of the more popular iPhone routing apps. OpenStreetMap.org is the wikipedia of maps.
  • Re:What's the point? (Score:3, Informative)

    by thanasakis (225405) on Monday August 17, 2009 @01:21PM (#29094579)

    Can't you just click on the button twice while you are viewing google maps? I know it works on the iPod, but I dunno if it's the same on the iphone.

  • Re:Typical..... (Score:2, Informative)

    by luddite47 (907624) on Monday August 17, 2009 @01:33PM (#29094761)
    Some corrections for you: The first iphone had no GPS. (Correct). The second added GPS. And the third added a compass/magnetometer.

    And more importantly: TeleNav is a monthly fee. The tomtom app is an app - so you pay once and you get it. Not sure how you end up with 'double.' Looks like it's about 10bucks per month. (http://www.telenav.com/products/tn/pricing.html)
    So you'll be paying double after about 1 year of use! (And, in spite of paying more, you won't be that hipster you long to be.)
  • Re:What's the point? (Score:3, Informative)

    by garbletext (669861) on Monday August 17, 2009 @01:45PM (#29094939)
    Thanks for your useful input. I'm glad that, knowing nothing about the question asked, you decided to answer anyway.

    This app behaves much more like a standalone GPS device that you can mount on your dashboard; it has preloaded maps, 3d perspective, voice prompts, offline use, etc.

    I've been using garmin's GMobileXT on my S60 phone for a while, which is pretty much an exact port of a low-end Garmin device, except it has data access and can use AGPS for faster locks. It's kind of nice for trips but 99% of the time I just need a quick answer, and the google maps application is more than acceptable (plus, it's been getting better and better lately: now it's got street view, latitude, layers, transit directions -- it already owns offline apps in all respects except voice prompts and the fact that you have to constantly press zero to recenter on your location.)
  • by Professor_UNIX (867045) on Monday August 17, 2009 @02:01PM (#29095199)

    His point though is that unless you plan on being kidnapped anytime soon, you're probably going to know ahead of time which areas of the country you'll need GPS maps for and would be able to pre-load those for a trip. The sad fact of the matter is that I don't believe the iPhone offers any way to have "map packs" like a traditional GPS so it's an all-or-nothing type deal. I'll stick with a standalone GPS.

  • Re:What's the point? (Score:2, Informative)

    by mkramer (25004) on Monday August 17, 2009 @03:17PM (#29096251)

    The GPS receiver in both the 3G and 3GS does indeed work stand-alone. The assist servers merely provide faster time-to-fix by providing the data you mention.

    Without a cell connection, both models will still eventually locate a satellite and obtain the almanac like any normal GPS device.

  • by Sandbags (964742) on Monday August 17, 2009 @04:04PM (#29096855) Journal

    1) internet is not allways on. In fact, there are loads of places I drive where I have no signal at all, but want access to travel data, or need to get feedback from the GPS (like how to go around a wreck blocking the freeway). If WiFi and Cell signals were down, this would be impossible unless you "prepped" your entire journey in advance and downloaded all "near route" data. Doing that on a case by case basis would also place a MASSIVE burden on TomToms systems, which do NOT do that today.
    2) ITS LIFETIME FREE MAP AND SOFTWARE UPDATES!!!, not $39-59 per year on the hardware devices to get new maps, and which can never really have their OS overhauled to add new features either.
    3) it includes tomtomIQ and realtime traffic. I know of no standalone GPS units anywhere near the price of this app, let alone 3 times it, that have live feed for that data, without also having to have a cell phone with bluetooth connect and a data plan and a tethering plan...
    4) I have a 16GB 3GS, and I'm only using just over half the space... saccrificing 1.x GB is no big deal if it saves me $200 on a good standalone, or $400 on a real-time-enabled standalone.
    5) I have it ALLWAYS with me, which I do not find is the case with a standalone GPS... Also real handy walking around city streets where a car based GPS is useless.

    i agree the rumored $200 tomtom car dock sounds way overpriced, however, if it includes the app (potentially in the form of a $99 iTunes gift card), then that's reasonable. i was expecting a $129-149 price tag. I'm sure market feedback and lackluster sales will realize a lower price sooner rather than later on that item.

    I also expect the app price WILL be reduced to $79, at least periodically on sale if not permanantly later on.

  • by rgviza (1303161) on Monday August 17, 2009 @04:06PM (#29096881)

    There are even cheaper solutions involving jailbreaking and Cydia that are actually legal (xGPS).

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 17, 2009 @08:10PM (#29099369)

    I just purchased CoPilot Live for Android, and I tested it out once, so this isn't coming from an experienced user.

    That said, it seems to convert your Android-based phone into a fully-functional GPS navigation device. You download the maps directly to your phone or to a PC and copy them to your phone. Voice navigation and turn-by-turn stuff is there, and it did a good job at recalculating the route if I missed my turn.

    Just make sure you have a way to charge your phone while you're in the car. Having this thing on all the time and constantly using the GPS antenna is a quick way to drain your battery.

    The best part is that it's a one-time $35 fee, as opposed to a subscription or a ridiculously-expensive TomTom addon. My only concern about not subscribing is that map updates might be few and far between, or require another purchase.

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