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

    by Enuratique (993250) on Monday August 17, 2009 @11:21AM (#29092373)

    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.

    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.

  • by GweeDo (127172) on Monday August 17, 2009 @12:49PM (#29094003) Homepage

    I think he means locked out of running his own apps. With Andriod, WinMo and the like you can run whatever you darn well feel like. Not just apps that Apple has approved.

  • Re:What's the point? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by AllynM (600515) * on Monday August 17, 2009 @02:16PM (#29095387) Journal

    XGPS is completely free (if you are willing to jailbreak) and covers most of the points above. There is a PC-side utility that lets you pull down Google map areas at a specified zoom level and send the created database directly to your iPhone. This has allowed me comfortable use of GPS features on my T-Mobile connected iPhone (without a data plan). The only internet connectivity needed is for route calculation / recalculation, but that too is partly negated by the fact that you can pre-query a route and save it in an offline list. I just calculate my routes before I leave my wifi zone. To break it down for those unaware:
    1. XGPS has voice nav. It's cheesy, but it's there.
    2. XGPS gives you the heads up turn warnings, along with a distance to next turn counter on-screen.
    3. XGPS will recaclculate routes on the fly as you miss turns, but this requires internet connectivity.
    4. TOMTOM wins that one - only one destination per route. You would have to make multiple routes.
    5. Many (if not most) people using their iPhone in a car have it connected through an iPod-aware head unit or an adapter with iPod controls, so song changes and such take place in the background anyway.

    With that sort of competition out there, no semi-technical iPhone user is going to blow $99 on an app. Think about it - you can get *an iPhone* for that now. Even being a happy XGPS user, I have been waiting for TOMTOM to come out and was considering getting a copy myself, but $99? That's just crazy talk. It's just software. Drop it to $20 and they'd have my business (and likely the business of many others). At $99 it becomes a bragging rights app, and those who truly want bragging rights already have that with XGPS. Even the clunky standard Google-driven app on the iPhone is 'good enough' to avoid blowing $99 on something that mostly "duplicates functionality" already present.

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

    by Daas (620469) on Monday August 17, 2009 @04:56PM (#29097531)
    Calls in the US : 1$/min
    Calls to Canada : 2$/min
    Data : 10 cents per kB


    This is why.
  • Re:Prices (Score:3, Interesting)

    by bobdown2001 (528975) on Monday August 17, 2009 @07:19PM (#29098927) Homepage
    Hmmm as a TomTom owner I can't help but feel a little ripped off. The price of the iPhone app including maps is considerably less than the cost of upgrading to the newest maps on the TomTom itself.
  • by Sandbags (964742) on Tuesday August 18, 2009 @01:00PM (#29107665) Journal

    Ars Technica indicated that in their article about the release. As well, a prior press interview with a TomTom senior director stated tomtom was "leaning" towards the subscription free model, with lifetime app updates included.

    Since the maps are integral to the app, part of the download, by updating the app, you are also updating the maps.

    It is Apple's policy as well that "content" updates, through their 3.1 in-app purchase will be accepted, where new features and extended content are offered, but Apple will not permit appendments or fixes to existing content to be charged that way (which a map update is simply a data patch in most ways you can look at it). Adding additional countries would certainly be accepted for in-app purchase charges, but not content "fixes". Also, version changes (1.0 to 2.0) rarely come at anything but free for existing app owners. Even in cases where apps were free but add funded, and they moved to a purchase model, existing free app opwners get to update to the paid app for free unless the devs convince Apple it;s truly a new revolutionary revision justifying it as now a new application. They can;'t just release TomTom 2.0 as a whole new app and charge another $99 for it if it's not radically different from TomTom 1.0, and there's no in-app support for upgrading code at a fee, only content.

    There's really only one way TomTom can go with this, and that seems consistent with Ars's article.

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