TomTom USA for the iPhone

I received an iTunes gift card at Christmas and one thing that I have been looking at is a turn by turn navigation application for the iPhone. When I saw that TomTom had come out with a USA only version of their iPhone app, and it was on sale, I decided to give it a try.

First, let me mention that it is a large app, nearly 1.2 GB, so it will take a while to download. Also, make sure that you have enough free space on you phone. Using our Clear service the download completed in about two hours and then another 30 minutes or so to sync to my iPhone.

Now, on to the functionality. First, having a true navigation system in my pocket at all times is the main benefit. Additionally, having the ability to navigate to an address within my contacts without having to type it in is great. The interface is simple and clean.

As for the navigation, it seems typical TomTom. Compared to the version that I had on a WinMo phone years ago, it seems very familiar only updated. The directions are quick and accurate and the maps seem fairly up to date. However, I did encounter a number of times while driving on the freeway when it placed me somewhere else. This caused a rather quick re-route calculation, which could be confusing if I was in an unfamiliar area. Some of the newer features, like lane guidance and notifications of known speed limits could be greatly beneficial.

One aspect of the Garmin unit that we have that I really like is the text to speech. While this ap does have text to speech, in my limited testing it seems to only function if you use the default voice. Also, it only seems to announce the street name at the turn, the advanced notifications only seem to say “turn right in 500 yards”, etc.

Overall, for me I think there is enough value here to recommend it if, like me, you travel to place that you’re not familiar with on a regular basis and don’t want to have to carry another device.

I’ll keep using it for the next few weeks and post some follow-up thoughts if I discover anything else.

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~ by Michael Sorensen on December 29, 2009.

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