A brand name like TomTom has become almost as synonymous as Kleenex over the last decade.  Just like my grandmother calling any social networking sites, “The Facebooks,” she has similarly christened any mobile GPS unit as a “TomTom.”  So with a solid name recognition (and the loving adoration of my Nana), when it was announced to be coming to the iPhone, I wasn’t really that shocked.

What is surprising, however, is the fact that since September of last year, the app has been iterated on and updated four times.  A fifth refresh is currently in the works and looks to focusing on the ever-expanding population of iPhone 4 owners.  Here are some of the highlights of version 1.5:

  • Navigate-to-photo – Users can easily navigate to a location by selecting a photo stored in the iPhone gallery. Locations are identified by geo-tags.
  • Optimization for iPhone 4 – Takes full advantage of the capabilities of Apple’s latest iOS device, the app now delivers high resolution graphics, sharper maps, more-responsive menus and improved positioning even in areas with limited GPS reception.
  • Latest, most up-to-date maps – Because on average 15% of roads change every year, the TomTom App comes with the latest and most up-to-date map. No mobile signal or data plan is required to browse the map and navigate to a destination.

I would like to take a brief moment to dwell on the statistic that 15% of roads change every year.  How is that even possible?  This has to be either some kind of drastic miscounting, or Europeans have streets that shift more often than the Grand Staircase in the Harry Potter novels.  I really have a hard time knowing that this could be accurate, unless they count construction detours as “road changes.”

At the end of the day, this update will bring the TomTom iPhone application up-to-date with the newest technology available.  Here’s to hoping that the next refresh includes auto-driving functionality, lord knows my Grandma could use that too.

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