Developer: MotionX
Price: $0.99
Version Reviewed: 6.1

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★★☆
iPhone Integration Rating: ★★★★½
User Interface Rating: ★★★★½
Re-use / Replay Value Rating: ★★★★½

Overall Rating: ★★★★½

For a while after the launch of the iPhone 3G, GPS apps were all the rage. Everyone wanted to read up about the new TomTom app and whatever other $50 GPS app they could find info on. Most people don’t want to spend $50 on a GPS app though… definitely not when the Maps app that is built into every phone does a serviceable job getting you from point A to point B.

MotionX GPS Drive (Drive) is a bit different though, as it is only 99 cents – a price that is palatable on just about any budget.

Just like any GPS app, Drive gets you from point A to point B as quickly and as directly as possible. The great thing about Drive is that it has a very nice search feature that is way above average for an iPhone GPS app. In the search, you can find a specific location, as well as directly search for a nearby hospital, airport, gas station, coffee shop, grocery store, or dining location. If you’ve ever searched for gas stations in Maps and only got a handful of Circle K’s, you’ll know how essential a good gas station search is.

As far as the navigation goes, Drive works very well, but does have some room for improvement. Finding your destination is definitely the Drive’s strong suit, letting you navigate to addresses, intersections, people in your contact list, as well as all the searchable locations previously mentioned. Once you know where you are going, the navigation takes over and sends you on your way.

Voice activation, an item that is really necessary for a GPS app to be worthwhile when you’re alone, is included in the app for 30 days, and then costs $2.99 a month or $24.99 for the entire year of continued use. The voice works well and tells you what to hear, but cannot be customized. I personally like the voice used, but some of my friends were rather bummed that Sean Connery couldn’t guide us around the city.

The only real issue I had with the navigation was the inability to manually find an alternate route. You do have the option of switching between shortest and fastest route (heck, it’ll even analyze traffic data if you use fastest route), as well as the ability to avoid freeways and toll roads, but once you are going, there’s no way to just look for another route. If there’s a part of town you don’t want to go through, you just have to drive a different direction and let the GPS find a new route automatically.

The automatic route change is great for most situations, but it becomes extremely annoying when you are driving around a parking lot. Unless you want the app to go nuts with re-calculations, I would wait to find your route after you get onto a road that is on the map. I must’ve gone through 5 re-calculations before I made it out of my apartment complex yesterday, eventually taking some route that was definitely not in the top 4 best ways to get to my destination.

Other than those minor gripes though, Motion X is a great little GPS app. It does absolutely everything that I would want a GPS app to do, at only a fraction of the price. Definitely give Drive a whirl if you are in need of a solid GPS app.

Posted in: iPhone Apps and Games, Navigation, Reviews

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