Developer: AppStores BV
Price: $24.99
Version Reviewed: 10.2.10

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

Overall Rating: ★★★½☆

GPS apps on the iPhone are typically either fully functional, hugely expensive apps or bare bones and cheap. The range in the middle seems to be underrepresented, and that’s exactly where NAVV places itself. For a comparably reasonable $25, NAVV USA offers you everything that you’ll ever need in a GPS app, including advanced routing and the all-to-handy voice navigation.

The speed and quality of the user interface are what separates the good navigation apps from the great, however. As for NAVV USA, I’d say that you’re getting what you pay for. The real problem with NAVV isn’t that the menus aren’t designed well, it’s that the app feels very alien on the iOS platform. The design is very blocky, fonts feel overly industrial, and, worst of all, the pop-up keyboard isn’t the standard iOS keyboard – it looks like it was designed for an entirely different platform. Most maddening of all is that it’s not a QWERTY keyboard (or DVORAK for that matter), it’s an ABCDEF deal, straight out of the old flip phone days.

Fortunately for the app, once you get past the confusing menu system, the driving part is wonderful. The turn by turn directions are dead on accurate, and if you make a mistake while driving the re-routing is almost instantaneous. Manual re-routing is also simple, allowing you to easily drag and drop for a new destination. Moving the map around manually is extremely slow though, and the movements on the map way over-exaggerate how much you actually move your finger. Just know that you shouldn’t expect anything near the extremely fluid “Maps” app that is built into the iPhone. This isn’t even close.

For a very reasonable $25, it’s hard to knock the app too much, but the UI really needs to be cleaned up before I can give NAVV a wholehearted recommendation. If you can stand the way things look and don’t mind the clunky interface or the choppy map navigation, you will be absolutely delighted once you get to the turn-by-turn portion.

Posted in: iPhone Apps and Games, Navigation, Reviews

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