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The best navigation apps on mobile

Posted by Jennifer Allen on December 15th, 2015

With the festive season upon us, it’s likely that you need to travel - whether that's to a romantic lodge with a partner, or to see distant friends and family.

We’ve taken a look at the best navigation apps out there to help you get there quickly and safely.

TomTom U.S. & Canada Updated with New and Enhanced Features

Posted by Rob Rich on September 4th, 2013
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Our rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar :: TOO MUCH :: Read Review »

One of the App Store's go-to GPS apps, TomTom, has received an update to its Canada and U.S. iteration that adds some new features and updates a few road maps.

Among the changes are an improves search function, maps that have been updated to include more up-to-date maps to account for road changes, premium voices, a Stop Navigation button that will pause guidance and put the app into sleep mode (and pick up where it left off), and a new background feature (which you can choose to opt out of) that sends info to TomTom about how you use the app in order to improve user experience. It's also important to note that this update affects device compatibility and it will no longer work on the iPhone 3G, iPod Touch 2nd Gen, and any device using iOS 4.X or earlier.

If you use TomTom on your iOS device, and meet the criteria for compatibility, it's definitely worth checking out!

TomTom Navigation Apps Update With iPhone 5, iOS 6 Support, More

Posted by Rob LeFebvre on November 28th, 2012
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

The TomTom navigation apps updated today with support for iOS 6, the new screen size of the iPhone 5, Apple Maps support, and Google local search features. The upgrade is free for current users, and will run new users $49.95. TomTom apps work on iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.

App Update: TomTom Adds New Maps, Internet Location Discovery, and Foursquare Integration

Posted by Rob LeFebvre on August 21st, 2012
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

In addition to offering the latest TomTom maps, the update will make it easier for people to navigate to locations they find on the Internet or through their friend’s foursquare posts.

“Drivers now have new ways to find places with their TomTom app,” says Corinne Vigreux, Managing Director Consumer at TomTom. “This should be particularly helpful when people are off on holidays and day trips. They can find great places to visit and get there fast with foursquare or a quick copy-paste. And that leaves more time to relax and have fun.”

The latest version of the TomTom Navigation app for iPhone and iPad is available as a free download to customers with an earlier version of the app.

Note that the linked app here is to the Tom Tom US & Mexico app; other regions are separate apps, and can be found on the App Store as well.

CES 2012: TomTom Update Turns To Social Networking

Posted by Blake Grundman on January 12th, 2012
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Our rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar :: TOO MUCH :: Read Review »

At this point it pretty much goes without saying that TomTom is one the most widely used GPS services on the market.  As part of this expansion, they brought their prowess in the navigation world to iOS.  As one might assume, this was a lucrative decision for the company that has paid off for consumers tenfold.

One thing that TomTom has been great about doing is updating their software with different and unique pieces of functionality, features lacking in the competition.  At CES they previewed their upcoming 1.10 update, and the name of the game is social networking.  The core software will now link up with Twitter and Facebook to share destinations and arrival times, all without ever having to leave the application.  Heck, they even made this data available for transfer via text message and email as well!

While this is not exactly in the realm of transportation directions, it certainly makes interesting uses of features already on iOS devices.  We will have more information on the update when it nears release sometime this quarter.  Until then, keep both hands on the wheel.


TomTom Now With iPad Support

Posted by Jennifer Allen on October 28th, 2011

The arrival of iOS5 has meant that many app developers have had to update their products to work with the new operating system. Fortunately many, like TomTom, have used that opportunity to improve upon an already successful app.

TomTom 1.9 offers numerous changes, most notably optimization for the iPad at last.

iPad optimization means that TomTom now offers a full-screen display which promises the ability to see the driving view at the same time as the Advanced Lane Guidance images that we've all come to appreciate from the product. Ultimately, it's all down to space and who can resist the saying 'bigger is better' in this case? More room to see what's going on has to be good for drivers as they keep an eye on the road as well as their TomTom app.

The interface for both iPhone and iPad users has been updated and improved upon, ensuring that TomTom is quicker than ever to use. Driving view can be checked with just one touch from anywhere with guidance options similarly easy to check out. Even switching between different route types takes mere moments thanks to the improvements made to the app.

As we've all come to expect from TomTom, maps have also been updated to take into account any road changes in recent times.

TomTom users may have also found that they had trouble with their existing subscription to TomTom HD Traffic before this update. Fortunately for them, to make up for the inconvenience TomTom will be extending their subscription by 30 days as way of compensation. Hurrah!

One bad piece of news for anyone still using an iPhone 3G however, this is the last update of TomTom that will fully support the device. Future updates can be downloaded for any iPhone 3G users but the new features won't be available. Maybe this is the ideal time to upgrade to a shiny new 4S?

The latest version of TomTom is available now.

Homer Simpson Bumbles His Way Onto TomTom

Posted by Blake Grundman on May 2nd, 2011
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Our rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar :: TOO MUCH :: Read Review »

Ever since it was introduced on the iOS platform back in 2009, TomTom has been on of the frontrunners in the navigation software arena of the App Store.  Despite the its steep pricetag, the app has continually worked to justify itself. The newest 1.7 update adds several new features, including the iconic voice of a certain yellow skinned nuclear plant employee.  That's right folks, you can now be navigated by the dimwitted dulcet tones of one Homer Jay Simpson.

As part of a partnership with Twentieth Century Fox Consumer Products, The Gracie Films Worldwide Brand Division and Locutio Voice Technologies, the Simpsons will now be making the jump from your television onto your GPS software, and as you could imagine Tim Roper, the President of TomTom Inc. couldn't be more excited:

Homer Simpson is one of the most familiar and fondly recognized animated characters on the planet. So to have Homer become uniquely available for our TomTom App for iPhone is really thrilling for us. We believe Homer will bring lots of fun and enjoyment to millions of fans around the world.

While the voice of Homer alone would be enough to at least entice my interest, this isn't the only part of the software update worth noting.  A new feature named TomTom Map Share will allow users to make corrections to existing maps within the app itself, which can then propagate these modifications to all users.  This is another perfect example of crowd sourcing hard at work to make the traveling experience better for everyone.  Luckily this constantly updating feature will come at no cost to all TomTom users on the iOS, and should drastically improve the quality of the maps in virtually no time flat.

There is one question that still remains though, if you make a wrong turn, will you hear Homer's patented, "d'oh!?"

TomTom Update Brings Map Share

Posted by Brad Hilderbrand on December 20th, 2010
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

Navigation has just got a bit easier as TomTom has announced that it has released version 1.6 of its GPS app. The new update brings Map Share technology to your iPhone, which allows users to easily alter and update their own personal maps, as well as instantly download new maps with updated information approved by TomTom.

“We are pleased to bring TomTom’s exclusive Map Share technology already enjoyed by millions of TomTom GPS users everyday to our iPhone App,” said Tom Murray, senior vice president of market development for TomTom Inc. “With the addition of Map Share, TomTom App users will get free, verified updates via Map Share anytime on top of the most accurate map available on-board.”

The basic idea behind Map Share is that it allows users to instantly know about any changes in road conditions in between major map updates. So if a road is closed off or the lane structure changes, users with Map Share can download the information immediately, instead of continuing to rely on outdated maps until the next major map upgrade arrives. The hope is that access to this technology will lead to fewer lost and confused drivers who are forced to rely on inaccurate information when they're out and about. The app will update automatically every week, or can also be manually updated on-demand by owners.

It's particularly nice that the update is landing right now, as this marks a week when a lot of folks will be on the roads and, given the volatile nature of the weather this time of year, constantly in need of the most recent route information. Hopefully this new TomTom update will allow users to see road closures or other issues in advance and work their way around any potential problems.

TomTom also offers traffic updates separately, as an in-app purchase. Put the pieces all together and you can definitely go forth confident in the knowledge that you have all the travel info you could ever need right at your fingertips. Hooray for removing a little bit of the stress from holiday travel!

TomTom Receives an iPhone 4 Themed Refresh

Posted by Blake Grundman on September 8th, 2010
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Our rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar :: TOO MUCH :: Read Review »

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.

TomTom Updated for iOS4, Background Voice Navigation

Posted by Jeff Scott on June 22nd, 2010

TomTom today released version 1.4 of their iPhone application. This version adds the ability to continue to get spoken turn-by-turn navigation instructions while having other applications on your screen.

In addition to the iOS4 compatibility updates, TomTom have added a slew of other new features. This update also allows you to continue to talk on a phone call while using the TomTom application. A likely usage scenario when you are driving in the car, getting directions to a location from TomTom, and talking to someone on your iPhone. In addition, the maps in the application have been updated and include over 1 million miles of roads in the US that competitors don't have.

Grab the update now or download TomTom USA now.

Magellan's Premium GPS Car Kit ~ Wish it was Cheaper

By Tony Kicks on March 12th, 2010
Will this help iPhones replace GPS units?
Read The Full Review »

GPS Summary - Comparison of all iPhone GPS applications

Posted by Jeff Scott on September 26th, 2009

Last week, I worked my way through all of the currently available iPhone on-board GPS applications. I stuck with just the applications that held all of the maps on-board -- meaning that you didn't need to have a network connection to use the maps or routing. CoPilot came out as our winner as it has the best features, though some very confusing, for it's price.

But we thought it would be a good idea to do a re-cap and compare all 5 of the GPS I looked at last week and include the first iPhone GPS application, G-Map.

TomTom US & Canada

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Jeff Scott on September 15th, 2009
Our rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar :: TOO MUCH
TomTom first announced their GPS app at the 2009 WWDC in June. Hotly anticipated, it's finally here. But, it came in at the most expensive option available. $100 seems to be a lot for an app these days. Is it worth it?
Read The Full Review »