Best GPS app? Worth getting rid of my Garmin?

Discussion in 'iOS Apps' started by dellavoce, Jan 13, 2010.

  1. dellavoce macrumors regular

    Oct 14, 2007
    I recently discovered the GPS apps and I was wondering if you had any opinions on what's the best? Are they good enough that I could get one and sell my Garmin nuvi? Also, can you listen to music and use the GPS app at the same time?
  2. zhenya macrumors 603


    Jan 6, 2005
    I purchased the Navigon app several weeks ago, even though I have a TomTom navigation device. I have not yet had the opportunity to use it on any longer trips, but I have tested it quite a bit during my regular routines, and I am quite impressed. The accuracy is not quite as good as the stand-alone device, but it is much better than I anticipated. Some things are also not as intuitive as they might be, but once you figure them out they are easy enough. My favorite things that Navigon has that my stand-alone doesn't are the speed limits with adjustable over-limit warnings, and integration with the Google local POI database (because it is far more extensive than any stand-alone database). I wish it had some voice options and a compass rose showing my heading. It has the ability to play music in the app, although I don't use it because I am jailbroken and just run the regular ipod app.

    I took a long time researching the different Navigation apps because they are expensive with not much chance of a refund if you don't like them. I chose Navigon because they have been very agressive with updates, the Google POI, and the generally very good reviews. Magellan has also been actively updating theirs, but is still missing some key features, and apparently the speed is not yet accurate. TomTom was my 2nd choice, and I think the UI is a bit more intuitive, but it came down to the features with Navigon. Navigon also gives you the option to make a one time traffic subscription purchase for only $25 which is pretty phenomenal. I can't imagine my stand-alone unit will be seeing much use from now on.
  3. navguy macrumors regular

    Dec 5, 2009
    Yes and yes, if you have a 3GS ...

    I agree with everything zhenya said.

    Based on my experience with multiple Garmin Nuvi, Navigon 1.4 with free google search and fixed cost traffic on a 3GS is comparable if not better than Garmin Nuvi lineup ... in fact, it compares closest to the newest Nuvi 1690 w/ nuLink service and cellular data feed. I purchased a 1690 for my wife last month (no iPhone), and i've compared side-by-side for the last few weeks. Sure the 1690 has a few add'l features, but for what you use a navigation device 95% of the time, it's comparable ... and 25% of the cost! ... ok throw in a integrated car mount, and you're still at half the cost.

    As zhenya said, Navigon is most aggressive with updates, features and integration with other apps. You may have noticed, but they're now integrated with "AroundMe" ... which provides fast google search, google map w/ pins, and integration to Navigon ... oh yeah, it's from "AroundMe" but it sure feels like Google Maps integrated to Navigon - best of both worlds.

    If you don't have a 3GS, the Navigon experienced can be laggy and you might be better off w/ TT or M ... although based on what I've read, I don't think they're a Garmin replacement just yet.

    So yes, Navigon on 3GS can replace your Garmin and play music.
  4. zhenya macrumors 603


    Jan 6, 2005
    Hey Navguy, what kind of additional features do the newest GPS devices have that Navigon doesn't? Honestly, I was pretty happy with my basic TomTom unit because I didn't know what I was missing. Just wondering what kinds of things might be in store for future Navigon updates.

  5. navguy macrumors regular

    Dec 5, 2009
    Newest GPS devices have cellular chips in them so data is fed via Edge, not an intennae power cord, but that's same as Navigon 1.4 on iPhone ... w/ this type of data connection, some of the add'l services you get with the Nuvi 1690 are white pages search (not just Google search), nearby fuel prices, movie times, local events, flight status, weather, Ciao! (location tracking), etc ... and the screen is brilliant, rich with color.

    I should mention that Garmin offers these services at a cost - due to the cellular signal. With the Nuvi 1690, 2-years of service are bundled with price of GPS and $5/mo after that ... but w/in 2 years, the entire GPS world will be different, so who knows ...

    As far as I can tell, upcoming Garmin 18XX models will include browser, email, and camera features along w/ navigation ... and you may or may not be aware that Garmin has a Nuvi Phone out. I don't think it's doing very well, but they're giving it a try.
  6. zhenya macrumors 603


    Jan 6, 2005
    Thanks! So it's really just that they are integrating the types of features we already have on any Smartphone with a data connection. Makes sense, but they are going to have a tough road ahead methinks. Strange that Garmin has not entered the mobile App business yet.
  7. GeekGirl* macrumors 65816


    Feb 26, 2009
    Buffalo, NY
  8. navguy macrumors regular

    Dec 5, 2009
    completely agree ... re: why? ... keep in mind they have their own Nuvi Phone in the market. tough sell methings as well ... they'll come around someday
  9. bcrysti macrumors newbie

    Jan 16, 2010
    NavigArt can be take also in consideration. The free version NavigArt Lite can be used to compare it to other navigation apps.
    POI search results include phone number, website address and you can call that number or access the website directly from the app.
    The full version will be available next week for 1.59 €
  10. photosmike macrumors member

    Mar 10, 2010
    Custom POI

    Does any of the GPS Apps allow for the addition of custom (user) POIs?
  11. AV8TOR macrumors regular


    Mar 8, 2010
    Fort Worth TX
    That's exactly why they haven't I believe. For what it is worth I would not trade my Nuvi 760 for an app on my iPhone. For me though the big reason is my iPhone is a work phone that you cannot override the lock feature. I do us a GPS Golf app however and like it but it is real hard on the battery though.
  12. navguy macrumors regular

    Dec 5, 2009
    not that i'm aware of ...
  13. Bear Hunter macrumors 6502a

    Bear Hunter

    Aug 10, 2008
    Concur with all above. I have Navigon USA-CAN and do not use my Nuvi 660 anymore.
  14. pdqgp macrumors 68020


    Mar 23, 2010
    MotionX Drive is by far the best. I stopped using my $900 Garmin unit with remote control once I started using AT&T Navigator on my old BlackBerry. However it's somewhat crippled on the iPhone.

    I gave Drive a Try and am amazed at how fast and how nice it is. $25yr for turn by turn voice, etc....well worth it.
  15. djinn macrumors 68000


    Oct 4, 2003
    Just got back from Los Angeles and used my Garmin cause I didn't have a mount for my iphone. Anyhow, with the latest map pack for Garmin it wasn't dependable for place to eat etc.. I had to boot up either Navigon or TomTom to find the latest with Google maps utilizing the wife as a mount Losing faith in my Garmin....
  16. DoNoHarm macrumors 65816


    Oct 8, 2008
  17. rburly macrumors 6502a


    Jan 15, 2009
    I have the TomTom hardware but have found that the MotionX Drive is as good, at least, as my TomTom. The best bang for the buck is the MotionX, IMO.

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