Best GPS Nav apps for iPhone

Discussion in 'iOS Apps' started by MacPleezy, Apr 8, 2011.

  1. MacPleezy macrumors newbie


    Apr 8, 2011
    Hey all,

    This is my first post and as such I'll try to keep things fairly short and concise..

    I want to try and gain a consensus on which iPhone gps nav app people have had the best experience with regardless of initial or recurring cost (ie monthly fee).

    The only other pertinent details are that there is no additional hardware necessary and that it is capable to play turn by turn voice prompts via a bluetooth earpiece (or at the very least the same via headphone jack audio)..

    Any input is greatly appreciated.
  2. sbddude macrumors 6502a

    Sep 27, 2010
    Nor Cal, USA

    Paid, one time:
    Navigon (my favorite) ($60?)

    Paid Subscription:
    MotionX GPS Drive ($0.99, $20 per year or $3 per month after 1 month free trial)
    AT&T Navigator

    All of these apps I've tried are able to play music in the background and either lower the music volume or pause it and then resume while navigating. The audio comes via the headphone jack not bluetooth. Calls use bluetooth.
  3. MacPleezy thread starter macrumors newbie


    Apr 8, 2011
    Ok thx for the feedback, I kind of assumed that was the case with the mono bluetooth headsets although I'd assume that if you were using the A2DP bluetooth in stereo it should come through that channel if the app is well coded.

    I found navigon as well and had a question that I couldnt find a great answer to that maybe you'd know. When using the app does it rely on your data connection and gps or exclusively gps?
  4. ECUpirate44 macrumors 603


    Mar 22, 2010
    Isn't that $20 a year fee just for the voice guidance?
  5. sbddude macrumors 6502a

    Sep 27, 2010
    Nor Cal, USA
    Navigon and tomtom do not need data. MotionX and Waze do.
  6. kenobe23 macrumors member

    Dec 1, 2004
    I use CoPilot, and it does a pretty nice job. I researched several of the pay apps a few months ago, and chose CoPilot because it seemed like a compromise between features and price. It's got most of the features of the high-end apps (tom tom, navigon), but it's much cheaper ($20, I think. I got it on sale for $10.00).

    I have no experience with any other GPS app, so I can't give a good comparison. I'd say the drawbacks are the un-slick presentation and the interface, which is not always intuitive. I haven't had any trouble using it, but the menus aren't as straightforward as they could be. Overall it's a solid nav app that's more attractive because of the price.
  7. nutmac macrumors 68040

    Mar 30, 2004
    I've done quite a bit of research, and looked at several on coworkers/friends' iPhone. The quick summary is that none of the navigation apps deserves 5-star rating.

    As far as routing is concerned, both Garmin and Tom Tom are at the top of the game (5 stars), followed by NAVIGON and CoPilot (4 stars). For most folks, all four should be more than adequate, but both Garmin and Tom Tom provide more timely updates. A big point against Garmin is lack of in-storage map data.

    User interface is subjective, but I would rank Garmin at the top, certainly easiest to learn and use. That said, the UI is not very Apple like, more of a direct port of its hardware products. I would say Tom Tom has the most Apple-like user interface, although map is the ugliest of the four. NAVIGON is the next, which is reasonably attractive and not super complicated. But many of the features are not intuitive nor obvious, many requiring clicking through options and customizations to access. Although more than functional, CoPilot sports the least Apple-like UI.

    Price. Most of these products are frequently discounted. I picked up NAVIGON USA when it was 50% off ($25 for the app + $15 for lifetime traffic). I also like that NAVIGON offers lifetime traffic, whereas Tom Tom and CoPilot just 1-year ($19.99 and $9.99 respectively). And NAVIGON is the only iPhone/iPad universal app of the bunch.
  8. pizzaiolo macrumors newbie

    Nov 28, 2008
    Raleigh, NC
    How about Central America

    We're going to Costa Rica in May and I'd appreciate any insight on which, if any, of the iPhone GPS apps handle that in addition to the USA. I'm aware of the iGO app but would rather spend the money on one that does the USA.
  9. dav146 macrumors regular


    Dec 21, 2007
    I've had a few of the freebie apps (which pull in loads of data).

    I've also paid for CoPilot & TomTom Europe.

    TomTom is bar far the BEST app - especially when combined wich the Traffic subscription. Yes its more expensive - but you definately get your moneys worth!

    Thats my opinion anyways!
  10. synagence macrumors 6502a

    Jul 23, 2008
    I loved Navigon right up to the point where they changed the voices .... at least the UK English voice sounds terrible, like a game-show announcer and it made me stop using the app..

    I ended up buying TomTom on a special offer and i like it overall .... has more active live-traffic (TomTomHD is better imho) and the overall interface is MUCH easier to use enroute ... i found the Navigon app a little difficult to adjust since its all small text menus.

    One downside of TomTom is that if it loses cell signal while doing a route you can get the 'Could not activate cellular data network' pop ups ... its if you happen to have a bad signal at the moment (every 3 mins) TomTom updates.

    Also i find the 'Faster route found' diaglog which has a small X and tick hard to touch when driving....

    On balance though i would pick tomtom of the 2
  11. fhall1 macrumors 68040


    Dec 18, 2007
    (Central) NY State of mind
    Navigon Noth it one of the times it went on sale.
  12. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    I did a lot of research and found tom tom and navigon the best rated, both are rather hefty, in the sense you need download the maps and store them on the phone.

    The advantage of this, is that you don't need a data connection to use the GPS, so if you're in some rural neck of the woods with no bars, you still can use the GPS.

    For the features, price and reviews I chose navigon and haven't regretted the decision one bit.
  13. fjd726 macrumors 6502

    Feb 18, 2011
    Only issue I have with Navigon is the refreshing rate. As the vehicle is traveling after every few 100 feet, the entire map seems to "step" forward and its not a smooth transition at all. The TomTom refreshes flawlessly without being noticed.
  14. fishepa macrumors regular

    Mar 9, 2009
    Weird, I don't have that issue.

    To the OP: I use Navigon and like it.
  15. yourtoys7, Apr 16, 2011
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2011

    yourtoys7 macrumors 6502a

    Sep 3, 2007
    How often do they go on sale? I'm thinking of Navigon...
  16. JonMPLS macrumors 65816

    May 23, 2010
  17. Mymacwill macrumors newbie

    Nov 13, 2010
    just to chime in here, i shopped around and also decided on Navigon. I had a stand-alone TomTom unit for about a week, and thought it was completely awful. I realized I was eligable for an upgrade from AT&T, so i returned my TomTom, used that cash to buy my i4 with navigon along with all the extra IAP, and i,ve never looked back. :cool:

    long-story-short: go with Navigon
  18. GIZBUG macrumors 68000


    Oct 28, 2006
    Chicago, IL
    I use waze in chicago. It's ok, although I do notice a lot of errors. I am not a fan of having 1.5gig maps on my phone, as I am always in 3G area. Thinking of trying Garmin though. Haven't heard a lot said about that app though.
  19. truth1ness macrumors regular

    May 8, 2011
    I'm leaning towards getting Navigon, but do you know if it allows a Fixed-North orientation? ie the map stays put and the car spins rather than the map spinning and the car always up. If not, does tomtom/garmin/magellin have this? Anyone know? I guess I'm old school and like my north to be north.
  20. AWallen90 macrumors 6502

    Sep 15, 2009
    How much data does the Garmin pull?

    I'm looking for the best app that I can preload maps, I am very frugal with my data as except for GPS navigation I am always on wifi so I only have the 200MB plan.
  21. chiefpavvy macrumors 6502a

    Feb 23, 2008
  22. countrydweller, May 11, 2011
    Last edited: May 11, 2011

    countrydweller macrumors 6502


    Jul 16, 2009
    Don't buy any of the g-map apps, they started them over at version 1.0. I've had U.S. West and can't update, version 2.1 U.S. West is on my phone.
  23. kicko macrumors 65816

    Aug 26, 2008
    I bought and like the tom tom app.

    I have a stand alone tom tom and never had an issue besides not picking up the gps signal right away in some places but that is normal depending on the situation (cloudy, thick trees etc.)
  24. countrydweller macrumors 6502


    Jul 16, 2009
    I also have the Tom Tom app, it works quite well. I bought g-map when it first came out. I was going to test the new version, but not going to buy it again.

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