Better traffic guidance: TomTom or Navigon?

Discussion in 'iOS Apps' started by Mad Mac Maniac, Aug 27, 2010.

  1. Mad Mac Maniac macrumors 601

    Mad Mac Maniac

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    Which one is better and what are their differences?
     
  2. heskech macrumors newbie

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    #2
    I have TomTom and Navigon and am using Navigon due to a bug with TomTom. I haven't decided which solution I prefer and that will depend on how they compare when TomTom fixes their bug.

    TomTom version 1.4.1's (current version) traffic guidance isn't fully working and hasn't since 1.4 was released to coincide with features added with iOS 4. You are prompted to re-route due to traffic but will see no info on traffic incidents (other than a message in the incident bar - Updating Traffic). TomTom is aware of the bug but have offered no timeline for a fix. Prior to 1.4.1, traffic worked 50% of the time due to server issues.

    Navigon 1.6 has problems too. Navigon's traffic is offline in the US about half the time I try to use it. When it works, it is pretty good.
     
  3. navguy macrumors regular

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    #3
    i have both ... in Metro Chicago, TomTom traffic is much better (precision of start/stop and delay accuracy). No question.
     
  4. Mad Mac Maniac thread starter macrumors 601

    Mad Mac Maniac

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    What are the differences in the way they report the traffic to you and the options that each gives to you?
     
  5. comatose81 macrumors 6502a

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    #5
    Just to make sure everything is clear here:

    1) TomTom's traffic feature DOES have a bug.

    2) The bug does NOT affect the traffic avoidance.

    In TomTom, there is a traffic sidebar that can be brought up by tapping the traffic icon on the main screen. On the sidebar, it shows a summary of your route and how far away you are from each traffic incident. Right now, the sidebar never displays any incidents (even if TomTom has detected some) and just says "Updating Traffic".

    This doesn't affect TomTom's traffic detection and avoidance. If there is traffic on the route, it will be reported to you. If the traffic is significant enough that TomTom can find a faster route, it will. While driving, if it detects a faster route, it will warn you and ask if you want to take the alternative.

    The only issue is that you can't actually see where each incident is relative to your current position (e.g., 5 miles away, etc) and the details of each incident (i.e., how long the delay is, what the incident is, etc).

    In conclusion, it's a bug for sure, and an annoying one, but the functionality is still there, so it does it's job.

    --------------------------

    Okay, now that we have that out of the way, Navigon's traffic is definitely the more comprehensive option between the two. Even when TomTom's traffic is 100% working and you can view traffic incident information, Navigon is still better. I like that in Navigon, I can view traffic information just for the hell of it. As soon as I start the app, I can view traffic incidents near me and just see what is going on. However, once I start a route, I can tell Navigon to only display route-related information. Very cool. The information it gives you is solid, too. It tells you where the traffic starts, how far it goes, the average speed, and a brief summary of what is going on (accident, road work, sporting event, etc).

    In TomTom, you can only view this information if it pertains to your current route. I can't just say "view nearby traffic" and be presented with a list that I can review. You can browse the map and see where traffic incidents are, but you won't get detailed information. It's been a while since I've been able to view incidents individually (this bug has been around for a long while), but I don't remember the details being all that great. Occasionally it would say something like "road work" or "accident" but usually it just said something like "congestion". Not that it really matters, but if it's an accident vs. just general congestion, I may change my mind about re-routing.

    As far as avoidance, I'd have to say TomTom does a better job of determining when to avoid the traffic and calculating the alternative. Of course, this just stems from the fact that TomTom has better information in general (i.e., average road speed for that time of day, etc) and overall does a better job of finding the best route. This is good, because there are really very few options for manually avoiding traffic. You basically entrust TomTom to do all of the work. You can ask it to minimize all traffic delays (Menu -> Route Options), but you can't tell it to avoid incident X.

    Navigon basically lets you do anything you want. You can let it handle everything, or you can go through every incident and pick and choose the ones to avoid. This is pretty sweet, and I really like this aspect of it. However, because it doesn't have the road information that TomTom does, it overestimates how bad traffic is and I found that it was a little trigger-happy on re-routing me. Sometimes there may be traffic, but it's still the fastest route... often times in TomTom, I get traffic delays up to 15 minutes or so, and I'm still not re-routed simply because there is no faster route available. In the same situation for Navigon, the traffic delay might be 25 minutes or more because it is not taking into account the typical congestion on this road. Thus it may re-calculate to a "faster" route when the route isn't really faster.

    This last part is more of a criticism of Navigon in general, not of the traffic implementation. The traffic is done extremely well, and it's a flat-fee, not a subscription. My only real gripe is the way that it displays traffic on the map - it kind of puts a grey, yellow, or red border on the roads where there is traffic. It's really difficult to see this when looking at the map. Other than that, the traffic in Navigon is awesome.

    So, to put an end to a really long-winded post:

    As far as the traffic PRODUCT goes, Navigon is the winner. Way more options, and it lets you take control if you want. Since it's a flat-fee, I feel like you get a lot more for the money.

    As far as the actual end result, TomTom wins because it estimates traffic delays better, decides when to re-route better, and calculates better alternatives due to having so much more information about the roads. It doesn't give you much control over what happens, but it does such a good job that it doesn't matter. It is subscription-based, though, which sucks but it's not very expensive ($20/year).

    I need to get a life.
     
  6. Mad Mac Maniac thread starter macrumors 601

    Mad Mac Maniac

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    Thanks a lot comatose! You basically provided all the information I could want! :) Very thorough, helpful information.

    In fact I think your general conclusion can be said about navigon vs tomtom in general. Navigon seems to provide more options in general. parking/gas station/restraunt/weather near destination. But TomTom, while more limited, seems to have better implementation due to better off routing system etc.

    I've been a TomTom user who recently bought a MyRegion Navigon while it was on sale to try it out. Overall I think I like TomTom more for it's more mature routing system and simplified navigation. Navigon just seems a bit too cluttered on the screen. And most of it's bells and whistles are things that I will never really use anyway. I also don't like how zoomed out navigon is. I don't need to see that much of the map. And I feel like I'm about to make a turn when it's still a couple miles away....

    I asked this question because the traffic avoidance could be the final thing to really sway me to navigon or keep me on TomTom. I think I'll keep testing out navigon a bit, but I think I'm going to stick to TomTom. I may wait on purchasing the subcription untill that pesky bug is fixed... maybe by then the competative app store marketplace will have either lowered the subcription or forced it to a flat fee! :)
     
  7. navguy macrumors regular

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    #7
    great summary comatose81 ... !

    i agree on TomTom bug, and prior to bug, the slide bar was very helpful in monitoring traffic developments on route and avoiding select traffic incidents ... that said, my workaround is to monitor total delay in the info bar while traffic slide is active (still working) ... and if necessary, select the "browse map" menu option ... it shows the route, traffic on route, can check traffic on other route options, and you can select the traffic incident to see specific delay info ... not perfect, but works for me, for now

    again, tomtom traffic was dead on accurate for westbound Eisenhower from Chicago at 4:15pm today ... which can be either 45min delay or 5 min delay, just depends on which way the wind's blowing ... and today, the traffic incident began spot on, and ended spot on, and had a total delay of 10 mins - best route out of the city today
     
  8. OldSchoolMacGuy macrumors 68030

    OldSchoolMacGuy

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    #8
    I can't speak for the traffic data but I've found the routing in TomTom to be better (faster times and faster calculation). I also find the TomTom interface to be more intuitive and better laid out. Features like IQ Routes and voice choices tip the scale for me and I find myself using the TomTom app most of the nav apps.
     
  9. comatose81 macrumors 6502a

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    #9
    An "update" from TomTom regarding the traffic issue:

    Pretty lame if you ask me. This has been going on for months now. I am getting close to asking for my money back just to show my disgust with this. If the company I work for took this long to push out a fix for a PAID add-on, we'd have no customers.
     
  10. Mad Mac Maniac thread starter macrumors 601

    Mad Mac Maniac

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    I agree that is a very lame response... They should definitely offer some sort of a discount or extension of service for those with traffic guidance... Or they should just turn it into a one time flat fee so I will buy it! Haha

    I do hope it's fixed soon. I'm not about to pay for something that's broken. Especially if I only get it for a limited time...
     
  11. pamon macrumors 6502

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    love the tomtom app. bought it have been a happy fan every since.
     
  12. Mad Mac Maniac thread starter macrumors 601

    Mad Mac Maniac

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    Any consensus on wether the traffic bug was fixed in the 1.5 update for TomTom?
     
  13. comatose81 macrumors 6502a

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    #13
    It is 100% fixed in 1.5. Confirmed.
     
  14. myMacRumors macrumors regular

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    #14
    For iPhone TomTom U.S. & Canada version: does the in-app purchase of 12-month traffic cover Canada???

    I don't see an in-app traffic purchase for Canada & Alaska version.

    If traffic coverage is in Canada, could someone please provide some screen shots?

    Thank you!

    Update: No traffic coverage for Canada at this time.
     

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