Navigon Mobile Navigator iPhone App Review (Sat Nav)Written by John Thompson on May 27, 2010 · Filed under Software
Did all of you iPhone users think that you were being left out in the cold, with the all the recent talk of mobile Sat Nav apps with Google releasing their Navigation for Android mobile phones? Think again, because there are an abundance of Satellite Navigation apps on the App Store to make use of your iPhone’s GPS, and one of the better ones is NAVIGON’s MobileNavigator.
Available for various regions, including the British Isles and Europe, Mobile Navigator offers a feature-filled Sat-Nav system that certainly didn’t disappoint in testing.
When you open the application, you’re presented with an extremely simple main menu with four buttons. You can choose to enter an address, which MobileNavigator will then direct you to; search for a point-of-interest, helping you find places near to where you are, or simply show the map. In addition to this, you can select the ‘Take Me Home’ button, and you will be directed back to your address, which you can pre-set.
With so many similar applications offering unnecessarily confusing interfaces, the simple layout of Mobile Navigator is a great to see, fully utilising the iPhone’s limited screen estate whilst also managing to keep things simple.
A feature I found great to use was the ability to select addresses from your contacts, saving you from having to manually enter the address of where you want to go. Simply select a contact, and their address is loaded up in the iPhone app!
Fortunately, if you do have to type in the address of where you want to go manually, it’s made really simple. Instead of having to type out the entire address, you can begin to type out where you want to go, and MobileNavigator will suggest places that have names similar to what you’re typing. I found that most of the time, it guessed what city I was typing after a few characters, which was nice and easy.
Once your destination is set you’ll find that the map looks really good on the screen, in fact, I found it to be better than the Sat-Nav that’s built in to my car, as it was much clearer with your route simply laid out.
When you’re en-route to your destination, you have numerous settings that you can tweak to your liking. By default, you’re shown a 3D map of your route, which is easy on the eyes, and street names are displayed too. You can choose whether or not you want the 3D map option, and street names can also be removed.
If you’re driving in the dark, you’ll definitely appreciate the “Night Mode” option, which reduces glare from the screen by changing the colours from light to dark. This is a must have feature that I found indispensable when using the app for long periods of time.
Also a nice feature to have was the ability to choose a point-of-interest on your current route. If you need to stop for fuel, or a bite to eat, you can simply choose from a host of choices from “POI on Route”.
The voice-guided navigation was clear enough to hear when driving, even with the sub-par speakers on the iPhone 3GS, although I sometimes needed to concentrate to understand the computerised voice. Another really great feature was the option to have speed limits shown to you in the corner of the screen. If you aren’t sure how fast the limit is, you can simply see from a glance of the screen.
The best feature, which, for me, made MobileNavigator stand out against the other options, is the photo-realistic exit displays. When coming off a motorway, you’re shown all of the signs that are present at the junction, so you know exactly what lane you need to be in and how the layout of the road will look.
The only issue I had with MobileNavigator was that sometimes, it can be difficult to read the information on the screen when the phone’s docked against the windscreen. Of course, there’s little that can be done about this with the limited screen estate, but it could be a problem if you need to look closely at what junctions you’re getting off at, or where you’re turning.
The European version of MobileNavigator is available to purchase on the App Store for £52.99. Alternatively, you can purchase just the British Isles version for the lower price of £26.99.