TomTom Australia iPhone app
The iPhone version of TomTom's popular navigation software is a good effort
- IQ Routes, extensive language and accent support, user-friendly interface, widescreen support, speed and red light camera warnings
- Voice commands are delivered too late, no text-to-speech, no traffic warnings, no lane guidance, lacks support for iPhone gestures, no speed limit warnings
TomTom's iPhone app offers an extremely user-friendly navigation experience with support for the company's proprietary IQ Routes technology. However, it lacks the features that would make it a sufficient replacement for mid-range and even some budget standalone GPS units.
Price$ 99.99 (AUD)
TomTom has long been a popular GPS manufacturer and is no stranger to mobile platforms either, offering its navigation software on the Symbian S60 and Windows Mobile platforms. TomTom Australia is the third iPhone GPS app for Australia to offer turn-by-turn navigation.
The TomTom Australia iPhone app competes with similar apps from Sygic and Navigon, which are powered by Whereis and Navteq maps, respectively. TomTom uses its own maps for the app, making for an extremely simple layout that will be instantly familiar to anyone who has ever used a TomTom GPS device. Even if you are a stranger to TomTom or GPS devices in general, the app is a user friendly-introduction to both.
The app is able to find a GPS signal within 10 seconds. Touching anywhere on the map will summon the menu, from which you can change settings, pick an alternative route and enter your destination. Tapping the left portion of a bar along the bottom allows you to change the volume, while tapping the right portion brings up the route summary menu. This is nearly identical to the traditional TomTom user interface. However, the control method means you can't use iPhone gestures like pinching to zoom in or out on the map. Instead, you have to use two small buttons in the top corners of the screen. All facets of TomTom Australia including maps work in both portrait and widescreen modes, making full use of the iPhone's 3.5in display.
Destinations are searched first by Australian suburbs/cities and then a street address. Unlike Sygic's Mobile Maps, TomTom Australia uses the standard iPhone soft keyboard for input, so entering your desired address is easy. Alternatively, you can also navigate to an address in your iPhone's contacts list, but the app brings up the entire list regardless of whether an address is attached.
TomTom Australia has many of the features you would expect from a dedicated GPS app including turn-by-turn voice navigation, 3D and 2D maps, and points of interest (POIs). The iPhone app also provides TomTom's Safety Cameras feature, which provides an alert when you are close to a speed or red light camera. Unfortunately, it lacks text-to-speech and lane guidance; Navigon's MobileNavigator offers, or will offer in the near future, both of these features. Compatibility with the SUNA Traffic Message Channel (TMC) isn't included either; this is yet to be included in any of the iPhone's turn-by-turn navigation apps.
One of the key advantages the TomTom Australia iPhone app has over competitors is IQ Routes, a feature found in the ONE 140 IQ Routes Edition. IQ Routes utilises a database of speed measurements from user data rather than road speed limits, which TomTom claims can result in a faster route 35 per cent of the time. The route can be limited so that TomTom Australia avoids toll roads, ferry crossings, unpaved roads and carpooling lanes.
Voice navigation is implemented well in TomTom Australia, with the ability to choose from 16 languages and 75 accents. Without text-to-speech, voice commands are quite general such as "turn left." While this is sufficient for most uses, TomTom Australia only specifies the distance before an action 800m in advance. Warnings closer than this are also often given too late and can cause the driver to miss a turn or exit. The iPhone's GPS receiver may be responsible — TomTom's forthcoming car kit accessory should fix this — but TomTom Australia iPhone app's failure to compensate for this sometimes makes directions difficult to follow.
Along with the contact list, TomTom Australia integrates with the iPhone's iPod app, allowing you to play music while navigating; the app simply interrupts the music when it issues a voice command, and then resumes it again. Incoming phone calls force TomTom Australia to close, but it automatically resumes navigation from the last known location once the call has ended.
TomTom Australia weighs in at 157MB, a reasonable space requirement on even 8GB iPhone models. TomTom also offers the iPhone app with maps for New Zealand ($119.99), Western Europe ($169.99) and North America ($119.99). Though the New Zealand maps only weigh in at 85.6MB, North American and Western European maps will command significantly more disk space at 1.2GB and 1.4GB, respectively.
Join the PC World newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Hisense Series 7 ULED 4K UHD TV review
- 2 Samsung Galaxy Note 7 review
- 3 Portable power: Venom Blackbook 13 Zero review
- 4 Alcatel Idol 4S review: King of the mid-range?
- 5 Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge Review
Latest News Articles
- Early iPhone 7 reviews: You'll miss the headphone jack, but the camera and battery life are tops
- Watch out: iOS 10 install is reportedly bricking some iPhones
- Google's Pixel Launcher leak hints at the demise of the Nexus brand
- It's official: iOS 10 launches with huge improvements to iMessage, Apple Music, Siri, and more
- Samsung is prepping a software update to cap Note7 charging to 60 percent
GGG Evaluation Team
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.
The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.
My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.
- FTSenior PHP DeveloperNSW
- FTCustomer Solutions Engineer | Voice | Data | TelcoNSW
- CCContract Systems Analyst (IT Security) 160928/JP/653Asia
- CCE-Commerce - Senior Web DeveloperNSW
- FTOutbound TelesalesVIC
- FTScrum Master | High Profile FintechNSW
- FTTest Manager (HP Quality Centre / ARIBA)NSW
- CCTechnical Architect/DesignerACT
- FTSenior Front End DeveloperNSW
- CCSecurity Cleared IT Professionals - Expression of InterestSA
- FTTechnical Support Engineer | Cloud | Automation techsNSW
- FTJava DeveloperNSW
- CCProgram Manager - Data InsightVIC
- CCVideo Conference Support Officer- VoIP, LAN, WAN, RemedyNSW
- FTNetApp Storage ConsultantWA
- FTCarrier/ Industrial Network ConsultantsWA
- CCBusiness Analyst with change management experienceACT
- FTInfrastructure Solutions ArchitectACT
- FTOutbound TelesalesVIC
- CCTest Manager (HP Quality Centre / Kronos)NSW
- CCLAN ConsultantWA
- CCSenior .NET DeveloperVIC
- FTNetwork and Security Design EngineerNSW
- CCBusiness AnalystQLD
- FTSenior Project Manager | TelecommunicationVIC