TomTom for iPhone – Review

Well it finally arrived! The long awaited and highly desired Turn-by-turn app for the iPhone by TomTom was released a little over a week ago.

I picked up this fine piece of software while I was in Florida for my Annual pilgrimage to the Holy Land, a.k.a. Disney World, and used it side by side with my built-in GPS in my Expedition for the trek to Jacksonville to board the Carnival Cruise Line’s Fascination; more on the cruise later.

The interesting thing about running both GPS units side by side is that they were virtually the same in distance to my next waypoint, but the major discrepancy was the travel time. The TomTom software claimed that the trip would be a full hour shorter then the built-in unit showed, both going to the same waypoint, both showing the same total distance. It appears that the TomTom was far more accurate with times, all other things being equal based on the arrival time to the waypoint.

So lets examine the pro’s and con’s of this first release of the software.

PRO’S

  • Reasonably fast lock-on to satellite signal, I haven’t had it lose the signal yet, 1.5+ weeks and counting,
  • Quick routing to waypoint,
  • Simple to use interface
  • Finds some POI’s that you’d never expect, i.e. Norms Vacuum Shop in Niagara Falls, Ontario
  • Fast loading
  • Battery life sucks when not connected, but if plugged it it doesn’t drain the battery like on some reviews I’ve read.

As for the whiners out there that protest that it shuts down when you get a call, well you can always relaunch it while on your call and miss nothing…. This is an Apple thing, not a TomTom thing, the iPhone doesn’t multi-task, yell at Apple as there is no reason for it not too, other than why would you buy a Macbook Air if it did?

CON’S

  • Only one waypoint at a time, hopefully they will allow for multiple waypoints as this is very limiting when planning your day or a long trip,
  • Can’t just have the map showing while you’re driving, the Browse Map doesn’t allow for zooming in, it would be nice to see the POI’s that you select at street level rather than city view,
  • No maps for the Caribbean, hopefully they will add this,
  • A global search would be nice, sometimes I don’t know the city name that a POI is in, I’m trying to find it!
  • Doesn’t allow you to “move” the map around, this would be nice as sometimes you want to see where you will be going rather than zooming out. Google maps allows this, so I don’t see why it would be difficult to do for TomTom.
  • CANNOT NAVIGATE TO CONTACTS. I am in Canada and I guess it doesn’t understand Canadian Addresses, it keeps giving me a “The address given for this contact can’t be understood. Would you like to enter the address yourself?” This is the biggest flaw that I see with this initial release.

Otherwise, a great first start. I expect that when the cradle will be released it will be even snappier than it is now. Like most first release app’s it has its issues, but all in all, I am liking it.

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