The iPhone does many things great right out of the box, but turn by turn navigation is not one of those things.
Fortunately, there are a number of iPhone apps that add turn by turn navigation to your iPhone. After seeing my concerns of switching from Android to iPhone, TeleNav asked me to try out their free GPS by TeleNav app, and included access to the $10 a year extra service which includes voice navigation with spoken street names and automatic re-routing.
This is a huge improvement over the built-in Maps app, and proved good enough to bring me to and form home on numerous occasions. For the first time in several years I didn’t need to use my Android phone for navigation.
Ease of Use & Performance
GPS for iPhone is an easy to use app, that blows any dedicated DPS device out of the water. You can easily pull up your contacts, favorite locations, businesses, airports and intersections. When you head home, you’ll appreciate the dedicated Go Home button that saves you the time of typing in your address.
GPS locks happened very fast and the location results were very accurate, even when driving on a country road that was right next to a major interstate. The display has an animated look that will remind you of early GPS units, but no option to switch to satellite imagery.
The app also includes the ability to search by point of interest type along your route. This proved very useful on a recent trip to pick up our new puppies. I was able to find nearby restaurants and even a pet store for some last-minute supplies. The app handles these small interruptions in your trip well.
If you make the in-app purchase to unlock the extra features, you will be able to automatic rerouting, turn by turn directions and spoken street names. The street names were occasionally butchered, but the app did a good job of helping us find the next turn. The only place it didn’t impress as much as the iPhone GPS competition was when it came to confusing offramps on the Interstate. I enjoy the pop up lane overlay that Navigon uses, as it is much easier to get in the correct lane ahead of time.
The maps are easy to read with a glance while driving, though I will admit the smaller 3.5″ display on the iPhone was tough to adjust too after 4.3″ displays on almost every Android device I have used.
If you like to listen to music while you drive, you’ll appreciate the little iPod icon on the right of the screen which allows you to call up the iPod app to play and change music while you are in the GPS app.
You can download the free version of GPS by TeleNav to try it out, but I highly recommend the $10 a year upgrade to get voice navigation with spoken street names. When the other options are $40 and $60, it is hard to argue with the value of this app.
For $10 you get a great spoken turn by turn navigation experience on the iPhone. This is a must have app for android switchers and anyone who relies on their iPhone for navigation.
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