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Navicore Personal 2006/1 smart phone GPS

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Review It's only been around eight months since Navicore launched its GPS-driven smart phone-based route-planning and navigation application in the UK, but the company has already updated Navicore Personal with the latest maps and a handful of new features, some making it easier to use, others providing more travel information to the driver...

As before, Navicore runs on Symbian-based phones that use Nokia's Series 60 user interface. It operates exactly the way you'd expect it to if you've used a Series 60 handset before. Every option is available from an Options menu linked to the right-hand menu key - push the joystick to the right, or whatever navigation control the handset uses, to select sub-menus. Almost all the phone's keys are used for shortcuts. It's a system that's ideal for one-hand usage.

navicore personal 2006/1

At the top of the list is Find, from which you plot a path to a single destination, plan a multi-stop route or display a specific location on the map - and, if you've already programmed in a pathway, force it to calculate a shorter route or detour round a hazard. Choosing one brings up the customary location selection screens, now improved with support for full, seven-character UK postcodes - by no means a unique feature - and the ability to interrogate the phone's on-board contacts database.

This was absent from the first Navicore Personal release, I was told at the time, because of the difficulty in tapping into Symbian's personal information data structures. From my experience with the new Navicore Personal, I can only assume it's not a problem the company has successfully solved. Yes, you can look up a contact, but getting their address is another matter. First, names are all listed surname first, whether that's how your Contacts book lists them or not. Names are treated as a single field, so pressing 'F' to zero in on, say, 'Bar, Foo' doesn't find anything. The only way to find Mr. Foo Bar's address is to type 'B' and as many extra letters as it takes to filter out other contacts from the list. My Nokia 6600's Contacts app search both surname and first-name fields.

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