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Navicore Personal 2006/1 smart phone GPS

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But let's say you've found the individual you're after. Selecting his or her name should bring up their address, but of the dozen or so folk in my Contacts list with addresses entered, the app couldn't read any of them. For me, then, this much-vaunted new feature was useless. The full postcode search doesn't quite make up for it, but it's welcome nonetheless, as is the way the software remembers all the locations you've visited and makes them available for quick access another time. Frequently-visited places can also be saved as favourites, of course.

navicore screen shots

Also welcome are the software's traffic information and safety camera databases. Navicore is bundling subscription-free access to both - much better than forcing consumers to cough up every year for access to the same information, as many rival suppliers do. There is a cost: both databases are updated via GPRS, so you have to pay the network every time you update them. When I checked for updates, they weighed in at 42KB and 58KB, respectively - not exactly pricey downloads, and at least I'm free to update as frequently or as infrequently as I want to.

Navicore will automatically re-route you around roadworks and other traffic-impeding events, though I was lucky enough not to have any on the roads I tried, so I can't say how well it works. Certainly, taking the wrong road deliberately failed to throw the software's route-calculating algorithms, and I wasn't once asked to make a U-turn, as I have been in the past. I was asked to "drive closer to the road" at one point, but since I was walking at the time, on the far-side pavement, I didn't take the implicit criticism of my motoring skills personally.

Navicore prides itself in the speed of its software's route-planning and, yes, it is quick. Scrolling around maps is reasonably smooth, but Navicore Personal is rather slower at other tasks, like looking up locations you've keyed in. To be fair, I was trying the software on a two-year-old Nokia 6600, not exactly the world's fastest smart phone even when it launched. But the relative speed of the route calculation suggests it will be a lot faster on a more modern handset.

The new version includes the latest TeleAtlas UK and Ireland maps using which I was able to see streets that have been around for a few years now but have yet to turn up on a number of other GPS offerings. The software's points of interest (POI) database remains poor, as so many of them are. Why are so many popular tourist spots missing? The maps also lack new road layouts made around London's King's Cross as part of the Channel rail link work, all of them four or five months old, so the maps may be new but some of the cartography isn't. There were other inconsistencies: a road I marked as blocked was listed as being in the a different village from the one it was actually in.

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