Feeds

Group Test: smartphone satnav apps

We look at all the options

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

Destinator 9

Sadly, the list of what's wrong with Destinator 9 - apart from the silly name - is rather a long one. It doesn't support full UK seven-digit post code searching; the 30-day iPhone free trial - Android and WinMo users get 14 days - only applies to customers in North America; the menu buttons are too small; live traffic data isn't an option in Blighty; and the junction turn guidance arrow is far too big and obscures too much of the screen when it pops up - and it replicates a graphic already shown in the top left of the screen!

Destinator 9Destinator 9

On the plus side the maps - using Navteq data - are very clear, and you get lovely weather-related sky graphics on the horizon in 3D mode. I'm not entirely sold on the way the display swaps between close up 3D and distant birds-eye-view mode when in use, though.

When you choose a destination from your contacts you can see if said contact actually has an address assigned to it from the main view which is a useful feature. The vocal guidance isn't bad though the female voice is a bit barky for my tastes. The iPhone app is significantly cheaper than that for other platforms and you get maps for all of Western Europe for your money rather than just for the UK and Ireland. Makes some sense for American iPhone users but not to the rest of us.

Destinator 9Reg Rating 60%
Price £30 (iPhone, Western Europe) $69.99 (£46.44) Android, WinMo (UK & Ireland)
Platforms iPhone, Android, Windows Mobile
More Info Destinator

Skobbler

An ad-supported free satnav system from Germany - where apparently it's the most popular satnav app around - Skobbler found its way to the UK iPhone App Store in May and has just arrived on Android too. The problem with Skobbler is the user-created map data pulled from OpenStreetMap. Coverage of the UK being a bit patchy. Everything was fine when I looked at the area around my old gaff in Highgate, but scroll up to my current abode in west Manchester and Monton seems to have vanished.

SkobblerSkobbler

Coverage aside - and it's a big aside, I grant you - Skobbler works well at a basic level, with clear graphics and very good voice guidance - road numbers are read out in the style of A-five-seventy-two, which I like. Destinations can also be chosen on the Skobbler website and then appear in the mobile app when you sign in.

Sadly, there is no searchable POI database, and if you run out of data connectivity you run out of map. Of course, rather than moan about mapping errors in my neighborhood what I should do is register, log in and fix them. That's half the point of Skobbler: to get involved. All in all, an interesting idea but hard to recommend over Google or Ovi until the UK maps become more comprehensive and full seven-digit post code searching is implemented.

SkobblerReg Rating 65%
Price Free or £1.19 for the ad-free version
Platforms iPhone, Android
More Info Skobbler

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

Next page: Wisepilot

More from The Register

next story
Hi-torque tank engines: EXTREME car hacking with The Register
Bentley found in a hedge gets WW2 lump insertion
Trousers down for six of the best affordable Androids
Stylish Googlephones for not-so-deep pockets
What's MISSING on Amazon Fire Phone... and why it WON'T set the world alight
You fought hard and you saved and earned. But all of it's going to burn...
Download alert: Nearly ALL top 100 Android, iOS paid apps hacked
Attack of the Clones? Yeah, but much, much scarier – report
Fujitsu CTO: We'll be 3D-printing tech execs in 15 years
Fleshy techie disses network neutrality, helmet-less motorcyclists
prev story

Whitepapers

Go beyond APM with real-time IT operations analytics
How IT operations teams can harness the wealth of wire data already flowing through their environment for real-time operational intelligence.
10 threats to successful enterprise endpoint backup
10 threats to a successful backup including issues with BYOD, slow backups and ineffective security.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.