TomTom drums up upgrade for iPhone app
Follow that photo!
An update for the TomTom app on the iPhone is "coming soon".
That's what TomTom is saying today at the IFA consumer tech show in Berlin.
Version 1.5 is optimised for iOS 4 and contains one very show-offy feature - Navigate-to-photo. Users can "easily navigate to a location by selecting a photo stored in the iPhone gallery. Locations are identified by geo-tags". This sounds gimmicky to us, but perhaps this is a failure of the imagination on our part.
New features include better lane exit guidance, localised Google search and multitasking - in other words you can do other stuff on your iPhone while the TomTom app barks out turn-by-turn directions.
And the price? TomTom App for iPhone Western Europe and UK costs £42.99 and traffic feeds are available as an optional subscription service.
So it is cheaper than a dedicated satnav, but then it is up against free turn by turn satnav software on Nokia smartphones.
I don't know what rock you've been living under but...
TomTom bought TeleAtlas which is probably why Nokia bought Navteq. So there are 3 companies Navteq, TeleAtlas and Google which produce data.
As to getting up to date roads, here's the thing... the world is a very big place. So when you have a finite fleet of cars that are equipped with GPS and camera that can only drive a finite number of routes per day... it will take years before you can re-drive some routes.
So if you missed your shot of Mooning Google as they drive by your house, you'll have to wait a couple of years till you get your next chance. ;-)
Where are the real features?
Definitely file under gimmick.
How about map updates, that include roads built 5 years ago but still not shown? Although I know TomTom don't produce the maps.
Or some functionality updates? TomTom beats others hands down for navigation and with their traffic service (yes, I have CoPilot and Navigon), but on a normal commute I don't need directions, I just need traffic warnings. Yet I can only enable or disable audio for all. Adding a traffic warning only alert would make a lot of sense. Similarly for speed cameras, although CamerAlert is far better for that.
Or how about allowing us to download maps and voices within the iPhone app, like the standalone devices can do?
Or how about widening the available maps out to those already for sale on the standalone devices? They have much more choice.
Shall I go on?
I've just tried it with my Nexus One, found a geotagged photo in the gallery, displayed it on Google Maps, you can navigate to the marker with the free turn by turn Google Navigation app.
I'd never have thought of doing that unless I'd seen the article! Admittedly it does take 4 clicks…