Navigation app CoPilot Live goes freemium next month
But loves Google Maps
MWC 2012 Premier navigation app CoPilot will go freemium next month, with a cut-down version designed to convince users to throw away their dedicated satnav and buy in for 20 quid.
The company behind CoPilot, ALK, claims it hasn't been pushed into this by Google's free offering – apparently Google Mobile Maps has done nothing but good for the sales of the CoPilot Live app – but some people apparently still need convincing that their iOS, or Android, phone is up to the task.
Not that the free version of CoPilot will have the best bits; anyone wanting turn-by-turn directions, or a 3D rendering of the junction ahead, will still have to cough up 20 quid for the full version. But locally held maps, route plans with 50 way points and drag-and-drop routing will all come for free just as soon as the application-store-approval process is completed.
It would be easy to suggest that this is an inevitable response to Google Mobile Maps, which provides a lot of the basic functionality for free, so we did just that. But David Quin, Head of Consumer Applications at ALK, assured us this wasn't the case. In fact, according to ALK, Google Maps has been a near-perfect promotional tool – educating people that their phones can do navigation, while not offering a good enough user experience to replace the in-car satnav.
Not quite perfect, obviously: if it were then there would be no reason to have this new fremium offering.
CoPilot won't carry any advertising, paying customers will be subsidising the freetards, and ALK reckons they'll get enough upgrades to make it pay. But at least when using CoPilot one isn't constantly wondering what Google's advertising algorithms make of one's movements, and that alone is a good enough reason to give it a go. ®
NavFree by Navmii is great for the iPhone. As per the name, it's free. I found it after an article here on El Reg?
GO icon for obvious reasons
Worst SatNav App ever
I don't know how this gets the praise that it does. Let me count the ways that it's rotten (in Scotland at least):
1) Maps are out of date
2) It's slow to update. You can be past the street you were meant to turn down before it tells you to turn down it
3) Doesn't update when driving at slow speeds.
4) Slow to get a lock on you when starting.
5) Terrible UI compared to the likes of TomTom
6) Worst of all, doesn't actually send you the quickest routes (even when that's the option selected). I've seen it tell me - on more than one time - to turn left, drive up a main street, go round the roundabout at the top and head back in the original direction, all instead of a simple turn right instruction.
Might be good in other countries but in Scotland? Avoid.
I bought it as I thought the TomTom price was ridiculous. With hindsight, I would have rather forked out.
CoPilot - even at free, it would be no use.
Been using CoPilot for the last couple of years. Very good app, hasn't gotten me lost once or directed me to drive in the sea or anything like that. And at the price, this is far cheaper than a dedicated satnav, with the added bonus that i'm not likely to leave it in the car for someone to smash the window and nick.
and to boot, sounds like there's little reason any more for the premium version (although the junction rendering is damn useful at some of the more complicated junctions on our motorways and major roads)
Re: Yay Navfree user!
+1 for Navfree on Android.
It has a few updates to go before it offers all the features of a decent SatNav, but the maps are supposedly updated frequently (every 2 months?). Heck, Google Maps hasn't even got the A3 Hindhead tunnel on it which opened to traffic last July!
Plus, maps are downloaded (for free of course) to SD card in full for offline use so no need for a data signal to plan or update your route which can be very annoying with Google Maps when you're in the middle of nowhere.
Yay Navfree user!
Yeah, why does everyone forget about Navfree?
We abandoned premium shortly after Google made thier announcement - Nokia followed suit on Symbian.
I don't care what ALK say, that turned the GPS industry upside down.
By eck, they are slow... We turned freemium a year ago
TeleAtlas were not so kind to the smaller establishing sat-nav houses. ALK are just big enough that TomTom can't drop them like they dropped Navmii.
More people use Navfree on iOS and Android than any other premium navigation solution.
Can we get some more dev resources over here plz