Sygic Mobile Maps 2009 iPhone app
The first turn-by-turn GPS navigation app for the iPhone
- Easy to use; fast; simple and refined interface; Australian and NZ maps, quick to gain a GPS fix; lane guidance; signposts; speed limit warnings; trip progress indicator; custom POIs
- No text-to-speech; no support for iPhone gestures; can't navigate to an address from your contacts list; GPS accuracy could be improved; no speed, red light or school zone safety alerts; music playback doesn't resume following voice announcements
Sygic's Mobile Maps 2009 iPhone app is far from perfect, but it’s a great start. Lane guidance, signpost display and speed limit notifications are all included. There are plenty of bugs that need to be ironed out, but with software updates this app will get better.
Price$ 79.99 (AUD)
The first turn-by-turn GPS navigation app for the iPhone is finally here. Whereis provides the Australian maps for Sygic Mobile Maps 2009, and despite plenty of bugs that need to be ironed out this app is a good first effort.
Sygic Mobile Maps 2009 is based on other Sygic Mobile applications, including versions that run on Windows Mobile and Symbian-based smartphones. As such, it has a similar interface. You are unable to swipe screens left or right like you can with many other iPhone apps, but the basic tapping method still works effectively. The app is simple to use. Menus are clearly labelled, options are straightforward and, most importantly, the app is fast. We were lucky enough to test Mobile Maps 2009 on an iPhone 3GS (hence benefiting from the upgraded processor), but the app is also compatible with the iPhone 3G. It runs very smoothly and did not pause or freeze at any stage during our tests.
Searching for an address is a simple matter of hitting the "Navigate to..." button and selecting an address. Mobile Maps 2009 filters street names by suburb, which helps narrow down search results. You can hide and show the keyboard on any of the "Navigate to ..." screens. Although it's easy to input data, we would have preferred the use of Apple's regular iPhone keyboard layout rather than the slightly smaller Sygic version. In addition to navigating to an address, Sygic Mobile Maps 2009 can navigate to favourite destinations, a postcode in Australia or New Zealand, Points of Interest (POIs), a point on the map or a specific GPS coordinate, and you can also select from previous routes. One feature missing is the ability to navigate to an address in your iPhone's contact list.
The navigational experience is positive on the whole, with clear maps and good detail. With a clear view of the sky, it took less than 10 seconds to get a GPS fix in most instances. We were less impressed with the accuracy: it's not a huge issue, but often the arrow denoting your current position on the map is slightly behind your real position, suggesting that the iPhone's GPS chip isn't as accurate as those used in dedicated in-car GPS units. The Mobile Maps 2009 app recalculates a route if you head off course, but it does so without any warning.
The map screen is clear and concise, particularly in the landscape view. Four boxes at the bottom of the screen can display a variety of information (customisable in the settings menu) including remaining time to destination, time of arrival, current speed, GPS signal indicator, length of route, distance to destination and current time. A nice touch is the trip progress indicator, a blue line that moves across the bottom of the map as you navigate your route. At a quick glance, it allows you to see how much progress you've made.
Unfortunately, the Mobile Maps 2009 app lacks text-to-speech technology, so it won't read out street names. It also displays incorrect names for some motorways and freeways, such as the S7 and S8. Another issue is that you can only adjust the volume while the voice is making an announcement (pressing the iPhone's volume buttons at any other time simply adjusts the volume of the phone's ringtone). We felt the volume of voice instructions could have been louder, even at the highest level.
The lack of text-to-speech is perplexing considering the app boasts some features that are more advanced, including lane guidance, signpost display and speed limit notifications. Lane guidance is a little small and can be hard to see, but it works very effectively. We found it worked on a wider range of roads than many dedicated GPS devices. The signpost display shows a static image of upcoming road signs, with a cross on all directions except the one you need to take on your route. Speed limit notifications are also very handy and aren't just restricted to main roads.
Sygic originally advertised speed, red-light and school zone warnings as features of the Mobile Maps 2009 app, but they aren't included. They are no longer listed in the App Store description. Sygic has announced that safety warnings will be included in an update scheduled for release in the coming weeks.
Other features of the app include pedestrian and bicycle route planning, multi-stop trips, customisable POIs, a next turn preview and the ability to specify areas you want to avoid. You can display any route as images, text instructions or a summary format. An annoyance is the fact that if you are playing iPod music while using the app, the music cancels when voice prompts are played and doesn't resume. Similarly, when you receive a phone call the app closes and doesn't automatically resume when you end the call.
Sygic has announced that an update will add speed and red light camera warnings and extra POIs. The free update will be available shortly and will also increase the volume of voice instructions, fix the music playback issue, improve GPS signal information and add low battery status information. We'll update this review as soon as we get our hands on the new version.
For more information about the iPhone, visit our dedicated iPhone Centre.
Follow GoodGearGuide on Twitter: @GoodGearGuide
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Gadgets & Things
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Star Wars Death Star Bluetooth levitating rotating speaker review
- 2 Finally! LG OLED TV 2016 range review
- 3 Fetch TV Mighty review: Better than Foxtel
- 4 Fetch TV Mini review: Make your TV a smart TV
- 5 Panasonic Viera DX900U UHD 4K smart TV review
Latest News Articles
- Snapchat just got way easier to use thanks to a new search bar
- Microsoft is retiring the Blue Screen of Death for some users
- 2016 will be 1 second longer: Google can help you cope
- Microsoft declares summer's Windows 10 upgrade fit for business
- Stop pouting: Google’s Santa Tracker is updated just in time for the Christmas countdown
GGG Evaluation Team
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.
The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.
My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.
- The top 10 best and worst tech gadgets and products of 2016
- Best phone of the year 2016
- TV of the year award 2016
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- FTBrand Marketing Manager - Premium Entertainment BrandNSW
- TPTechnical Solution ArchitectVIC
- CCChange Manager l Port Macquarie NSWNSW
- CCTest Specialist - NetworkVIC
- CCTest AnalystQLD
- FTMicrosoft Dynamics AX Finance ConsultantVIC
- FTSoftware Support SpecialistQLD
- TPIT Sercurity EngineerVIC
- TP.Net DeveloperVIC
- FTUNIX / Linux EngineerNSW
- FTLevel 2 Service DeskNSW
- FTCheckpoint Firewall and VPNNSW
- TPSolution ArchitectVIC
- FTTechnical Consultant/Systems AnalystQLD
- CCProject Manager - TelcoVIC
- FTJunior-Mid Level Implementation CoordinatorQLD
- FTIdentity Access + Security ConsultantSA
- CCSenior Murex DeveloperVIC
- FTExecutive Sales ManagerACT
- TPFinancial Project management - Multiple grant programsNSW
- FTBI Tech Lead l Informatica ETL , Microstrategy, Big Data TechnologiesNSW
- FTJava DeveloperSA
- CCICT Strategy ConsultantNSW
- FTInformation / Data Quality AnalystNSW
- FTSenior Java EngineerACT