TomTom Australia iPhone app
The iPhone version of TomTom's popular navigation software is a good effort
- IQ Routes, extensive language and accent support, user-friendly interface, widescreen support, speed and red light camera warnings
- Voice commands are delivered too late, no text-to-speech, no traffic warnings, no lane guidance, lacks support for iPhone gestures, no speed limit warnings
TomTom's iPhone app offers an extremely user-friendly navigation experience with support for the company's proprietary IQ Routes technology. However, it lacks the features that would make it a sufficient replacement for mid-range and even some budget standalone GPS units.
Price$ 99.99 (AUD)
TomTom has long been a popular GPS manufacturer and is no stranger to mobile platforms either, offering its navigation software on the Symbian S60 and Windows Mobile platforms. TomTom Australia is the third iPhone GPS app for Australia to offer turn-by-turn navigation.
The TomTom Australia iPhone app competes with similar apps from Sygic and Navigon, which are powered by Whereis and Navteq maps, respectively. TomTom uses its own maps for the app, making for an extremely simple layout that will be instantly familiar to anyone who has ever used a TomTom GPS device. Even if you are a stranger to TomTom or GPS devices in general, the app is a user friendly-introduction to both.
The app is able to find a GPS signal within 10 seconds. Touching anywhere on the map will summon the menu, from which you can change settings, pick an alternative route and enter your destination. Tapping the left portion of a bar along the bottom allows you to change the volume, while tapping the right portion brings up the route summary menu. This is nearly identical to the traditional TomTom user interface. However, the control method means you can't use iPhone gestures like pinching to zoom in or out on the map. Instead, you have to use two small buttons in the top corners of the screen. All facets of TomTom Australia including maps work in both portrait and widescreen modes, making full use of the iPhone's 3.5in display.
Destinations are searched first by Australian suburbs/cities and then a street address. Unlike Sygic's Mobile Maps, TomTom Australia uses the standard iPhone soft keyboard for input, so entering your desired address is easy. Alternatively, you can also navigate to an address in your iPhone's contacts list, but the app brings up the entire list regardless of whether an address is attached.
TomTom Australia has many of the features you would expect from a dedicated GPS app including turn-by-turn voice navigation, 3D and 2D maps, and points of interest (POIs). The iPhone app also provides TomTom's Safety Cameras feature, which provides an alert when you are close to a speed or red light camera. Unfortunately, it lacks text-to-speech and lane guidance; Navigon's MobileNavigator offers, or will offer in the near future, both of these features. Compatibility with the SUNA Traffic Message Channel (TMC) isn't included either; this is yet to be included in any of the iPhone's turn-by-turn navigation apps.
One of the key advantages the TomTom Australia iPhone app has over competitors is IQ Routes, a feature found in the ONE 140 IQ Routes Edition. IQ Routes utilises a database of speed measurements from user data rather than road speed limits, which TomTom claims can result in a faster route 35 per cent of the time. The route can be limited so that TomTom Australia avoids toll roads, ferry crossings, unpaved roads and carpooling lanes.
Voice navigation is implemented well in TomTom Australia, with the ability to choose from 16 languages and 75 accents. Without text-to-speech, voice commands are quite general such as "turn left." While this is sufficient for most uses, TomTom Australia only specifies the distance before an action 800m in advance. Warnings closer than this are also often given too late and can cause the driver to miss a turn or exit. The iPhone's GPS receiver may be responsible — TomTom's forthcoming car kit accessory should fix this — but TomTom Australia iPhone app's failure to compensate for this sometimes makes directions difficult to follow.
Along with the contact list, TomTom Australia integrates with the iPhone's iPod app, allowing you to play music while navigating; the app simply interrupts the music when it issues a voice command, and then resumes it again. Incoming phone calls force TomTom Australia to close, but it automatically resumes navigation from the last known location once the call has ended.
TomTom Australia weighs in at 157MB, a reasonable space requirement on even 8GB iPhone models. TomTom also offers the iPhone app with maps for New Zealand ($119.99), Western Europe ($169.99) and North America ($119.99). Though the New Zealand maps only weigh in at 85.6MB, North American and Western European maps will command significantly more disk space at 1.2GB and 1.4GB, respectively.
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
- Early iPhone 7 reviews: You'll miss the headphone jack, but the camera and battery life are tops
- Watch out: iOS 10 install is reportedly bricking some iPhones
- Google's Pixel Launcher leak hints at the demise of the Nexus brand
- It's official: iOS 10 launches with huge improvements to iMessage, Apple Music, Siri, and more
- Goodbye GPS? DARPA preparing alternative position-tracking technology
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
- FTFull stack Developer - Senior (Java or C# and AngularJS) x 3QLD
- FTSolutions Architect - Data Centre/ NetworkQLD
- CCSAP HR/ Payroll ConsultantQLD
- CCAccessability TesterACT
- FTSecurity Solutions Architect - Consultancy - Permanent - Sydney CBDNSW
- CCSenior Murex DeveloperVIC
- CCPerformance AnalystVIC
- FTSalesforce Technical Business Analyst (Brisbane based)Other
- CCNetwork Architect / Lead Network EngineerACT
- FTSenior Java Developers (Several positions available)QLD
- CCMid-level Java Developer / Programmer (Contract) Finance CBDNSW
- TPJava DeveloperSA
- FTTechnical Account ManagerACT
- TPInfrastructure ArchitectVIC
- CCBig Data Developer - Government - 12 Month Contract - SydneyNSW
- FTLevel 2 Service DeskNSW
- FTDatacentre Solution ArchitectVIC
- FTJava DeveloperNSW
- CCSolution Delivery Manager / Project ManagerNSW
- CCProject SchedulerQLD
- TPSenior Business Analyst - Transformation projectsSA
- FTPERMANENT Business AnalystsACT
- FT.NET CMS DeveloperWA
- FTLinux Systems EngineerQLD
- CCService ManagerACT