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TomTom for iPhone Review [iPhone GPS App Review]


TomTom iPhone GPS App

The TomTom GPS app is the first navigation app I’ve used on my iPhone other than Maps. With turn-by-turn orientation, voice navigation and location-based features, TomTom is a definite upgrade. But there are some weaknesses to consider before you shell out $70 in the App Store for this iPhone GPS app. Continue reading my TomTom for iPhone review to learn more.

Disclosure: This app was donated to me free in exchange for a review. Sometimes I review donated products or apps that interest me. I do my best to be fair and objective. The FTC requires that I disclose my relationship with companies, and I agree that it is important to mention.

TomTom for iPhone Review

The first thing I noticed was how much more user-friendly the maps themselves are. Rather than a small blue circle on a static 2D map, TomTom shows you a big arrow that always points forward as a 3D map orients itself below. Whereas the Maps app shows you your location from a satellite’s perspective, the TomTom app allows you to see yourself as well as the road ahead at all times.

Google Maps vs TomTom

The second basic improvement over Maps is voice navigation, which helps you keep your eyes on the road as a customizable voice guides you through each turn. TomTom supports many different languages for its GPS app, including male and female voices in English, Spanish, Chinese, Danish, Dutch, Italian, French, etc.

TomTom iPhone GPS App Languages

iPhone’s default Maps app is certainly lagging behind, and the TomTom GPS app beats it in the basics. But how useful is TomTom for iPhone overall? Here are the pros & cons of this iPhone GPS app, according to my review of TomTom for iPhone:

TomTom for iPhone: Pros & Cons

Things I’ve observed while using TomTom for iPhone:

Strengths

  • Turn-By-Turn Navigation
  • Voice-Guided Navigation
  • A dashboard at the bottom of the app tells you the remaining time and mileage to your destination, the distance and direction of your next turn, and information about your speed.

    TomTom iPhone GPS App

  • The map can be viewed in vertical or horizontal orientation (I prefer horizontal). The default iPhone Maps app only lets you view maps vertically.
  • Nearby gas stations appear on the map, so that you can anticipate places to refill your tank as you drive. You can also locate Points of Interest like Gas Stations, Hotels & Motels, Restaurants and Parking Garages either in your area or along your route. Like the iPhone’s default Maps app, TomTom also lets you search Google for other local destinations.

    TomTom iPhone Points of Interest

  • A music control panel can be enabled to allow you to control your iPod as it plays in the background.

    TomTom iPhone GPS App Music Controls

  • TomTom lets you avoid toll roads if you choose.

Weaknesses

  • Entering addresses on TomTom is, quite frankly, a pain in the a**. Instead of just letting you enter the address in full, TomTom makes you set the city, then the street name on a subsequent page, followed by the house number on yet another page. That is way too many steps to enter an address. And because the city, street name and house number are entered separately, you can’t simply copy and paste an address into TomTom. This is a serious limitation of this app, in my opinion.

    Entering a destination address in the TomTom app is a 4-step process:

    TomTom for iPhone Address Input

  • No Google Earth view. TomTom offers 3d and 2d graphical maps, but it does not let you view the earth from a satellite like you can with Google Maps.
  • Steep price point. $70 is not pocket change for most people. TomTom also offers a real-time traffic service for $20 per year. If Google introduces its turn-by-turn navigation for Maps on the iPhone, then this high price could be hard to justify unless TomTom adds premium innovations to outcompete Google.
  • When you pinch to zoom out on a map, you can’t see street names on the map. Fail.
  • The clock is not visible within the TomTom app. If you have a clock on your dashboard this is no problem, but if you’re not in your car and you rely on your iPhone for the time, then you’ll need to exit the app.

What did you think of this TomTom for iPhone review? Do you use TomTom for iPhone or some other iPhone GPS app?

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6 Comments

  1. andy p – you sound bitter and mean – but I agree with everything you said. FTR- I was unaware there was no real control over your music until I read your comments – that’s pretty lame on TomTom’s part and will likely be a deal-breaker for me.

  2. Doesn’t tell me much, and MOST importantly it DOESN”T TELL me how to tun the App off! (I think you can’t)
    Does anyone know how in iOS 4.0 with the latest Tom Tom app?

    thanks in advance

  3. and btw the maps severely need to be updated – REALLY!
    plus the poi database is just wrong in about 80% of the places it has taken me.
    speed cam database seems pretty accurate but if tomtom don’t update anything ever then it will soon be waaaay outdated.

  4. That’s the whole review? It’s 2010 and you have never used sat nav before? Sorry but the review you gave seemed more than a little retarded. And brief. Considering you were given the app in exchange for a review, you gave very little back and seem way unqualified and lazy judging by what you bothered to write. The price is pretty reasonable imo, i paid £80 (GBP) for the whole of europe version, which i rarely use in full, but for what you get and the tech involved it is a great app. in brief, at short notice –
    pros – great value compared to almost obsolete hardware version, theoretically perma-upgradable software/maps due to being phone-based (although tomtom are lazy di#ks in this dept), the google local search is very handy indeed, very very fast sat positioning and stable signal, voice speaks over dimmed ipod audio when necessary, app drops out for calls then re-starts straight away after call, etc
    cons – no control of ipod audio other than track advance – need shuffle button at least but pref next artist/album/playlist button – most of the time the music starts with the same track (somewhere mid playlist) and it is very wearing. can’t upload own poi’s or favourites from old tomtom device (well i can cos i have finally spirit jailbroken my phone – in ur face apple tossers!). no crow-flies/distance compass – was removed by some absolute c##t at tomtom r&d a couple of years ago, the guy or gal who came up wit hthat idea should be drowned, revived, shot, healed, electrocuted, revived and THEN tortured endlessly forever – they removed one of the best and most popular features and like most big companies cover their ears and say ‘lalalalalalala can’t hear you’ when thousands of us customers bleat about it. no map corrections network, even though it could be and should be instantaneous cos its mobile. no upgradeable voices, even though it should be cos its mobile. in fact even though the app really is very good and worth the green sheets i paid for it, the whole thing does whiff of apple nazi control (combined with tomtom laziness/ignorance/stupidity). hell, if a million monkeys like me write a million comments like this and they are all read by tomtom and apple – it won’t make a damned bit of difference ever because neither would piss on a customer if he/she was on fire – we mean literally nothing to them. don’t forget people, the only important customer to these fake-asses – is the POTENTIAL customer. Once they have you, you are less than nothing. there, i said it.

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