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Thursday, January 14, 2010
Cheap Voice guided Turn-by-Turn GPS apps - part 4 – Kapten GPS Multitransport
Cheap Voice guided Turn-by-Turn GPS apps - part 4 – Kapten GPS Multitransport

Welcome to the 4th part of our low cost GPS app series. I don’t know if you have already checked out one of the previews covered here but today we can add another recently released GPS app called Kapten.

Kapten uses TeleAtlas maps and is out in multiple editions; Kapten GPS Multitransport Europe, North America and Kapten is available per country or group of small countries.

Let’s find out what this Kapten GPS Multitransport is all about and if it brings an added value for the iPhone crowd.

iPhone GPS apps | Kapten GPS MultitransportiPhone GPS apps | Kapten GPS Multitransport

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Kapten GPS Multitransport Europe | $7.99

This navigation app has been quietly released in the store at December 31 2009. The version I tested is BeNeLux 1.2.1; I see that the Europe edition is still in version 1.1.8.
Kapten GPS is made by Kapsys, the company initially released a MP3 player / GPS PND device. This little device had voice recognition and I am not sure about its success. Next to that they have released a PND called Kapten NG with a 3-inch color LCD.

Now they have discovered the lucrative iPhone market and entered the App Store. The maps covered maps in Europe are: France, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Vatican, Germany, Austria, United Kingdom, Ireland, Switzerland, Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg, Finland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Monaco, Liechtenstein, Andorra, Gibraltar and San Marino.

iPhone GPS apps | Kapten GPS MultitransportiPhone GPS apps | Kapten GPS Multitransport

With the North America edition they cover the United States and Canada. Kapten has one thing special and that is hidden in part of its name; Multitransport. It is the only iPhone GPS app that also considers Public Transport? and can switch between modes while navigating. This is the trend nowadays, you start with your car to drive to the outside of a big city where you switch to public transport, while getting closer to the Centrum you can switch again to public bicycles (villo!) and or finally walk to your destination.

iPhone GPS apps | Kapten GPS MultitransportiPhone GPS apps | Kapten GPS Multitransport

User experience

The navigation is similar to major apps like Sygic, NDrive and Navigon. It really works good, it has voice instructions with TTS and it routed me yesterday wherever I wanted to be. The voice sounds very computerized but is understandable anyway. The voices supported are: French, English (UK/US), German, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Dutch, Danish and Swedish. Note that the language is automatically set with the localization of your iPhone, you can’t switch it in the application later on.

Kapten GPS Transport has quite some features, like safety camera support, speed warnings, POI, multiple routing options (fastest, shortest, toll free and avoid highways). Also the display has multiple views and adjustable parameter options.

iPhone GPS apps | Kapten GPS MultitransportiPhone GPS apps | Kapten GPS Multitransport

Ktags

Throughout the applications you see the word Ktag multiple times. When you are navigating and you want to mark a special point of interest, you can press the Ktag button, which marks the GPS coordinates. Later on you can edit this Ktag with a picture, a special category, name, phone, email and web or comment. You can also email a Ktag. This is the same as Navigon’s Location Sharing, which they implemented in Mobile Navigator version 1.2. On the website of Kapsys they talk about this Katpen Geotagging and the Zurbies user community. The concept is good but it urgently needs to get a standard, so these things can be shared between iPhone GPS apps to get the best effect.

iPhone GPS apps | Kapten GPS MultitransportiPhone GPS apps | Kapten GPS Multitransport

Costs

Kapten is so honest to start the first sentence like this; KAPTEN FOR IPHONE one month renewable license (don’t you HATE this capitalization in the App Store too?).
But how much is the 30 days In App Purchase price? Not mentioned on iTunes as long as the app is not rated yet. I already filed bug 7468511 for this at Apple since the amAze GPS review, and it is still in status: Open.

On their web site it mentions the following prices luckily;
3.99€  / month for the country app and 39.99€ for a full license
5.99€ / month for the Europe app and 59.99€ for a full license.

Conclusion

Strong points; Kapten GPS Transport is a decent GPS application that has the advantage to be able to switch between transport modes. It features Ktags, which is an added value to this application, if it wasn’t only for not loosing the notes you took in the city about special interest points.
It has many features the pro GPS apps have like TTS, safety camera and speed warnings. It audible warns you before possibly entering a tunnel. The ability to buy a full license is also a big plus.

Weak points; the synthesized computer voice is not of the best quality in the world but not too bad neither. The voice is set with the language of the iPhone. It misses things like lane assistance and signposts, like the some of the pro GPS apps have. Street names are not so easy to read. The color of the interface is pink but that is a personal note.

Features 4.0?
Appearance 3.0?
Usability 4.0
?Value 3.5

Avg 3.62

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