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Friday, May 27, 2011
Dynavix Western Europe GPS Navigation - Review
Dynavix Western Europe GPS Navigation - Review

It almost escaped me that there is a new contestant in the App Store Navigation market. The App calls Dynavix and popped in there last month. Reading the broad feature list in iTunes made me contact the developers for a trial version. How can they enter the market so complete and can they already compete with big names like iGO Primo, TomTom, Navigon, Sygic GPS Navigation not to forget NDrive, CoPilot and Magellan? Let’s find out and give this app the test drive it deserves.

Dynavix Western Europe GPS Navigation

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First look

While launching the app I learned quickly that it has a very pleasant and intuitive menu, that is well design and self-explicatory. I like the big menu buttons that are easily managed from within the drivers-seat. At first sight the application reminded me a bit of CoPilot, especially the way the map is cleanly displayed in 3D and also how the roads have different colors per importance.

Visuals

I really enjoy the map while navigating, although it lacks 3D buildings and 3D terrain, it does a good job in appropriately showing you where you are and where you should be going. One of the solid points of Dynavix is the way it displays street names, with a clean black font and a little arrow underneath it helped me a lot. The font size can be changed, the first time I have seen this in an iPhone GPS application.

Dynavix Western Europe GPS NavigationDynavix Western Europe GPS Navigation


You can configure 3D Cars for your pointer, although I prefer the arrow. The 3D landmarks are helping you to even better recognize your surroundings mostly in big Cities. Also they can be explored for sightseeing purposes.

Dynavix Western Europe GPS NavigationDynavix Western Europe GPS Navigation

Routing

Three types of routing are supported; Cleaver, Fast and Short. It uses the same excellent map and algorithm technology as TomTom. I have created different routes for different times of the day and in many times it calculated the same routes as TomTom, which is good. I will update my Routes Compared - CoPilot vs Navigon vs iGO vs Sygic vs TomTom vs Ndrive article with these maps also so you can compare them for yourself. The fast and the short routing options speak for themselves, in most cases you would anyway want to select the Cleaver routing I suppose.

Dynavix Western Europe GPS NavigationDynavix Western Europe GPS Navigation

Sound

Dynavix supports 14 languages in this edition, the main European ones and funny Czech voices. I tested the Dutch and English voices, which are decent. Over-speed alerts are customizable as well as the POI sounds. I like the default non-intrusive beep sound for the over-speed.

Dynavix Western Europe GPS NavigationDynavix Western Europe GPS Navigation

POI

Point Of Interests are in there as well of course and can be found around you,  in a city, along the route and around the target of your journey. In the first option it gives a list of close by POIs which are not search-able. To be able to do that you need to select the “in City” option, this works well but note that you cannot search for a certain kitchen in the restaurant section, like in Navigon for instance.

Dynavix programmed an option for you, to import your own POIs via iTunes when you connect your iPhone to the Mac. Speed-camera POIs can also be imported as CSV or OV2 files. I tried to find them on the net, but only encountered payable files. The free files I found on the net did not work, so I have not really tested this. I suggest that Dynavix will start offering them on their own site for download or via in-app purchases because for the average iPhone user this is not an option.

Dynavix Western Europe GPS NavigationDynavix Western Europe GPS Navigation

Others

I should also mention other important functions like alternate routes for when you are blocked, Lane Assistance, Location Sharing, iPod integration, the easy panel and the application style choice.

Conclusion

Dynavix has numerous strong points; the nice map layout, simple and good menus, good street-name indication, intelligent routing depending of the time of the day like TomTom, it uses TeleAtlas (now TomTom) maps like Sygic and has even Tunnel support.

Dynavix has also things to improve if it wants to grow up among the big players. I am thinking about Signposts indication, TTS, 3D terrain, 3D Buildings, built-in Speed traps (not via TOI imports), Traffic info.

I encountered some minor bugs in the Route > Simulation section, where the screen went black at the end of the simulation and needed a restart, or where buttons lost their text while rotating (see screens below). Those are no showstoppers and will probably be fixed in the next update I suppose.

Dynavix Western Europe GPS NavigationDynavix Western Europe GPS Navigation


But overall I really like the application and can recommended it safely to any iPhone user, I am impressed by it’s feature list for being a newcomer in the AppStore. If Dynavix will keep updating the application (Dynavix confirmed us already that the maps will be updated for free), the price of 59,99 Euro can be justified. Good job Dynavix, welcome aboard!

 

 




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