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Monday, May 16, 2011
iGO primo Western Europe - Review
iGO primo Western Europe - Review

In the past iGO My Way used to be a very pleasant GPS application for the iPhone. It was early in the App Store market and had caught my interest because of the nice visuals and menu animations. I remember having used it for thousands of kilometers in the South of Europe with positive results.

The competition became more fierce when applications like TomTom, Sygic and Navigon started to add many new features very rapidly. iGO My Way lagged a bit behind, and might not have received the same development budgets.

In 2011 iGO My Way has morphed into iGO (My Way) primo, the name of NNG LLC’s successful PND devices, and stuffed the iPhone application with many new features.

I will not try to mention all features but mainly focus on the improvements over the iGO My Way application.

iGO primo for iPhoneiGO primo for iPhone

Booking.com

Going Green

In the current economy with record high fuel prices (how far is Mad Max away, anyone?), it is increasingly important to visualize the TCO of your car, luckily iGO Primo helps you with this. You can setup multiple car profiles, with average fuel consumption for different driving profiles (highways, urban) along with the current fuel price. When you plan a new trip, it calculates the cost and the CO2 emission you will blast into the air. Also it suggests green routes where you can help your country with the Kyoto Protocol.

iGO primo for iPhoneiGO primo for iPhone

Who doesn’t like 3D

In the integrated shop you can get and buy several 3D improvements, next to the already build-in 3D Landmarks. First to mention is the free option to download “Terrain Elevation for Western Europe”. Like you can see on the screenshot, it helps you gain rapid understanding of your next maneuver by displaying the terrain. This feature is very useful in hill / mountain areas and just looks very cool.

The second visual improvement you can by for 7.99 Euro and is called the 3D package. Buildings of cities are eye-catching and realistic 3D. Something that Sygic Aura has build-in as well. note that this feature is supported in the following countries; Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the UK.

With the 3D buildings active, my iPhone 4 needs to work hard to show all the graphics, I can imagine that the new A5 chip and GPU in the iPhone 4S or iPhone 5 will help here a lot.

Images speak louder than words, see the screens below.
iGO primo for iPhoneiGO primo for iPhone

iGO primo for iPhoneiGO primo for iPhone

iGO primo for iPhoneiGO primo for iPhone

The best Junction View

Remember that iGO My Way had already nice visual signpost and junction views that showed you realistically which junction to take on the highways? Now they have outdone the competition with splitting the screen in two, on the top of the screen you can see the visual junction and on the bottom the active navigation. In other applications you can tap the junction view away, but this is even better, well done!

Avoid the traffic

Finally iGO My Way Primo is up-to-date with the rest regarding traffic info, although not really cheap, but at least you have the option to buy it. Live Traffic for Western Europe costs you 29.99 Euro, that is a bit more than Navigon and a one time fee. TomTom has a subscription model which is obviously more expensive. Traffic info needs a mobile Internet connection, it gives you notifications of accidents, road works and traffic jams. Also it generates alternative routes automatically. There is a little bug in the store description, it still displays the variables used in the software instead of the variable contents, see screen below.

I did not buy this feature so I could not test it.

iGO primo for iPhoneiGO primo for iPhone

Explore the world

If you have pocket money left, you might want to spend it on the Explorer’s Package. It will add even more POIs and also prices, opening hours and contact information. This costs 7.99 Euro. Note that you also now have Google local search to find more, but this works only at your current local position, so the upgrade might be a good investment anyway.

Others

I noticed while cruising the highway that there is a little highway symbol in the top right of the screen, when tapping it, it shows the nearest gas station, which is kind of neat. Country info has been added, to show all the local law conditions, Dani noticed that the current maximum highway speed of 110 is not adapted yet in here, but that is of course a forgivable detail because it is temporary.

I was also positively surprised that when I stopped my car at the end of the navigation trip, I removed the iPhone from the cradle and it instantly offered me the following:

1. Places Nearby, to look for something at your destination.
2. Save Current Position
3. Switch to Pedestrian mode.

I selected 3 and continued walking to my final destination, once arriving there by foot it asked me; Have you arrived at your destination? I select Yes, after which it gave me the route summary statistics. This also adds another option to switch back to Car mode, which you should do, otherwise your next trip is calculated for pedestrian mode.

See screen below;
iGO primo for iPhoneiGO primo for iPhone


You can also navigate to Geo-tagged pictures, I don’t see the real life use of this, leave a comment if you do please. You can also share your location or selected destination via email.

One thing I did not find and might not be supported is Speed Trap support. When you drive normal this is not a problem, but sometimes you have to follow average traffic speed for your own safety and then it is a welcome feature. I left a message about this in the application with the feedback button, once I receive an answer I will update the article.

Update: I just received this answer;

“The speed camera database is not yet available in most versions of iGO Primo. Later however it will
be available as an in-app purchase option.

Unfortunately adding custom speedcam databases is neither supported by our application, nor by Apple
and the iOS.”

Conclusion

iGO My Way has grown up drastically with the Primo edition upgrade, it is not only more pleasant for the eye but more importantly it has received many interesting new features that makes it an attractive alternative for TomTom, Navigon or Sygic if you can live with the absence of Speed Traps for the moment. Once the speed traps can be bought I will test it again and might update it to 5 stars.

Whatever surprises you meet on your way, with iGO primo app on hand you will be prepared for most of it!




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