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Tuesday, September 08, 2009
iPhoneTunes review: CoPilot Live VS TomTom
iPhoneTunes review: CoPilot Live VS TomTom

iPhone apps

[Update: we have integrated the new features of TomTom 1.2 in the review]

Here we go again, this time I tested for you CoPilot Live Europe Edition. I compared it to the best selling Navigation app in Europe, TomTom.

Recent study has shown that CoPilot is doing very well in the first days in the App Store. After using it myself, I have to admit that I really start liking the application.

Can it dethrone TomTom or come as close as Navigon? The result is excited to say the least.

Well keep reading this extensive compare review for all the details explained.

1. Display dimensions and size

• TomTom: Map real estate: 240 px height and 480 px width, map can be displayed in portrait or landscape. Installation size is 1.44 GB.

• CoPilot Live: Map real estate: 320 px height (transparent bar included) and 480 px width, map can be displayed in portrait or landscape. Installation size is 1.68 GB.

iPhone appsiPhone apps
Note the 80 px bigger map screen estate for CoPilot Live with a transparent bar at the bottom (image right).

Winner: CoPilot Live

2. Street name display

• TomTom is putting the street names across the streets, even when they are diagonal displayed. The street names are displayed in the white street background, which makes them good readable. In the settings menu you have the options to switch off “Show Current Street” and “Show Current Map”.

• CoPilot Live is displaying the street names like TomTom but because the screen is bigger, they are better readable and CoPilot Live uses a nice font. Also CoPilot Live makes a bigger zoom out by default, and it drops obvious parts of street names like “straat, rue, avenue” if it does not have the space yet to display. Tapping a street on the map, creates a pop-up with the street name.

iPhone appsiPhone apps
Note Very pleasant readable names for CoPilot Live (image right). To see all the streets like on the TomTom image, you will have to zoom in a bit more on CoPilot Live.

Winner: CoPilot Live for better readability.

3. Map zoom (Driving and stand alone)

• TomTom. In the main view you can zoom only with the plus and minus symbols. You have the “Browse Map” option in the main menu showing a 2D map that can be zoomed at with the pinch method. When you have selected a destination, it shows a route summary, now you click on Options, where it shows “Map of Route”, after selecting this you can zoom along. Also the 2D view cannot be zoomed.

• CoPilot Live has 2 methods for zooming, the plus and minus symbols on the main display and the pinch method. It gives you zoom options and tap & drag, after it starts and you deselect the quick menu overlay, to explore your current position.

Also when selecting your destination > Show Route > Select Routing Type > OK, now you see a 2D map of your route where you can pinch at with two fingers.

While driving you can zoom, like described above, at the 3D map, and tap and drag to move the map. The same for the 2D view. When selecting a quick stop (POI), it shows a map with the same capabilities.

Winner: CoPilot Live, it has more and easy zoom capabilities.

4. Navigate to

• TomTom, after selecting Navigate To, it generates the following list to choose form: Home, Favorite, Address, Recent Destination, Point of Interest, Zip Code, Point on Map and Contact.

• CoPilot Live displays the quick menu when starting, 2 icons can be selected. 1. Destination, which has the option Address (remembers recent destinations), Points of Interest, Contact, Pick on Map, Intersection, Coordinates. Zip Codes can be entered in the Destination option. Also tapping on a street on the map while driving gives a pop-up to go there, which is very nice.

The second icon is My Places which holds, Home, Work, Recent and Favorites.

Winner: CoPilot Live has more options, although TomTom has a menu option for Zip Code where it is hidden in CoPilot Live.

5. 2D map

• TomTom shows it when you press the main screen and select 2D Map, which is zoom-able with the plus and minus signs on the top of the screen, but only scrollable by getting to another screen with the “Browse Map” option.

• CoPilot Live shows it when you tap on the configuration icon on the main screen. Map is instantly zoom and scrollable.

It has the following 2D views;

• 2D shows your current position, next turn and surrounding roads on a map with a two dimensional perspective
• Driver Safety we recommend this view for safer driving. Driver safety displays a simple turn arrow with concise instructions about your next turn in large type. CoPilot Live will change to a map view as you approach a turn.
• Itinerary view is a plan for your journey, which includes a list of all destinations, waypoints, turn instructions and distances.
• 2D Next Turn displays your current location and next turn on a 2D map.
• 2D Destination shows your planned route on a two dimensional map.

Winner: CoPilot Live, 2D map has sub options and is also scrollable.

6. 3D map

• TomTom is starting default in 3D mode, it auto-zooms in when making maneuvers, and zooms out again, resuming the maneuver. Now you can see the sky again. The auto-zoom function cannot be switched off. All this goes not very fluent, even on the 3GS.

Also the map shows a lot of dots and line some roads and big pixeld fills which I do not like.

• CoPilot Live supports by default the 3D view. The map image is always super crisp. The view is more zoomed out than TomTom which I like. The height view of the map is a bit like iGO My way, not as 3D as Navigon and Sygic.

Winner: CoPilot Live, it has a good 3D view with nicer map details. [If you like auto zoom give the points to TomTom here.]

7. Night view

• TomTom has the option to switch to night view, and you can even select the following themes: Africa (Green tones), Antarctica (Blue tones), Astra (Red tones) and the self-explaining shades of Grey.

• CoPilot Live switches automatically to the right mode. It has also the option to switch to night view manually, you just select Menu > Driving Views > Night Map.

Menu > Settings > Map Styles, brings you the following map styles.

1. Day – american, autumn, british, continental, ember, forest, international and ocean.
2. Night – the same styles.

iPhone appsiPhone apps
Note that TomTom (left image) has to be switched manually.

Winner: CoPilot Live

8. Voice and sound

• TomTom ships with 75 voices with different gender choices, to name just a few Turkish, Polish, Mandarin, Spanish Catalan and of which are 11 English voices. You can mute the sound in the main menu, which is nice. Also the volume is very easily changeable, just tap the bottom of the screen while driving and a slider appears.

Since version 1.2 TomTom has Text-To-Speech and reads out street names for even safer navigation.

• CoPilot Live ships according to iTunes with French, English (UK, US and Australian), German, Dutch, Spanish, Italian, Danish, Swedish, Finish and Portuguese. But I find more in the menu, like Russian, Turkish and Polish to name a few. All these Languages have more persons to choose from. In total I found 50 different voices.

There is one bug, when you select Spanish Latin America; the voice is at double the speed. When you select this as your choice, I also noticed afterwards that voices were half the speed. This changes when selecting again another voice.

A very positive preference is the “Speak Turn Warning”, I was nagging in the iGO review about that this should be tunable, and CoPilot Live supports this. You can select Speak Turn Warning at both 2 km, 1 km, 500 m and at turn: 8 till 3 seconds.

Winner: TomTom TomTom has a TTS although CoPilot Live has the Speak Turn Warning options.

9. Maps of Europe

• TomTom only 23 countries of Western Europe from Themselves (Tele Atlas)

• CoPilot Live has most European countries and uses NAVTEQ map technology, like iGO and Navigon.

Winner: CoPilot Live

10. Speed control

• TomTom only shows a visual warning on the bottom left and there is nothing in the preferences to change.

• CoPilot Live can set the threshold in steps of 5 km/h from 10 to 40 km/h, or disable it. Acoustic warnings can be enabled. The current speed can be shown on the bottom transparent bar, it is a display option.

Winner: CoPilot Live, it is more clear what it does and configurable plus acoustic warning.

11. Safety cameras

• TomTom adds it’s own name to it (TomTom safe-cams). It makes a pleasant noticeable sound when approaching a safety camera and shows a rather dull 2D pole image. Next to this it displays Max speed sign with your speed under it. The feature can be switched off.

• CoPilot Live is configurable for Safety Alerts, you can enable it and the threshold can be set to 1000, 500 and 250 meters ahead. It also warns you with a voice. The graphic overlay with the camera-icon, shows the distance until the camera and the current speed. The overlay is red when driving too fast and changes green when you are okay, which is clear and good implemented.

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Note TomTom uses a small image and 2 beeps (left image) while CoPilot Live uses a graphic overlay with the right info (image right).

Winner: CoPilot Live Threshold can be set and works more advanced.

12. Planning prefs

• TomTom puts it’s planning prefs under the settings menu, where you find “Default Route Type” with the following choices: Fastest, Shortest, Avoid Highways, walking Routes, Bicycle Routes, Limited Speed (type any speed here and it tries to match know speed limits) and always ask me.

You can select Avoid/Don’t Avoid/Always Ask for; Toll Roads, Ferry Crossings, HOV Lanes (also know as Carpool lanes) and unpaved Roads.

Also you have the option to use IQ Routes, what the hell is that? In short, it kind of knows the amount of traffic at a certain point of the day and takes this into account. See full explanation here.

• CoPilot Live has Mode of Travel: Auto, Walking, RV (Recreation Vehicle), Motorcycle and. Routing type: Quickest, Shortest, Avoid Motorways and Economic.

Toll options: Always Avoid Tolls, Avoid Tolls If Possible, and Allow Tolls.
In the Routing Menu you find even more options like, Avoid Ferries, Scenic Route. Congestion Zones, avoid, Allow, Warn when driving.

A custom profile can be created and saved, where you select your vehicle, the speed per road type, and the Toll and other options described above.

Winner: TomTom because of the intelligence they have put into it. Although the Scenic Route is also interesting for certain people in the CoPilot Live version.

13. Sign Posts

• TomTom has now Lane Road Indication. When you enter a difficult intersection where special attention is needed, you will see a graphic with the real world-view of the situation. Green arrows start blinking in the lanes that you must take.

• CoPilot Live shows by default the “Clear Turns” how they call it, and they are big and very clear on the top of the screen (see image below right). It only shows in landscape mode and not available for North America.

iPhone car integrationiPhone apps
Note TomTom now also shows the real thing (image left), CoPilot Live displayed it already very realistic (image right).

Winner: Draw

14. Lane assistant

• TomTom has lane assistance; it only shows the next exit on highways, and now also in combination with Lane Road Indication. Note that it does not assist you on normal streets, see six lane road(wetstraat Brussels) example on pictures below.

• CoPilot Live calls this the Premium Guidance feature, which is again not available in NA. Anyway, this review is for the Europe edition and it works very nice.

There is even a special preference, called Lane Assist, where you can disable this option and tune its appearance. From 3 km ahead till 250 meters, and Hide when turn is within: At Turn, 0.1 - 0.3 kilometers. Note that it not displayed in normal roads.

iPhone appsiPhone apps
Note that both app do not show lanes on normal roads like this six lane road (Wetstraat Brussels).

Winner: Draw

15. POI

• TomTom does it this way. Select Navigate To > POI > Near Me, in City, Near Home, Along Route, Near Destination. Also a special menu is added “Call POI”. This can also be done with the first method.

Default POI are: Gas Station, Restaurant and Parkings. To name a few of the categories: Airport, Amusement Park, Beach, Border Crossing, Campground, Car Dealership, Car Rental Facility, Car Repair/Garage, Cash Dispenser, Casino, College/University, Company, Concert Hall, Convention Center, Cultural Center, Dentist, Doctor, Embassy, Exhibition Center, Ferry Terminal, Government Office, Hospital/Clinic.

These POI can be switched on and off per category, or totally disabled.

• CoPilot Live has 34 categories, from ATM till Vehicle repair to name two. You can choose to display them or not, or even only when you are stopped.

When you are in Destination selection mode, you can select a POI nearby, In different city or On my route. It pops up the most used POIs, like Petrol Station, Restaurant and ATM for example. Here is also a search button and a Categories button. It is useful to have a look at the icons and their explanations. When selecting Restaurants, you will get a list of different kitchens. The same behavior as in Navigon. Just how I like it.

When you tap on a POI on the map while driving, it provides the name of the POI and the address and telephone number. 2 buttons are added: Call and GO.

Also the quick Stop, Menu Option is nice, it shows the following categories: Petrol Station, Restaurant, Hotel and Vehicle Repair. Once you select the Petrol Station, it displays the list with the nearest ones, and adds a search button, and a Show Map button, see image below.

Winner: CoPilot Live, CoPilot Live displays them better (multi color), also the restaurant split is favorite for me.

16. Itinerary

• TomTom does not support this. It has “Travel Via” hidden away in the menu jungle and it cannot travel via 2 places. Do this as follows: Navigate To > “select destination” > Options > Find Alternative > Travel Via.

• CoPilot Live’s Menu option “Plan or Edit Trip” is an advanced planning tool. When selecting it, you can do 2 things: Add Stop and Options.

Add Stop gives further choices like: Address, My Places, POI, GPS location, Contact, Pick on Map, Intersection, Coordinates, Return Trip, PhotoNav. A few of them need further explanation.

- GPS location is your current position.
- Coordinates can be entered in Degrees, Minutes, Seconds or Decimal - Degrees or Decimal Minutes or via OS Grid.
- Return Trip, CoPilot Live calculates the same roads as your outbound journey, returning you to your start position.
- PhotoNav can bring you to a picture on your iPhone that has been shot with location information (GPS coordinates). The manual tells that it is not yet supported by the iPhone but the option is already there.

Options give you this: Clear, Load, Save, Optimize Stops, Fuel Costs, Take Breaks.

Some details explained;
- Optimize stops, automatically rearranges the stops within a trip to create the most efficient order.
- Fuel Costs can be calculated, after entering the Avg km er liter and fuel price.
- Take breaks during trip, CoPilot Live can alert you to take a break at regular time intervals for a defined duration of time, for a trip.

Winner: CoPilot Live, obviously and miles ahead.

17. GPS Signal

• TomTom. Always drive into open space and plan your route from there to have an optimal functioning of the app.

• CoPilot Live is showing your position on the maps quite fast. It can also use your iPhone’s mobile Internet connection to determine your location. This is called ‘Assisted GPS’, and while it is not as accurate as the GPS receiver it can help you get an initial location fix quicker.

The red square is the location where I always put my iPhone, to test all these applications.

Winner: CoPilot Live

18. iPod

• TomTom pauses the music abrupt when it speaks the instructions, it come back at full volume. Since version 1.2 it also has buttons to control the music directly from the main screen.

• Since version Live has iPod controls. The turn announcements are done the same way like Sygic and iGO My way. The voice comes over the music.

Winner: Copilot Live,  because it does not interrupt the music.

19. Others

• TomTom has others like a “Car-Kit” menu option in the menu, which works in conjunction with their Car-Kit. You can also change between miles and KM.

A recently added feature is Help Me, this feature can be found in the menu and selecting it gives you 2 options; “Phone for Help” “Drive to Help”. It also displays where you are so you can read it out to the emergency service. Phone for Help brings you to a screen where you can call the emergency number of the country, Touring assistance and important POIs like doctors, dentists and so on.

Other features are: calculate Alternative routes, Avoid Road, Avoid Part of Route. You can make a Route Demo, which goes rather slow. Clear the current Route, see text instructions (who uses this?)

After an incoming phone call navigation is resumed. Also navigation is resumed after quitting and restarting the app.

A recently added feature is Help Me, this feature can be found in the menu and selecting it gives you 2 options; “Phone for Help” “Drive to Help”. It also displays where you are so you can read it out to the emergency service. Phone for Help brings you to a screen where you can call the emergency number of the country, Touring assistance and important POIs like doctors, dentists and so on.

• CoPilot Live has these Live Services, hence it’s name. For these services to function you need a data connection, so abroad can be expensive. At least it warns you about this before you activate them. On the positive side, finally a GPS app that uses the 3G from the iPhone in combination with the GPS to add intelligence.

Live Weather, can be provided for local, at destination and in another city. The data comes from AccuWeather.

Live Link, is designed to see your CoPilot Live buddies on the map. It consists of Live Friends and Live Messages.

Once you have added the CoPilot Live email addresses of your friends they will show up. You can select the interval that you update your location or go offline. Also sending them a direct message is cool. Even group messaging is possible. I can imagine that this can be great for outdoor activities.

Roadside Assistance like described above is also under the Live Services button.

Additional you can purchase Live Traffic and Live Fuel Prices any day from now.

Live Traffic can be bought in the UK, Germany, Netherlands, Spain and USA. It reports incidents and can avoid them by recalculating routes. The service is payable.

Live Fuel can be bought in UK, Germany, France, Italy and Spain. You will be updated with the latest fuel prices here of course.

Live Local Search, looking for a product or service when going home? Just type it, and CoPilot Live will search the Internet for the best local results. It will be sold in UK, France, Italy and Spain.

So far the Live Services. Other things not mentioned in the review before are: Map Display, map rotation can be set to heading up, north up, show turn direction.

Detailed GPS info can be viewed, with time and elevation. In walking mode you can drop breadcrumbs. Tunnel support is there also. The info bar is tunable to be single, double, loop single with a lot to choose from. In Demo Mode you can preview your route, with adjustable speed options amongst others. You can view your licenses and upgrade them.

Ah, I did not mention the POI alert yet. You can be warned when entering a POI you choose within a selectable range from 200 meters till 25 KMs.

Almost Forgot to mention that the app restarts after incoming phone calls.

Winner: CoPilot Live

20. Price

• TomTom: 99,99 Euro for the Western Europe edition.

• CoPilot Live: 79,99 Euro for the Europe edition

Winner: CoPilot Live, you get more for paying less.

And the winner is…

If we count the points, there is a very clear winner, CoPilot Live, the new kid on the block beats TomTom with 16 out of 20 points! TomTom only scores 2 points. There are 2 draws.

CoPilot Live is worth every cent. CoPilot is a joy to use, to look at and it has done a very good job, knowing that this is the first release and knowing that it even can be improved with the upcoming Live services and app updates.

TomTom maps look a bit old fashion to me. The not so fluent animation of the map and the impression that it is late with map updating has been solved in version 1.2, they have installed a GPS Enhancer technology, it compensates for any delays or inaccuracies in your location. This feature can be switched off.

The interface is good designed, it follows the iPhone GUI guidelines, you do not have to learn new controls.

The good thing of choosing TomTom is that it has proven already many customers right for many years. If you are on the road for many many miles daily, maybe TomTom can do you good with the IQ routes and the options to calculate alternative routes. I must admit that TomTom is getting a more mature since version.

I think that the GPS apps camps are being made. The Map Technology for TomTom, Sygic and Ndrive is TeleAtlas, which are being updated by google maps users, and the other apps like iGO My way, Navigon, CoPilot Live and Magellan RoadMate,which uses NAVTEQ. CoPilot changes the game by delivering Live Services and adding extra value to our mobile living rooms.

CoPilot Live Europe 4.5 stars

Why do I rate it better than the NA Edition, well it has more features and works very smooth!

iPhonetunes -

Change log:

Sept 08, 2009: Initial version, removed POI bug of the NA release.

Nov 23, 2009: Added TTS support for TomTom version 1.2 in feature 8, voice and sound. Added Lane Road Indication in feature 13, Sign Posts. Update feature 14, lane assistance. Updated feature 18, iPod integration. Changed conclusion and ratings.


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