Western) Europe Edition version 1.0.0 with Sygic Mobile Maps 2009 Europe 7.71 build 5913 D, map version 7.80, both are turn-by-turn GPS applications.

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Tuesday, August 18, 2009
iPhoneTunes review: iGO VS Sygic - All features compared [Update4]
iPhoneTunes review: iGO VS Sygic - All features compared [Update4]

iPhone apps

A little while ago, I compared the Turn-By-Turn Voice Guided GPS applications, Navigon MobileNavigator Europe with Sygic Mobile Maps Europe. The article is quite a success and will get a follow-up in a little week, when I am back from my holidays. In the mean time there is another competitor on the market called iGO, they released the Europe edition and the Western Europe edition. I bought the last one and compared it to the winner of last time Sygic Mobile Maps 2009 Europe 8.06 build R-10376 MD, map version 7.80 (which has beaten Navigon badly).

Remember that Sygic uses the map technologies of TeleAtlas (TomTom) and iGO My way from NAVTEQ like Navigon is using.

Everyone is eager to know more about the iGO My way app which is apparently graphically stunning. Can it beat Sygic? Keep reading to know more about our hands-on experience with both apps. [Update 3, I have updated the pictures to be shot at the same location, for better comparisation.]

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1. Display dimensions

• iGO: Map real estate: 255 px height plus 45 px transparent border in the top which makes it 300 px in total and 480 px width, map can be displayed in portrait or landscape. Installation size is 1.01 GB for the Western Europe Edition and Installation size is 1.39 GB for the Europe edition.

• Sygic: Map real estate: 240 px height and 480 px width, map can be displayed in portrait or landscape. Installation size is 1.81 GB

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Note the bigger map screen estate for iGO and their transparent title bar (image left).

Winner: iGO

2. Street name display

• iGO is is displaying the street names horizontal in a big white box with a half arrow pointing to the street, the street you are in is displayed in the transparent title bar.

• Sygic is displaying the street names horizontal with a little arrow pointing to the street, the current street is displayed in a black transparent box.

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Note the white box around the street name for iGO, while transparent for Sygic.

Winner: Draw

3. Map zoom (Driving and stand alone)

• iGO displays a little white hand on the right side of the screen, when you tap it, you have the plus and minus symbols for zoom of the map, left, right, up and down arrows to manipulate the view of the map, also a compass arrow to switch to North-Up view. When you tap the “My Route” main bar, you see the map with your route projected. This map you can zoom in and out with the pinch method. Here you can also see mountain areas realistically displayed.

• Sygic has the conventional plus and minus sign on the main display which is better to use while driving. When you select: Browse map, there is a slider to the right of the screen, which also works quite pleasant. Since the last version they also support Pinch to zoom.

Winner: Sygic, for having it on the main display while driving, although iGO has more options.

4. Navigate to

• iGO has a destination bar with the following options; Find Address, Find Places (POI), Find on Map, Favorites, History. When you have to key in names, it is very pleasantly done with a sound when you are in the end of the database with the last options left to choose from.

• Sygic gives you the ability to select from Address/Postal code, Favorite, History, Contacts, Home, Point on Map, Hotel, Restaurant, POI, enter GPS position, Last Valid Position.

Winner: Sygic

5. 2D map

• iGO, while navigating in 3D mode and you tap the screen, you have the option to put it in to 2D mode. Also you can select far, close and normal.

• Sygic is showing you the main menu whenever you type the screen while navigating in 3D mode, the select settings and then “Set to 2D (flat) view”

Winner: Draw

6. 3D map

• iGO has two 3D views; 3D and 3D plus. 3D plus also shows buildings while 3D not. Both views look to me somewhere between 2D and 3D, I almost never see the horizon. Only when I engaged mountains it tends to show more of the horizon and sky. On the plus side, it uses 3D landmarks from Nav N Go Kft, this is a nice extra while driving in a city.

[Update1] 18.08.2009 Later I noticed that the 3D view is better while driving fast, in the city it transforms almost to a 2D view. This is automatically done by the Smart Zoom feature. Because iGO has a title bar with the street name, it probably covers a bit the sky which takes away the 3D effect. My suggestion to the iGO developers, move the title bar (or it’s info) to the bottom of the screen, and or make Smart View selectable.

• Sygic has ‘only’ 3D view but it does what it promises. A nice 3D view where you see the horizon and sky which gives a realistic sensation while driving.

Winner: Sygic, it has a better 3D view.

7. Night view

• iGO switches automatically between day and night view, there is an option to change this manually. It works very fast, even in tunnels it switches right away and furthermore all buildings disappear, large objects (such as surface waters or forests) and empty areas between roads become black.

• Sygic does this also alone, it changes colors when it gets darker and you have the option to overrule the settings.

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Sygic adjusted this automatically and keeps changing when it is more dark.

Winner: Draw

8. Voice and sound

• iGO has the following voices for the West European version: (both male and female) which are user selectable in 13 languages; Catalan, Danish, Dutch, English (UK), Flemish, French, German, Italian,  Norwegian, Portuguese, Spanish, Suomi and Swedish. Furthermore it uses a little attention sound before the voice starts to speak.

[Update2] 18.08.2009 In the European package iGO features 29 languages.

• Sygic has the “Disable sounds” options in the Settings menu and also the “select voice prompts” option with live preview, the voice changes sex per country, UK has Simon while Nederlands has Maria. 18 Languages in total: Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hungarian, Italian, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Slovak, Slovene, Spanish, Swedish.

Winner: iGO, supports more languages in the European Edition.

9. Maps of Europe

• iGO has 40 countries but does not have the map of Malta.

• Sygic does not have the map of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Cyprus, Greece, Montenegro, Romania, Serbia, Turkey and Ukraine.
Winner: iGO

10. Speed control

• iGO has an option in the settings menu, called “Warn when speeding”. It sometimes showed me a speed sign on the right of the screen when I was speeding on a road where I could drive 50 only. It does not constantly show the speed sign.

• Sygic routes you to the advanced options to switch “enable max speed warning” and “enable warning sound” on or off, after this you can even choose between 10 different sound. The threshold goes from -25 in steps of 5 km/h till • 50 both for inside and outside Build-Up areas. The location of the speed is depending where you put it as a preference.

Winner: Sygic, because it is more tunable and always shows the maximum speed plus your current speed.

11. Safety cameras

• iGO does have safety camera warnings, but it is only displayed in the preferences when you are in an active route. I have not seen any yet but I will keep testing this and update it later.

• Sygic gives you the choice with warning sounds and to show the radars on the map or not, with a special sound to choose from (10 different ones). The threshold goes from -25 in steps of 5 km/h till • 50 both for inside and outside Build-Up areas.

Winner: Sygic

12. Planning prefs

• iGO gives you these preferences: Fast, Short, Economical and Easy. Methods of routing are Car, Pedestrian, Bicycle, Emergency, Bus and Taxi. Allow/Avoid/Forbid: Motorways,Per-use Toll , Period Charge (roads where you can purchase a pass or vignette to use the road for a longer period of time)  , Ferries, Unpaved Roads. It also has the option to compare the first 4 profiles graphically (fast, short, economical and easy) which is very nice.

Two preferences need more explanation:
Economical combines the benefits of Fast and Short: iGO calculates as if it were calculating the Fast route, but it takes other roads as well to save
fuel. Easy results in a route with fewer turns and no difficult maneuvers. With this option, you can make iGO to take, for example, the freeway instead of series of smaller roads or streets.

 

• Sygic offers Fastest, economic, shortest, pedestrian, bicycle route computation. Toll roads: avoid, don’t avoid, ask me every time.

Winner: iGO

13. Sign Posts

• iGO displays sign posts big on the top of the screen, when there are 2 sign posts the one to follow is in clear light bluen/gree and the one to avoid in dark blue/green.

• Sygic calls this Signpost which has the following settings: All directions, preferred directions and disable info. Show it Full, Simplified of Single line. The sign post is shown on the top of the screen but rather small.

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Note the very realistic view for iGo, Sygic does it different with a red cross through the exit not to take.

Winner: iGO is better viewable although Sygic has more configurable options.

14. Lane assistant

• iGO has a big graphic overlay in the top center of the screen with the lanes to follow in dark orange.

• Sygic gives the option to enable/disable this feature and it is shown on the lower left part of the screen a bit smaller with green colors for the acceptable lanes to drive.

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Note the big lane overlay for iGo (image left), while Sygic shows the lanes small in the left corner (right image).

Winner: iGO, you see it better.

15. POI

• iGO has an option in the destination feature, called “find places”, with 4 main categories; Petrol station, Restaurant, Parking and Other places (the first 3 are displayed by default while driving). When selecting others, you get a nice picture with the these sub options; In a city, Around destination, Along route and Around here. Once you have made up your mind you will get the following sub categories: Accommodation, Airport, Business, Cafe/Bar, Car Dealer/Repair, Car Rental, Communication, Community, Finance, Leisure, Medical, Parking, Petrol Station, Restaurant, Shopping, Sport, Tourist Attractions, and transportation. When you are driving they are all displayed in a blue balloon, which makes it a bit difficult to see the difference between them.

One disadvantage here is that you can not tap the phone numbers to dial them.

• Sygic has in the main menu, Manage POI, with the following options: Add POI, Edit POI name, Delete POI, Delete POI category, Show/hide POIs, warn when near POI. When you want to get details you have to go to, Navigate to, POI and then select: Near my position, Near address, Near destination, POI in City. It has the following main categories: Airports, Border Crossing, Culture, Emergency, Entertainment, Financials Business, Food, Health / Care, Hospital / Polyclinic, Hotel or Motel, Parking, Petrol Station, Public Services, School / Education, Shopping, Sport, Transport Station, Vehicle Services. These also with many subcategories.

Winner: Sygic, it has more options in general with POIs and are better viewable.

16. Itinerary

• iGO does not support this.

•Sygic does this more sophisticated. You choose Itinerary from the main menu. Here you can select the plus symbol • to add your start address and afterwards as many Waypoints you like. Once you selected an already chosen Waypoint, you can change it’s property to: Set as visited, Set as finish point, add nearby POI, delete, Move up and Move down. Especially the last 2 options are useful.

After this you still have the options menu for Optimizing itinerary, Rename itinerary and delete itinerary. Once all is select, press Done to have it calculated. Now you get a detail option to again avoid Toll and Motor-ways, and the option to see all the intermediate Waypoint details as well as the totals. Also nice to zoom in and out of the map now to control your route although when you touch the screen to pinch like in Navigon you will go to the main menu, where you have to choose Route: Show on map, or Show Route Instructions, Show Route As Images, Show Route Summary, Show Route Demo or Cancel Route.

Winner: Sygic

17. Others

• iGO starts with a configuration wizard (also re-selectable afterwards) which lets you configure the most important settings, like language and voice, local info like time format, units and route preferences.

Once you have selected a route, you get “more options” where you can select “Simulate Navigation” to have a preview of what will come your way. Also a nice option is that you can select your cursor via a “3D Vehicle Gallery” which give the feeling of a computer game and is quite funny. You can change colors and themes, but only day and night is supported yet. Maybe in the future there will be more themes available. You can also select a manual starting point, see which 3D landmarks (Nav N Go Kft.), Elevations (SRTM data V3), maps (NAVTEQ) and places (NAVTEQ) are used and reset all to defaults. In the about menu, you see your license number, the app version and the SWID and of course the Credits.

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iGO supports a boost function. When selected, it boosts the sound volume of the device. All sounds of the application are affected.

Also they have a nice “where Am I” button which opens a special screen with information about the current position and a button to search for nearby emergency or roadside assistance.

• Sygic has an extensive option called Alternative Route with the following options. Compute Alternative, Avoid Next…, Travel via…, Reset to original, Avoid traffic delays. Also there is much more here like Memorize Position, Set Language, Keyboard settings, Regional settings (KM/Miles, hour, date, coordinates, Quick Guides, warn if railway crossing (can save your life), enable auto-zoom, avoid U-turns. Backlight settings, Panel display options: Avg. speed, current speed, elevation, length of route, distance to destinations, remaining time to destination, time of day, time of arrival, GPS signal indicator.

Also extra apps like: World Clock, Calculator, Unit converter and Country info (very useful when traveling, shows max speeds per country and help numbers.)

Since version 8.06 they implemented also QWERTY keyboard. Also new is the Police traps and incidents reporting, which is a community thing in which you can participate (just press the bottom of the screen while navigating). I have the impression that the screen updates go even smoother now while driving.

Winner: Sygic

18. Price

• iGO: 74,99 Euros for the Europe edition and 62,99 Euros for the Western Europe edition.

• Sygic : 49,99 Euros.

Winner: Sygic, Sygic for the full European edition.

Conclusion

Sygic is winning this head-to-head compare review clearly with 9 out of 18 points while iGO only has scored 6 points, and there were 3 draws.

Which one should you buy?

Like in the last compare article, this is a little bit more difficult to answer. For the moment I would say clearly Sygic. But consider the following of the conclusion.

Sygic has the advantage of using the most up-to-date maps. According to my personal experience in the last 3000 Kilometers done through Western Europe, and do not forget that these maps are updated by the google maps users which uses the same technology (at least for the next 4 more years while the contract between TeleAtlas and Google runs).

A negative point for me was that iGO talks a lot, which can be annoying while listing to music in the car, this should be configurable IMHO. Also sometimes I experienced that the application was not restarting, while on power cord in the car, and another time I got this mixed up graphic which was hanging.

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iGO was teasing me with these 3D landmarks, but in practice you only see a few in the big cities so this is not a selling point for me. Sygic gives me a more realistic 3D view all the time.

The positive points of iGO are the nice round-about graphic overlay with a number inside for the exit to take. In general it tries to give the maximum screen estate with show and hide options for arrival time, distance and time left. Also the main menus are using the Core Animation features form OSX very nicely.

That does not mean that it can beat Sygic yet, which has far more features and configurable options. If you do not need all these extra features, iGO could be for you. Also if you only travel in Western Europe the price difference can be a reason to choose for iGO.

Sygic could learn from the interface design from iGO, to stay ahead in the future.

 

Change log.

Sept 3, 2009. Sygic’s promotion of 74,99 Euro has ended.
March 15, 2010. Updated Sygic’s images with version 8.06, map version 7.80 and updated Sygic improvements.




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