MobileNavigator Europe 1.1.0 build 32420090716172210 with iGO My way 2009 (Western) Europe Edition version 1.0.0 , both are Turn-By-Turn Voice Guided GPS applications.

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Wednesday, August 19, 2009
iPhoneTunes review: Navigon VS iGO - All features compared [update2]
iPhoneTunes review: Navigon VS iGO - All features compared [update2]

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 very popular.

In the mean time there came another competitor on the market called iGO My way, they released the Europe edition and the Western Europe edition. I compared it with the winner of last time Sygic which you can read here.

Now it is time to compare Navigon with iGO My way, which both uses the map technologies of NAVTEQ. In the our next review of GPS apps series, we most likely will see the newly released TomTom against Sygic.

Can the newcomer iGO beat Navigon with it’s fancy graphics and cool interface? Keep reading to know more about our hands-on experience with both apps.

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1. Display dimensions and size

• Navigon: Map real estate: 225 px height and 480 px width, map can be displayed in portrait or landscape. Installation size is 1.67 GB.

• 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.

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Note the bigger map screen estate for iGO (image right).

Winner: iGO

2. Street name display

• Navigon is putting the street names across the streets, even when they are diagonal displayed. This makes it quite difficult to read from time to time, but you can switch it off, then it only shows the street you are driving in.

• 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.

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Note the clutter of street names with Navigon (image left).

Winner: iGO for readability.

3. Map zoom (Driving and stand alone)

• Navigon needs pinch with two fingers to zoom in and out, like with regular photos / images on the iPhone. Also when you select: show map, it works like this.

• 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.

Winner: iGO, it has more options and is better done with buttons.

4. Navigate to

• Navigon opens the screen with the options, Enter an Address, Search POI, Take me Home, Show Map (where you can point a destination). Favorites, Recent and Contacts are in the bottom menu.

• 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. Also you can key in zip codes.

Winner: Navigon, it supports Contacts and Take Me Home.

5. 2D map

• Navigon is showing you the 2D map as soon as you tap the screen while navigating in 3D mode.

• 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.

Winner: Navigon

6. 3D map

• Navigon has supports 3D view and does it very good. A nice 3D view where you see the horizon and sky which gives a superb sensation while driving. It even beats Sygic with this IMHO.

• 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.

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.

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

7. Night view

Navigon has the option to switch to night view, you just select More - Options - Night Mode ON/OFF.
[Update1] Navigon has fixed this in the latest update 1.2.0. It switches automatically now.

• 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.

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Note that iGO (image right) adjusted this automatically while with Navigon I had to manually switch (image left).

Winner: draw

8. Voice and sound

• Navigon has a slider in the preferences menu to select the volume of the voice. The software selects automatically the language of how your iPhone is configured. This is sometimes annoying for people who prefer the iPhone language to be in English and but want the GPS voice in their native language. In total 19 languages are supported. Check to see if your language is in the list: Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Italian, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Slovak, Spanish, Swedish, Turkish.

• 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.

Winner: iGO, it supports all European languages.

9. Maps of Europe

• Navigon does not have the map of Malta and Moldavia.

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

Winner: iGO

10. Speed control

• Navigon can set the threshold in steps of 5 km/h from 5 to 35 km/h, or disable. This in Build-Up areas and outside Build-Up areas, with acoustic warnings. The current speed is constantly shown in the top center of the screen which is good readable.

• 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.

Winner: Navigon, it is more clear what it does and configurable.

11. Safety cameras

• Navigon gives the choice to enable them and even un-install them, this probably for legal reasons in some countries.

• 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.

Winner: Navigon for now but note that it can change when I test more.

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Note that Navigon shows an animated red circle around the flash pole, and a camera in the speed sign on the right of the screen

12. Planning prefs

• Navigon has Speed profile: Motorbike, Lorry, Bicycle and Pedestrian. Type of route: Fast, Optimum, Short and Scenic. Allow/Avoid/Forbid: Motorways, Toll roads and Ferries. Resident only streets forbid or allow.

Here is the meaning I found in another Navigon user manual;
Motorcycle: Bendy routes are preferred.
Truck: Avoid through streets as much as possible.
Bicycle: One-way streets are often inapplicable to cyclists.
Pedestrian: Traffic regulations that apply only to vehicles are not taken into consideration.

• 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.


Winner: iGO, it has a few more option.

13. Sign Posts

• Navigon shows by default the Real Sign Posts and they are big and very clear on the top of the screen (see image below left).

• 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.

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Note the very realistic view for Navigon.

Winner: Navigon, it shows the Posts realistic (although iGO does also a real good job here).

14. Lane assistant

• Navigon has this enabled by default and it shows on the right bottom corner of the screen with a clear graphic and an arrow for the preferred lane, also when there is a Sign Post at the same time it is in full screen (see image below left). It uses Reality View Pro technology from ZENREIN EUROPE Gmbg, Reality View Pro displays important traffic points in photo quality (motorway interchanges and exits).

• iGO has a big graphic overlay in the top center of the screen with the lanes to follow in dark orange (see example in point 7 night view, image to the right).

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Winner: Draw, Navigon and iGO show it very precise and good viewable both their own way.

15. POI

• Navigon gives you on the home screen: Search POI, with the following options: In a city, Nationwide and Nearby. With the following categories: ATM, Automotive Dealers and services,  Bank, Business Facility, Car rental, Government Office, Petrol station, Parking, Post Office, Restaurant, Shopping, Tourist / Nature. They also have a lot of sub categories. In total there are 2 million POIs. By default these are all enabled and can be filtered out in the options menu. You can call them after selecting the phone number. There is a feature called Direct Access for 3 POIs in options, I did not understand this feature, I found this movie on YouTube, but on the iPhone I do not find these 3 items in the “Enter Address” menu. You can also add a POI or add one to your favorites.

• 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.

[Update] A plus point is that the display of which POIs are displayed, changes automatically when choosing a different route profile. For example when you switch from car to pedestrian, you see in stead of gas stations, Metro stations.

Winner: Navigon, Navigon displays them better (multi color), they probably use the same database from NAVTEQ.

16. Itinerary

• Navigon calls this Route. You can create a new Route, Last Route or Load Route, after which you have to select Route Points, via Enter an Address, Search for POI, Favorites and Recent destinations. The Address option is the most commonly used I suppose. So, build a list of intermediate Route Points here if you want to be sure that the GPS software takes you along your chosen way. You can delete Route Point like you delete emails. And finally press “Calculate the Route” to see it. Now you get the options to see the details (distance and time intervals) with the totals, change the route profile,  Save the Route and Simulation which is just a demo of this route.

• iGO does not support this.

Winner: Navigon

17. Others

• Navigon gives the option to change the bottom menu, change from miles to KM, save your GPS position, show GPS info, delete recent info and add or delete favorites.
[update2] Navigon has added iPod control, Text To Speech and Location sharing in their lastest release version 1.2.0. Click here to read about the details.

• 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.

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

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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.

Winner: iGO

18. Price

• Navigon: 99,99 Euro.

• iGO: 89,99 Euro for the Europe edition and 69,99 Euro for the Western Europe edition.

Winner: iGO

And the winner is…

[Update1] Well if we count the points, iGO is winning this review with has 8 points out of the total 18, while Navigon is running up very closely with has also 8 points out of 18 and there is are 2 draws. [Update], because of the auto night view of Navigon 1.2.0 the end result is a draw now.

So They are both very very very competitive.

Which one should you buy then? This is more difficult to answer.

A little 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.

We are helping iGO to isolate the problem and fix this issue at the moment, so this will most likely be solved in the next upgrade.

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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. Navigon gives me a more realistic 3D view all the time (like Sygic).

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. The 3D landmark support is a nice extra.

Navigon could also (yes you too Sygic) learn from the interface design from iGO, to stay ahead in the future.

I like from Navigon that you can constantly see the actual speed you are driving in the top of the screen and know what is the maximum speed allowed, iGO only shows that when you are cruising without a predefined route.

Navigon MobileNavigator Europe

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In the our next review of GPS apps series, we most likely will see the newly released TomTom against Sygic.

 

Change Log:

Aug 26, 2009.

* Updated the screenshots, which are taken at the same location for better comparability. This also resulted in the change of Point 14 “Lane assistance”, which I have changed from a winning point for Navigon to a draw. This has changed the end result a bit better for iGO.

Sept 3, 2009.

* Navigon’s promotion of 79,99 Euro has finished

* POIs change when changing profile automatically with iGO

Sept 6, 2009.

* Point 12, explained the speed profiles

Sept 29, 2009.

* [update1] Point 7 Night view has changed from a win for iGO to a draw because of the new version of Navigon 1.2.0, this has also changed the end result in a draw.

* [update2] Added the new features of Navigon MobileNavigator version 1.2.0.




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