CHOICE membership

Car GPS and app reviews


#21

I can confirm neither my Garmin nor Tomtom products have any of those choices. :smiley:

With a simpler fail when I enter the local city of Eltham VIC for a POI search the Garmin usually starts with Eltham NSW although it obviously knows where I am in or near Eltham VIC


#22

There is nothing I like more than a good road trip, but I suspect that 1000+km testing in one trip will blow our testing budget out of the water :sweat_smile:. I’ll see if we can add something more to our bench test.


#23

My TomTom does the same ( in my case, listing locations in Vic or Qld as ‘first options’ when it knows I’m in NSW ) :thinking:


#24

Maybe they are hinting we all need to get out and about more?


#25

Here still not here! :smiley:

Here has been advertising the mobile apps recently, and Here traffic analytics reported in The Age a few days ago.


#26

Back from a USA drive using our phone & tablet for mostly offline navigation. There is no one best nav app.

Although having access to various apps, we found ourselves using Here, Waze & Google.
Neither routing or time estimations varied much between them.

The biggest driving nightmare was crossing Los Angeles labyrinth of freeways. How the various apps do the lane guidance and what information is displayed is very different. One may show an exit number, another the exit to road name. The freeway signs were occasionally inconsistent showing one or the other.
Lane guidance? My wife would frustrating say I’m in the wrong lane (“Google is very clear”) as I’m following a different Here lane guidance. Here’s guidance often required ‘situational interpretation’, whereas Google’s apparent clarity was not allways.

Here WeGo - Does most things reasonably well. Also used it for public transport. My preference for offline.
Search not as good as Waze, but goes online to search if available.

Waze - best in the city. Best spoken instructions. Best for live messages about incidents ahead. Fastest route update when you don’t follow instructions. Inconsistent & often wrong speed zones. Doesn’t describe some intersections as intersection if you are going straight through. Hides all extraneous detail so it looks simple. That’s good for some, but I like more information. Does some weird routings occasionally. No offline.

Google Maps - no speed, so I wouldn’t use it. Arguably the best lane guidance.

TomTom - ugly. Everything works, nothing special. Offline search is very limited. Has very small map files and lacks detail compared to the others.

Sygic - frustratingly the car hands free always wanted to dial out when Sygic was running. The sound connection was more important than using Sygic so we gave up on it.


#27

Dodgy ‘Lifetime’ marketing claims have been removed from TomTom, Garmin and Navman GPS devices.


#28

I wont use google maps, I really dont like Mr Google Knowing everything about where I go and when I go there. I used to like Waze until Google bought it. Metroview isnt bad, it uses the Here maps, but its got a godawful UI, ugly as sin. I’ve chosen to go with Navmii, which uses Open Streetmaps and is free worldwide. It costs very little to remove the ads (which are only in the backend anyway). There’s an annual fee for traffic but thats not much either. Its good value.


#29

In the smartphone age I feel a little old-fashioned using a traditional navigation device, however I have found that on the whole, a GPS is more accurate, less buggy and easier to use than a phone. For a quick look-up of an unknown destination in a familiar area, the phone is fine but when navigating an unknown area, give me a GPS any time.

My GPS of choice was the Tomtom and in December 2016 I received an email from them, advising:

"As we work tirelessly to launch new technologies and deliver a great customer experience, it has become clear that some of our first generation navigation devices do not have sufficient memory to store the newest maps and features available.

For this reason, we will stop sales of map updates and other services as of November 15, 2016. Your trusted device will still work perfectly but you will no longer be able to buy any further map update."

Fair enough. This was my first navigation device and it had served me well for around 7 years. The new device also came with lifetime free map updates, which was quite appealing.

I accepted a discounted replacement offer (around 30% off, from memory) and received a new Tomtom in January 2017.

April this year I received another email from Tomtom advising:

Due to the GPS Week Number Rollover (WNRO) that occurred on 6 April 2019, your navigation device will continue to navigate, but will not be able to show the correct time and estimated time of arrival (ETA).
_ _
We understand this situation is not ideal. We value you as a loyal customer and would like to offer a special discount to you.

I found more info on this “WNRO” here:
https://www.trimble.com/wnro/

So, after just over two years with my second Tomtom, I lose the luxury of accurate time and arrival estimations due to the device not being able to cope (or be upgradable to cope) with a known GPS “Week Number Rollover” that happens every 20 years.

I find it quite disingenuous of Tomtom to recommend and sell me a model that would be incompatible with the WNRO only two years later.

My “special discount” on this third Tomtom gets me a $300 device for $210, but as far as I can tell also will require a paid subscription for map updates (at $90/year).

What are other people’s experiences with GPS navigation devices? Are other companies like Garmin any better, or am I better off just persisting with my Android phone?


#30

I presume you downloaded the free update? Many GPS manufacturers have the same problem. It is a problem caused in the GPS satellite time keeping system.

I have Garmin and Tomtom products. There are serious irritations in each but I have become a Tomtom fan overall. It routes more accurately everywhere I have been, although once going into the USA from Canada a Tomtom crossed the bridge into the US and wanted to do a U turn back to Canada prior to continuing westward through the US state of Michigan to my destination.

Around Melbourne Garmin has little to commend it. The Tomtoms are a bit better by my value system. I am also moving this thread to an existing and related one.


#31

I’m curious about your comment. For my wife’s benefit, we’re thinking of getting a dedicated GPS again. Choice as the Garmin products well rated, so I’ve been looking at reviews & youtube for the navigation detail. Several features appeal. Edit: uses Here map data & traffic - refer below.

That’s Trimble, the new owners of CoPilot. It used to be one of the original premium nav apps, and the pro version claims to be used by Ambulance Victoria (still?). So can’t be too bad, can it? Of course download it & try. Quite a few features I like and some not. Supersonic recalculation on missed turn. Very clear position indicator. Extremely Clean uncluttered, very minimalist in voice commands. Can be very quiet, only announcing the non-obvious. Hopeless online search, via Yelp! The trial period is a miserable week, although it later gave me a further two weeks. A bit pricey too, otherwise it may be a contender.
Also tried Mapfactor because some positives above. First thoughts very ugly, but lots of customization and features. Unfortunately I couldn’t complete a route without it failing. Automatically changed the destination to somewhere back along the route. Will try a fresh version in coming months.

I keep coming back to Here WeGo. 75% owned by a German auto industry consortium. Here is/owns Navteq/Nokia maps. Can a German car driver advise if Here WeGo is similar to the in car nav?


#32

Assuming you are familiar with Melbourne, I routinely go from Eltham to Burwood. The sane route is down Fitzsimmons Ln->Williamsons Rd->Elgar. The Garmin wants to go down Blackburn or somewhere in that direction - never followed it! Not because of traffic!

Another standard route is a fairly straight route to the west but the Garmin wants to go on the ring road, a 7 km detour. Good enough for an intro? In comparison the Tomtoms (and google) always get it right.


#33

I still use my iPhone with a nav app if I want to get about, I dont have the need I used to, when I was working as a community mental health nurse and going to unfamiliar areas.

I used Sygic for ages, as far as I was concerned it beat all the others (including Tomtom and Navigon) hands down because it came fully specced with stuff like school zone warnings, speed cam and red light camera warnings, and overspeed warnings. I never ran red lights, but sometimes my speed would creep up and I liked being told to slow down. Those things cost extra in other apps. Sygic has gone the same way as the others, in decimating its original app which was great, into something which just isnt, and they want more money for it. Dont mind paying for map updates from time to time, but rebuying the whole app which I paid ~$80 for at release… nope.

so I currently use Navmii. Its a free app, and uses Openstreetmap for its maps (and I have found that to be relatively accurate). Also in finding inaccuracies, you are able to report those. Getting rid of ads costs a couple of dollars, and there are costs for additional voices etc but who can be bothered… I dont care to have Homer Simpson telling me where to go (you get my drift). I also have a speed camera subscription but probably wont bother renewing that after this year.

Some people use Waze but I lost interest in that after google bought it. They already know too much about me and where I go, I’m not handing it to them on a silver platter (and thats why I dont use google maps, either, though I used to)

I prefer to use my phone because I learned my lesson with a Mio in the very early days, and a Tomtom a bit later, to find they end up obsolete really quickly. Lifetime maps too, are pretty meaningless, if the companies no longer support the device.