iPhone GPS apps review and compare

We test nine turn-by-turn voice navigation apps for the iPhone.
 
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04.What to look for

Because the iPhone hardware is the same, the differences in how the app looks and performs all depend on the app itself. Some of the apps have free, limited, trials on the app store you can use to see if they suit you, but in lieu of these use our table as a guide. Look for the following features:
  • Ease of use – how easy it is to use the menus to enter route information using the onscreen keyboard, navigate menus, and configure the app to your liking.
  • Display clarity – how easy it is to see and understand the graphics, text and symbols used. Do the colours used make it easy to distinguish details at a glance?
  • Trip planning - Does the app offer offline planning and route preview to help plan a trip before actually taking to the road? Can you create multiple routes and save them to suit your preferences? Can you nominate a destination from Contacts or a Google search?
  • Points of interest – What sorts of points of interest are displayed? Can you find petrol and parking easily? Can you add your own?
  • Size and clarity - of the figure indicating the distance to the next turn (e.g. 500m) and if there are any other progressive indicators that can help judge distance.
  • Speed limit indicator – does it have visual and audio cues for speed limits?
  • Spoken voice - Is the voice loud enough, clear and easy to understand? Are other voices available, male and female? Are street names pronounced, making it easier when turning?
  • iPod control – to lower the volume of or pause playback for music and audio books while verbal instructions are given.
  • Help files. Does the app provide help files within the program? Is there a manual available for download from the website?

 

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