Are sat nav apps any good? If so which ones?

(10 Posts)
Whydobabiescry Mon 18-Feb-13 09:49:00

Dh had his sat nav stolen from the car (because he's and arse and left it on the seat!). We've managed without me for a few months mainly because we haven't been anywhere. He's now changed jobs and could do with one again but I'm reluctant to part with lots of cash for him to get it nicked again.

He's got an iPhone 4S and I've seen lots for say nav apps some like Tomtom are pricey and others are free. Has anyone used any of these on iPhone 4S and are they any good? Is it better to buy the Tomtom app or do the free ones work as well? Do they eat up the battery and what happens when there's no coverage? He pretty much uses all his data usage most months so that is another consideration.

Lots of questions I know, but I figure that the collective experience of MN can help me avoid an expensive mistake.

Thistledew Mon 18-Feb-13 10:35:04

DP and I both have the TomTom app for iPhone.

We found that you really need to use it in a SatNav cradle to boost the GPS signal, otherwise the display lags slightly behind your position, which makes navigating busy towns a problem. Also, with the cradle you don't get data blackout spots, which you will get without it. With the cradle, the phone is just as good as any purpose built Satnav.

I don't find the TomTom app particularly intuitive to use, but I really only use it less than once a month so would get to know it better if I used it more often.

NicholasTeakozy Mon 18-Feb-13 10:52:32

You can get Ovi Maps on iOS. This is Nokia's system, used by many a geocacher in conjunction with Trimble's app (not needed to go from A-B).

AGiddyKipperInOneHand Mon 18-Feb-13 15:35:55

Marking place as I would really like some advice on a good sat nav to buy too (not on my phone though).

mermaidbutmytailfelloff Mon 18-Feb-13 15:42:09

I use navfree app, and it is fine for a freebie. It's never got me lost though occasionally used an imaginative route.

nannynick Mon 18-Feb-13 18:07:22

I have used WAZE for over a year now. I find it to be pretty reliable and it gives details of traffic issues which is a bonus. Downside is that you need a net connection all the time, which can be a bit of an issue driving in some areas. It does cache maps but if it does not get a signal for a long time you eventually drive off the map.

nannynick Mon 18-Feb-13 18:10:32

If he's already using up his data usage, then an in-car sat nav unit may be needed. Or do any of the apps download the entire map data (such as when on WiFi)?

WildRumpus Mon 18-Feb-13 18:23:15

The TomTom app is very good. Doesn't use your data just your GPS. We have used our abroad a number of times when data roaming turned off so I know for sure it uses no data. Unless you subscribe to traffic updates that is. We have found it well worth the £43 we spent on it. Much better than spending 3x more on an actual Tom Tom. We do keep the phone plugged in to the cigarette lighter to keep the battery charge up on long journeys.

PedroPonyLikesCrisps Mon 18-Feb-13 18:54:17

Can you get the new Google Maps app on the 4S? I always use Google navigation, I've tried most of the free apps (on Android, but they're mostly the same on iOS) and they are all pants compared to Google.

Whydobabiescry Mon 18-Feb-13 21:15:41

Thanks for all the suggestions I think I'll get the Tomtom app, it's on offer at the moment at £30 and on balance I think it will do the trick. I want one on his phone as he's less likely to leave it in the car.

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