App of the week: TomTom

By Brandon Kroeckel
October 27, 2010

Everybody who drives wishes they had a GPS to help guide them to their destination without any issue. There’s an app for that. TomTom for iPhone and iPod Touch can change just that. TomTom for iPhone is a full-fledged TomTom GPS on your mobile phone.

When you enter the application, you’re greeted with a clean and simple user interface that can be used in both portrait and landscape mode. The first option is your navigator. In this menu, you can tell the GPS to take you home, to a favorite address, an address not stored to your device, a recently entered destination, a local Google search, points of interest and more.

After entering your destination, TomTom automatically creates your route based on the shortest amount of traveling time. TomTom also recognizes toll roads and asks you if you want to avoid the toll roads.

Another nifty feature is that TomTom can speak street names. For example, I’m driving from Cabrini towards the Blue Route. The first set of instructions would say “turn right, King of Prussia road, then at the end of the road, turn left, US 30 East Lancaster avenue.”

TomTom also has a feature called lane guidance. Lane guidance helps the driver stay in the proper lane inside complex interchanges. With a computer rendered image of the intersection displayed on your device paired up with the audio directions that are given, confusing intersections have never been so simple.

TomTom also lets you listen to music while you drive without disturbing the audio directions. When playing music, TomTom fades the music out, gives you the directions and fades the music back in. Users can control their music using the built in controls within the application, or can enable multitasking and switch between the iPod and TomTom apps. Multitasking is only available on iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4 and the third and fourth generation iPod Touch.

TomTom will set you back 50 dollars, but with the features included compared to a standalone GPS, the price is worth it. TomTom also offers a traffic service within the app to help avoid traffic. That feature will set you back an additional 20 dollars per year. Updates for new roads and points of interests are free.

TomTom is compatible with all models of the iPhone and iPod Touch. iPod Touch and first generation iPhone users are required to use the TomTom car kit adaptor since the devices do not have a GPS chip built in. The iPod Touch car kit is 80 dollars and the iPhone version is 20 dollars more than the iPod Touch’s counterpart.

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Brandon Kroeckel

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