For all the iPhone users out there, the MapmyIndia Telenav app is something you should get, if you use maps to find the way. Excellent navigation, with a simple to use interface - critical to get even the basic users to start using the app. Unfortunately, you do pay a premium for the voice navigation service - USD 3.99 per month or USD 29.99 per year. However, you do not pay for map updates, which will come in for free as soon as they are updated.
For all those lucky people who use an iPhone, the MapmyIndia Telenav app is probably something that will interest you – if you need navigation guidance thanks to a general lack of directional sense. Or simply if you visit new places regularly. The app is now available on the Apple App Store, and you can select a subscription method – monthly or yearly.
Having tested a bunch of GPS devices recently, we could easily compare this app to what a dedicated gadget would offer, and the result was impressive.
The interface is clean, and you really cannot get lost in this. Option to switch between 2D and 3D maps. Navigation wise, you have the same feature set – search for where you want to go or use the POI list to select a destination. This app also has the address search capabilities. On the home screen are the options for Drive To, Search, Maps and Tools & Extras. Drive To is the option to select when you need to head to a destination that you may have already set as a Favorite, addresses for contacts in the phone, enter an address to start navigation and search the pre-listed business houses – hotels, health services etc. A very thoughtful addition is the prelisted entries for the airport!
Typical of most devices, you can set a Home address over and above the favourites list. Additionally, there is a shake-to-go address – set this address, open the app, shake the phone steadily a couple of times and the navigation starts. You can also manage music playback via the manage iPod, even in the midst of navigation.
Like their navigation devices, MapmyIndia also offers the 2D and 3D maps option with this app. However, the big difference is that the maps on this app are a bare minimum – focus on roads, with very minimal landmarks, buildings etc. marked. The idea is to keep the map as light as possible, for usage on 2G and 3G networks, but gives you a rough idea of the topography. We were testing this on a 2G network, and it took anywhere between 5 seconds and 10 seconds for the map to load, assuming that the phone’s GPS is already on. As far as guidance capabilities are concerned, it lacks nothing that a standalone GPS device would have, including a stern voice to guide you along! The fact that this focuses primarily on the roads makes a one-glance-for-info scenario much more comfortable – very helpful when you need to get your eyes back on the road very quickly. We tested it on a couple of routes, similar to the ones we used for the GPS device comparison test, and the Telenav app was impressive. The map layout and colour theme makes it very clear to see which road you are taking, and where you need to go next. For the most part, even slight curves on the road were well marked. However, because it has literally no buildings or landmarks on the map, you will not have any prior idea if the destination is approaching, by just identifying the landmarks. Rerouting is also quite quick – usually around 4-5 seconds for plotting.
You cannot tweak that too much – there is only one option available and that is English. However, it would be nice if the lady directing us didn’t sound like a penitentiary warden. This is a humble request to anyone and everyone who has any stake in the navigation business – we would appreciate it if the voice directing us didn’t sound like it was “accept or you die” kind of a tone!
For a 25km distance, the iPhone used 20% charge on an average. But it did become considerably warm, mainly because the app is keeping the GPS in constant connection, even when minimized.
Once during testing, we hooked it up to the windshield mount, and the device did become extremely warm. For the second leg of the journey, we kept it on the passenger seat, and it was a better scenario overall – navigation worked perfectly normally and the device was warm, but considerably lesser than when on the windshield.
This app can be downloaded for free, but subscription options are available on a monthly and an annual basis – US$ 3.99 per month and/or US$ 29.99 per annum. But technically, this is only for voice navigation, since users can continue using this app beyond the subscription period, for navigation but without voice guidance.
For all the iPhone users out there, the MapmyIndia Telenav app is something you should get, if you use maps to find the way. Excellent navigation, with a simple to use interface – critical to get even the basic users to start using the app. Unfortunately, you do pay a premium for the voice navigation service – US$ 3.99 per month or US$ 29.99 per year. However, you do not pay for map updates, which will come in for free as soon as they are updated.
Price: US$ 29.99 (~ Rs. 1,600)
Download: Available for download via the Apple App store, here.