I mentioned recently a free navigation app which I had installed on the Huawei which I had planned to review – the app was a free one called MapFactor. However, after using it for a time I found that the OpenSource maps weren’t as recent or as accurate as I had hoped, so I started looking for a better one.
We recently spent time up in North Queensland and I decided to try another GPS app that had received good reviews – Co-Pilot GPS. The app gives you all the features of the full app for 14 days to try out and I downloaded the Australian map – NZ is included free as I guess the makers think NZ is another state in Australia, sorry fellow kiwis! We then set off in our rental car to explore the Cairns and Port Douglas area. Later we used it to navigate the nightmare that is Sydney city roads and in both cases had no problems at all apart from the tunnels which it seems every GPS has problems with.
I was so impressed that I paid for (well I thought I had, more on this later) the Premium version and it has now replaced our aging TomTom as the primary navigation device when we travel on previously untravelled routes.
The voice guided turn by turn navigation and lane guidance feature is great and customisable to suit your preferences. There is a TTS voice included (this reads the street names aloud – sometimes hilariously) but there is a reasonable range of voices available in the app. The Aussie female voice drives me nuts though I have to admit. I have had the app running at the same time as I was listening to a podcast (a tech audio show I downloaded using Podkicker – yes, another great app that I’ll have to review soon) and my Huawei Ascend happily ran both simultaneously. The Huawei isn’t exactly a top end phone so the app should run well on most modern Android phones and tablets.
One issue that I have though, is that I paid for the upgrade within the app but it appears that my app is now called Co-Pilot Live not ‘Co-Pilot Premium’ so the free Active Traffic for 12 months is not available unless I upgrade again. I have exchanged 6 or 7 emails with the app maker in the UK attempting to transfer the licence across to the the Co-Pilot Premium AUS/NZ app which is the one I should have purchased – all to no avail – even though I offered to pay any price difference. Like many companies that provide ‘support’ staff, I don’t think any of them actually ever read my carefully worded pleas for help and I just received what seemed to be standard ‘one line support answers’. I was even told by one support person that I should pay for it within the app, which of course I already told them I had done so and this was the problem. So I don’t know if the other ‘premium’ app is worth getting for the Active Traffic feature which of course requires a mobile internet connection to work. I personally wouldn’t use this so I’m happy enough to stay with what I have.
This is the only problem that I have struck however and the app does what I want it to do so far – which is get me to where I want to go and have regularly updated maps, which it is supposed to do so for the life of the app. I’ll edit the review in 6 months or so to report if the expected map update does in fact become available. Co-Pilot is available for the US, Europe, South Africa and other regions so it is usable basically world-wide. Maps aren’t that expensive either so it can be used when touring overseas.
Just please remember to uninstall the free version after the 14 day trial is over then buy the appropriate version for the region you want from the Play Store! If you are looking for a GPS app that just works then I can recommend Co-Pilot Live.
Price : FREE Trial then approx AUS$30
Size : 40Mb plus free SD storage space for downloaded maps
Needs : Android 2.2+