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slitchfield 01-06-2008 08:40 PM

Steve's Navigation Weekend of Frustrating Freebies
This is 2008 and, being away from home, I wanted to revisit some of the free satellite navigation applications that I'd previously played with over a year ago - surely one of them had developed into something that could get me home? Or is successful real time navigation still the preserve of the commercial applications like Nokia Maps, Wayfinder, CoPilot, etc.?

Read on in the full article.

bartmanekul 02-06-2008 08:25 AM

Cant say Im suprised, having very briefly tried some myself.

There are some very suspect 'tests' done by one of the free ones also, which claims popular paid for satnavs are dangerous.

Its at times like this nokia maps would start to become attractive. If someone is going to install a satnav program they dont use often, then the subscription method is surely going to be a no brainer.

Just a shame that the subscription options are so bad.

snoyt 02-06-2008 08:56 AM

I had good experiences with Nav4All on my N95-1. As does a friend of mine on the SE w800i and he is a regular user. Both were on GPRS networks though, but I don't think 3G it should matter. It also nice beeps when you are driving over the speed limit, boohoo Nokia Maps. You can also access the addresses from your phonebook in Nav4All. It gets you where you want to go. Still some backup like roadmaps should be in your car. If the service or cell-coverage is down, or your phone... But then, that is valid for all electronic gadgets.

I would suggest giving Nav4All a second try.

P.S. I found Amaze to be very poorly.

bartmanekul 02-06-2008 09:12 AM

Im afraid nav4all lost all credibility when I saw this linked to by their website:


Nav4All is superior in advanced tests: TomTom and Nokia Maps both got a negative buying advice.

I did ask them about how they went about these tests, but never got a reply.

And until recently, some of the domain registration information of and the domain of the site where the reports are held had some very similar information.

Funnily enough, just 2 days after I pointed it out it changed ;)

argh 02-06-2008 09:27 AM

In fairness, I don't think that Google Maps advertises itself as a navigation solution, just as maps (unless I've missed some list of functionality somewhere).

With their recent update adding diamond indicators at junctions though, they certainly look like they're getting there though. Features like map rotation (to make the direction you're heading always be "up" - should be quick and easy with OpenGL ES?) and some form of direction indicator when you are reaching junctions would provide good basic functionality.

100% in agreement on the option to have your current location set as the default start point for directions.

snoyt 02-06-2008 10:00 AM

nav4all vs. test
@bartmanekul: If you read the test it is very supicious. It contains a blatant pro Nav4All opinion. Really anyone should see this as misinformation, more so since no proper information about the institute or organisation that did the test is supplied. Any information from an unknown source should be treated with a healthy amount of scepsis ;-) That means you and me too!

Still any company that would stoop that low lacks any integrity. I wonder how they would treat your privacy.

There are PNA tests of the respected german ADAC which are more reliable. I think testing PNA in map details and routing in practice is rather difficult and time consuming I think. Mostly it would be judging userinterface, speed, stability, gps-accuracy and built quality. None however tested Nav4All or Nokia Maps.

wocius 02-06-2008 10:24 AM

I live in the U.S., and I have found Amaze to be impossibly slow. While Nav4All looks powerful (from its menu selection), it has several times announced that I had reached my destination when I was still 200 or 300 miles away!

Steve -- glad to see you're still using Sunrise by PiZero!

bartmanekul 02-06-2008 10:30 AM

@ snoyt
Indeed, and I have formed my own opinion of it, in addition to a very suspicious post on another forum which first got me checking.

There are an increasing number of free satnav solutions coming available, but none look to be anywhere near the quality of paid for ones.

snoyt 02-06-2008 11:42 AM

@bartmanekul: As far as 'free'navigation goes, nav4all is the best I have seen. If they have a viable buisiness model perhaps better more reliable solutions will be possible too. I can imagine google search making money from guiding people to real-life shops: Pay per visit, instead of pay per click.

@ Nokia Maps has send me twice into the wrong directions and I only could get back on track after a complete power off and reboot. But then so did my Garmin eTrexx Vista once or twice (not counting the time it was in the same pocket as the gsm). Luckily my built-in biological navigation system was not to shabby, telling me the north star was in the wrong place.

Unregistered 02-06-2008 02:36 PM

I've tried TomTom, Nokia Maps and Route66, all found wanting. If free options are not as good as these then there is no hope.

I've also found that and external (bluetooth) GPS receiver is essential, even if the N95 inbuilt can be used by the mapping software.

The mobile phone navigation is nearly there but not quite there yet.

Unregistered 02-06-2008 11:16 PM

Garmin XT is fantastic.

I recommend it over Nokia Maps for its ease of use, great accuracy and abundance of practical non-showy features.

It's never let me down once.

Unregistered 03-06-2008 07:14 AM

Garmin XT should be good for UKú90 !!!

wouterk 03-06-2008 08:42 AM

Nice little test but I think you've had some bad luck with Nav4all.

My experience with navigation programs and free navigation programs is as follows:

On a E61 (symbian)
Route66 works great
Wayfinder works great

On Motorola Q9 (Windows mobile smartphone)
Wayfinder works with some quirks but is usable
Nav4all works reasonably well

To tell some more about the last one:
The start up is a bit slow of Nav4all.
Adress search is very slow and sometimes there are problems with Nav4all and the querty keyboard of my Q9. A restart of the program solves this.
Navigation works very well on the Q9 and is pleasant. I like the speed warnings and the way (by arrows) the next junction is shown. For a free program it is definitely a
winner and it beats Wayfinder at the moment because of the small problems Wayfinder has with my Q9.
The best thing about both is that you'll always have the latest maps available. :)

Too bad Steve, you couldn't test Nav4all a bit more.

And by the way: The promotional research on the website of Nav4all is rubbish in my opinion. I've read the article and it doesn't make sense.


Unregistered 03-06-2008 03:31 PM

updating google maps route from GPS locaiton
it's still not great, but I see from GMM 2.1 to get an updated route from your current location when already displaying a route, you can press '0', Select, Arrow down ("Directions from here"), Select.

Unregistered 15-08-2008 06:08 AM

Nav4all/Amaze OK on Noikia E61 not on E61i
I have been using Nav4all, for preference, on the E61 with no problems and Amaze also works. However when I tried to install first one and then the other on a friend's E61i they gave the same error messages on route calculation ie "No GPRS 5" and "Communication Error".

We are both on mobile broadband. I am on 3 contract and his phone is on Vodafone contract.Really frustrating!

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