back to article TomTom fights falling satnav sales with iPad app

TomTom has released an app for Apple's iPad as sales of its flagship personal navigation devices (PNDs) continue to fall. The Dutch firm already has an app on iPhone but said the new version, to be released in Autumn this year, would also be optimised for iPads. "Now customers have one App for all iOS devices," Corinne Vigreux …

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Windows

That's great

Let me know when you can have custom POIs again.

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Angel

I suggest you pester TomTom...

Apparently you can do custom POI files provided you have DiskAid (which accesses the file system on the iDevice directly), but whenever you update your app, you have to do it again.

I've raised this multiple times with TomTom... make your existing TomTom Home purchases accessible through the iDevice app (things like Traffic HD, voices, custom POIs), as well as more favourites (50 ain't enough if you've converted your POIs to favourites).

The more people pester them, the more they're likely to look into it.

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DiskAid

DiskAid? That's not to do with Bono is it?

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Facepalm

TomToms are great

TomTom PNDs are great, easily better than most phone based satnavs.. but by heck are those map updates expensive..

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Gave up waiting years ago...

I gave up waiting for the Android Tom Tom app years ago.

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FAIL

Title goes here

Years ago you say, Android has clearly been popular longer than I thought(!)

(Think before you type)

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Yes, years...

I've had an Android phone since late 2008.

I waited a year or so before giving up hope that it would be coming to Android any time soon.

So strictly speaking It hasn't been exactly two years since I gave up waiting. It was meant as a generalisation... an approximation. You can claim fail on that if it makes you happy. Although I guess it depends on your perspective. I mean if we are rounding to the nearest year then it would be closer to two years than one, so that would count as 'years' would it not?

That said It felt like a hell of a lot longer given that I was using Tom Tom Navigator for 'years' previously on Windows Mobile.

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Technological Convergence...

Is the name for this phenomenom...

Smart phones and "Fondleslabs" will eat the specialised item unless the specialised item has functionality and value which enables it to compete.

People are already using iPads in their cars with mounts for them to use as moving maps for driving and media players when stationary, although I'm pretty sure there are some stupid users out there who would watch video while driving...

TomTom have got to seriously work on the features of their hardware or else succumb to being just another app provider...

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Fantastic.....

Now instead of people going around with a third of their vision blocked by a TomTom in the middle of their windscreen they can effectively block even more of their sight by somehow mounting an iPad in the window.

I've only tried using an iPad (original) once for navigation, and the satellite reception was so poor I had to give up. The newer ones might have better reception - I couldn't say - but it couldn't be much worse.

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Alert

Out of interest

are there any satnavs which will use a BT headset to announce directions ? So that you can hear it over the radio/CD which the kids have on ?

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Re: "satnavs which will use a BT headset "

I don't know about BT Headset, but the TomTom Rider (designed for motorbikes) uses a bluetooth link to a Scala earpiece.

Only drawback is that they're about twice the price of the standard units because of the extra cost of the headset, waterproofing etc...

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Yes.

TomTom ones do that.

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tablet navigation

I velcro my 10" droid-based fondleslab to the dash, right over the radio (not needed) so it doesn't obscure the windshield. I use the built in google navigation and it is awesome! (best with mobile connection, though)

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Copilot does BT but.....

Copilot allows directions over BT, however I turn it off because the BT goes into standby all the time so you miss the start of the direction. Its ok if your playing music over BT to keep the audio alive.

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"no plans to release anything for Windows phones"

Well, fuck you too, TomTom. I'll buy from somebody else.

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I'll buy from somebody else.

good luck with that.

Do pop back and let us know how you are getting on.

if you can find your way.

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Ovi Maps

Given that Nokia will be providing it's seriously brilliant Ovi Maps when it comes to the WP7 party you will not need anything else!

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Re: Ovi Maps

Currently I'm using a £4.99 app called Turn by Turn. It works just as well as my old TomTom did. And, er, it cost £4.99. Although I am definitely looking forward to Ovi Maps coming free.

So once again, fuck you TomTom.

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@Robert E A Harvey

"I'll buy from somebody else.

good luck with that"

Navigon, iGo, Trafficmaster, .....

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@JohnG: on WP7?

AIUI the Navigon WP7 app is still only 'promised'; iGo myway's web site talks only about the iPhone. Trafficmaster's website says it will be available soon on WM6.1, so that's not too promising either.

I doubt that the correct response to TomTom ignoring WP7 is to change both yer software and yer phone.

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Hmmm

It seems to me that TomToms are to smartphones as typewriters are (were?) to PCs.

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Back to the future

Not so -- I had Tom Tom software on my old Treo. And that really was years ago.

-A.

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TomToms are NOT great

At least, not anymore....

Having upgraded a few times already to newer models, I have already made up my mind that my current device will also be my last one. The quality of their dedicated devices has been falling year over year.

To give an example, the current One XL that I'm using has a very noisy LCD/backlight (went back to the shop for a replacement the day I got it, replacement was just as noisy, was told this was 'normal').

The touchscreen is very unresponsive (worse than previous models when the technology actually became better - go figure

And last but not least, it is bloody slow, way slower than for example the original One I had before that.

Furthermore, their price plans for map updates are not interesting at all (read: expensive). Must buy a one year update plan (4 updates) even when you only want one update. I'm already buying my POI updates elsewhere for less than half of the TomTom price.

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Unhappy

Tomtom....

have been in trouble for a number of years. They used to be at the forefront of sat-navs, then they shafted pocket pc users, the bean counters became involved and slowly and surely they have started to lag behind.

Poor quality software, poor quality maps, some utterly poor decisions (no custom POI's?!?!?) and a raft of other bean counter measures have left them lacking direction and made a lot of their once loyal customers jump ship.....

Shame...But as they say, it's tough at the top.....

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Meh

Front? Nah.

They had a decent price for a decent tech. They really were never much compared to units from Garmin or Magellan, TomTom is cheaper though, but ya gets whats ya pays for.

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Not any more...

A new tomtom 1005, £255. I bought one of these, returned it within hours. Shoddy, at best.

Even with the LIVE service which is free for a year, it pails in comparison to the garmin 3790t at £238.

As i said originally, its all profit profit profit and sadly, no amount of money will drag tomtom out of the quagmire they are currently in.....

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FAIL

Sorry?

No custom POIs? Thank God my 2nd gen ONE is still working then!

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Bah!

One reason for poor sales *might* be the insane love the bloody thing has for crossing Manhattan no matter what well-known alternative routes exist nor how much those routes are recommended nor for how long they have been known to be alternatives nor how idiotic it is to even consider driving through Manhattan on a Friday night at 4pm when the signposted road directions are made useless due to improvised and undocumented new routes set up on-the-fly by the nycpd "to improve traffic flow".

True life example: It took me ten minutes of fighting the UI to get it to accept that I'd rather pay a 10 buck toll to cross the Verrazano Narrows Bridge than spend another four hours in gridlocked Manhattan, during which the device insisted it did not know what the Verrazano Narrows Bridge was.

On the way back I told it to take us across the Outerbridge Crossing (the bridge on the other side of Staten Island) under the assumption that since our destination was Eastern Long Island it could work the rest out for itself and take us across the Verrazano Narrows Bridge by itself. It attempted to plot a route that took us across the Outerbridge Crossing, then north and across the Goethals Bridge (back into New Jersey, 180 degrees wrong from the intended route and completely the wrong State) and - you guessed it - through a tunnel into Manhattan. At rush hour.

Perhaps it isn't so much an iPad App the TomTom people need so much as a fscking clue.

The revelation that the company is Dutch suggests a reason for the bizarre agenda though.

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No need...

...for the racial slur.

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Joke

Re: Bah!

Yeah, well, *clearly* if you'd told the TomTom you were in New Amsterdam it would have worked out the route properly. What is this New "York"?

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TomTom don't give a stuff about their customers

I bought a TomTom Rider several years ago and subscribed to their traffic service. Updates downloaded through my SE P990i. I was a happy bunny. Then I changed phones. Suddenly, no more traffic updates as the satnav would only use the Bluetooth Dial Up Networking but the phone only supported the Personal Area Networking profile. TomTom blamed the phone manufacturers and suggested i buy their mobile app instead. They didn't have much of an answer when I pointed out that using a phone while riding a motorbike was illegal and why would I want to buy an app when I already owned a satnav?

Several years and another phone later, TomTom still do not support the PAN profile. If you look at the list of phones that are compatible with their Plus service, it's a trip down memory lane.

TomTom only have themselves to blame for their decline. They could offer firmware updates for older devices and maintain a revenue stream from subscription services, but they refuse to support existing customers. As phone technology moves on, the number of devices that a TomTom satnav can communicate with falls and their owners will find other solutions.

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Similar fate for pocket calculators

I can see high end scientific calculators going the same way at some point. You only need one computer in your pocket, and it is your phone.

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Disagree

i use my phone for basic stuff, the calculator is more efficient and effective. That and phones must remain in the bag turned Off during exams.

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Anonymous Coward

Market penetration?

Surely the other big hit on their sales is market penetration? These devices reached a pricepoint where they became a great buy but my 4 (?) year old satnav is still performing just fine and I expect it to keep on working without even a map update for another few years yet.

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Map updates...

just wait until it tries to take you over a bridge that now designated buses and taxis only and doesn't know at all about the new bypass that's available... As a result, you get hit by the enforcement ANPR camera and don't know about it until a couple of days later when the fixed penalty notice hits the mat...

Even Google Maps doesn't know about the new rules for Llanthony Road bridge or the new bridge in Gloucester and the bridge has been open over four years now!!!!

I stay current by using Open Street Map on my Garmin sat nav and the beauty of open street map is that I, the user, can make updates to the map myself

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FAIL

So they want back into smartphone market eh?

Tomtom screwed over smartphone owners favour of pumping out their own hardware.

We didn't want yet another bit of tech to lug round so went elsewhere. Now there are so many as good as.or even better free versions with always current maps thanks to data access being pretty standard for many people.

They shot themselves in the foot and they know it. The only hope back in as an app vender, which is how they started, is via Apple owners who will buy pretty much anything if on offer via itunes.

Android sales won't be good as we like our stuff free and untouched by Apple! ;)

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Anonymous Coward

Does this mean tall screens?

So you can actually see where you're going to be going in map (grown up) mode when travelling < 40mph?

It's bloody annoying that most satnavs give you more information as to what is to the side of the road than up ahead.

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@Similar fate for pocket calculators

Pocket calculators are still popular, it's nice having real buttons to press rather than waiting for the virtual keyboard to pop up then watching it to make sure that it registered your button press.

My HP is still close on my desk even though I have Droid48 on my tablet - and a copy of octave on my PC

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Ah Tom Tom...

I have just called tomTom because my TomTom Go Live 1005 (UK And Europe) - catchy title nav device has got multiple faults. This I can live with, it happens. I can also say they were quick to open an RMA.

The only issue is they haven't got any backup functionality for new TomToms like mine, so you cannot backup settings, favourites and saved POIs etc. Boo!

That is frankly poor, and a shame because when it works, my Sat Nav has been amazing, the Live Traffic Info has saved me sitting in jams numerous times.

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Meh

Tomtom won by a whisker

Only recently replaced my old Tomtom Classic with a 1005. Decision was tipped when I discovered that the nearest competitor with Europe maps built in and a must-have 5" screen did NOT have car speed related volume control (that my ancient Tomtom did - another must-have). And TT happened to be running discounts + a trade-in at this moment.

The 1005 accepts ov2 POI files as of a week ago.

Either have a phone app or have the best. But agree, TT could do so much better.

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But

The new ones don't have the jukebox, or let you move the maps to the SD card when they outgrow the internal memory.

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Facepalm

iPad as a satnav

Dear god NO!

Have enough with people who can't see because they plonk their huge satnav in the middle of their screen, where can you even put it on the dash, are they going to install an app to use the camera to see where they are going?

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Android / WinMo6

Well I hope they hurry up and release an Android version (at a sensible price to compete with what's already out there).

I had TomTom on my old Windows Mobile 5 and 6 phones and in many ways it was much better than what is available free on Android now, even though it was somewhat dated compared to the iPhone version and their standalone units.

I've been using the Android free Navigation app and, hmm, well, it kinda gets you there, but creating routes isn't good, it may show you traffic conditions on the maps but it doesn't do anything about heavy traffic. TomTom i smuch better in that respect, especially if you subscribe to the Live Traffic.

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FAIL

RE: Android / WinMo6

There will never be a TomTom on Android - they signed a deal with Route66.

But you are right though. I was a loyal TomTom customer on WM6 but when they stalled and never released a version with live traffic (But it was on the 1st iPhone version), combined with the atrocious quality of their maps (One update I bought actually made things WORSE in my area) I totally lost all respect for their products.

Currently on Copilot 8 and really liking it. The recent text-to-speech update brings it on a par with TomTom's instructions (It previously seemed to lack a "Turn left THEN right" prompt) - although the voice is pretty poor at saying names right it is still helpful and helps you learn the names of roads you use.

Plus it has more features than I had on my TomTom on WM6 (The road type weightings system is great, especially with the profiles - if it is busy here in London I can set it to like side roads and hate main roads and it sends me down sneaky back routes)

So long TomTom. Don't let the door hit you in the arse on the way out.

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PNDs??Not me :-)

After using a TT One loaned by my father-in-law, with the damn thing making a loud sssh, I just returned it and searched for the best combination as possible. I've been an happy user of Sygic on my Nokia 5800Xpress since June. What can I say, the best and trustworthy gps software I ever used :-).

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Anonymous Coward

Still mostly satisfied TomTom customer

In 2003 I bought an IPaq2210 (HP PDA) with TomTom2, for the sole purpose af having navigation. I updated this to TT3, and has overall been satisfied. This device is now pretty battered and really needs a new battery. It takes a few minutes to lock on to satelites, but still works acceptably. The roads don't change that much where I need to go.

In 2007 I bought a Go720 because I wanted something newer and faster, and TomTom didn't update their Windows CE application anymore. This device still works perfectly, and I don't foresee the need to actually buy a new PND like that again. Through 2011 I have map updates, but that's it for money spent on the Go720, as it's annoying having to maintain a Windows machine for the sole purpose of handling my Go720.

In 2011 I thought about the 1005, but dropped the idea. Still locked to windows, and no SD-card. I got my first mobile phone instead. You read that correct, I haven't had a private mobile phone before august 2011.

Now i've got a Samsung Galaxy S2. If my Go720 breaks before TomTom comes out with an app for it, I'm sure that I can manage without TT. If TT comes out with an Android version comparable to my Go720, then they got a customer. If they wait too long, then Google Maps and like offerings will have caught up on the features I want. At that point, I'll probably stop being a potential TT customer.

I really don't want to run around with anymore devices than necessary, and the phone has become necessary.

At the moment, it's TomTom's choice if they want any more money from me. All they have to do is deliver something I want to use at a price I'm willing to pay (approx 50-100 euro).

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Meh

Just Buy a Real Unit or Stop Whinging

Maybe I'm biased but the Garmin units I've used for years are not too expensive and you get free lifetime map updates, including construction bypasses. They work well out in the country (TomTom fails miserably at that here in the U.S.) and even better in urban areas. It is cheaper to buy upfront with free maps/updates than pay all the time: especially if you are going into a big city.

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Unhappy

*I* don't get free map updates

and I bought mine in 2008

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Happy

"No plans to release anything for Windows phones"

That couldn't have anything to do whit MSFT shafting 'em over the FAT filesystem patent, would it?

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phone maps??

Free mapping via smartphones are great if you've got perfect reception to download the maps on the move, and aren't roaming to a different country where you have to pay a million pounds for a K of data.

I must be the only person with no problems with the TT's I've used, whereas I find the UI and performance of the Garmin units to be pretty poor IMHO.

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