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back to article Navigation app CoPilot Live goes freemium next month

Premier navigation app CoPilot will go freemium next month, with a cut-down version designed to convince users to throw away their dedicated satnav and buy in for 20 quid. The company behind CoPilot, ALK, claims it hasn't been pushed into this by Google's free offering – apparently Google Mobile Maps has done nothing but good …

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Anonymous Coward

recommended

Been using CoPilot for the last couple of years. Very good app, hasn't gotten me lost once or directed me to drive in the sea or anything like that. And at the price, this is far cheaper than a dedicated satnav, with the added bonus that i'm not likely to leave it in the car for someone to smash the window and nick.

and to boot, sounds like there's little reason any more for the premium version (although the junction rendering is damn useful at some of the more complicated junctions on our motorways and major roads)

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FAIL

used to use it

...but they no longer support windows mobile 7.5 which is possibly why they are are losing customers.

What they forget is that corporate users don't tend to have iphones / gphones so they have effectively wiped out a whole segment of their market.

Ironically their lack of support put me onto the freebie ones such as google maps (was built into WM6.5) and also bing maps. The bundled nokia maps (lumia 800) while does a reasonable job it does take you way off course (hates minor roads so thinks nothing of an additional 20 miles)

I have been causally looking at separate satnavs but the whole point of consolidation was everything in one place

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Anonymous Coward

Re: used to use it

"...but they no longer support windows mobile 7.5 which is possibly why they are are losing customers."

ROFL. Sure.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: used to use it

Surely its a better use of the developers time to work on improving the user experience for iOS and Android users than wasting time developing for a platform which noone (<2% smartphones) uses?...

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Re: Re: used to use it

@AC

Well they have lost me, so therefore they are losing clients

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Re: Re: used to use it

Even if they lost ALL WP7.5 clients that would still only equate to you, Cameron Colley, and Stephen Elop's mum.

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Re: Re: Re: Re: used to use it

its still 3 they lost

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Anonymous Coward

Subscription

It's £20 for a 12-month sub, not a full upgrade to the full version. CoPilot Live will still be in the app store as well.

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FAIL

Worst SatNav App ever

I don't know how this gets the praise that it does. Let me count the ways that it's rotten (in Scotland at least):

1) Maps are out of date

2) It's slow to update. You can be past the street you were meant to turn down before it tells you to turn down it

3) Doesn't update when driving at slow speeds.

4) Slow to get a lock on you when starting.

5) Terrible UI compared to the likes of TomTom

6) Worst of all, doesn't actually send you the quickest routes (even when that's the option selected). I've seen it tell me - on more than one time - to turn left, drive up a main street, go round the roundabout at the top and head back in the original direction, all instead of a simple turn right instruction.

Might be good in other countries but in Scotland? Avoid.

I bought it as I thought the TomTom price was ridiculous. With hindsight, I would have rather forked out.

CoPilot - even at free, it would be no use.

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Satisfied free user

I used it on a 30-day trial for a recent Amercian trip. Was very pleased with it. Accurate, reactive and very clear directions and screen. UI is a bit different but works well with touch input.

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Unhappy

Good satnav but what about keyboard support?

I use this on the occasional days I need satnav, and CoPilot does the job well, guiding me to my destination with minimum fuss. It's also quick to find routes and to re-route when I stray from its wishes.

However, it has one glaring flaw that never fails to irritate: it doesn't support any keyboard but the built-in Android one. Try using another keyboard (like something that supports predictive text entry) and it just fails. Instead of using Android's own text fields, it's implemented its own (presumably for cross-platform reasons) that don't handle changes well at all. To enter data, one has to leave the app, change input method, go back to the app, enter your destination and then (of course) reset your keyboard to the normal one. There's no good reason for this, especially after all this time. Sort it out, ALK!

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Happy

I use SatNav 2 from Skobbler

It's not free, but it is very cheap (£1.69, IIRC) and offline maps are ~£2.50 per country (or ~£5 for the whole of Europe) so you don't need 3G or a massive data package. It's not very easy to get directions via entering a start and finish address, but if you can find your destination on the map you can tell it to 'Take me there' - which is nice. I also like that if there is a mistake on the map, you can tell them about it. Presumably they verify this somehow and update their maps (OpenStreetMap). It's free to update your offline maps. So it's a bit fiddly to use, but once it's going the navigation is exactly what I expect of a SatNav. 4/5 :-)

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but what happens with spotty coverage

much as I hate my Garmin for being the height of 1970s user interface design (and don't get me started on out of date maps) the one thing it's never done is let me down when I needed a route from the back of beyond to civilization because it couldn't find a data connection long enough to plan the route.

While I love not having to sacrifice storage space to maps of the outer reaches there needs to be some balance in intelligent caching and basic routing capabilities on the phone itself before it would ever be a reliable replacement for a self contained unit

The other thing I've noticed is my Garmin is pretty good at working out where I am if I power it on at a strange airport as I get into the rental car... with the phone... it can take quiet a while (I assume smaller GPS antenna plays into this) to work out where the heck I am - very frustrating (though still way less painful than having to resort to a paper map!)

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Tough sell ..

.. Google Maps is Good Enough.

OK, it's routing can be a bit bizarre and it has occassionally sent me on 14 mile detours and of course, it's entirely useless if you have no 3G, but overall, it does the trick. It's actually better than the ancient version of Route 66 I had on my old Nokia.

It's kinda hard to see a reason to fork out cash for something else: I'm not surprised Co-Pilot, TomTom etc are getting desperate.

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Silver badge
Go

NavFree by Navmii is great for the iPhone. As per the name, it's free. I found it after an article here on El Reg?

GO icon for obvious reasons

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Yay Navfree user!

Hey :)

Yeah, why does everyone forget about Navfree?

We abandoned premium shortly after Google made thier announcement - Nokia followed suit on Symbian.

I don't care what ALK say, that turned the GPS industry upside down.

By eck, they are slow... We turned freemium a year ago

TeleAtlas were not so kind to the smaller establishing sat-nav houses. ALK are just big enough that TomTom can't drop them like they dropped Navmii.

More people use Navfree on iOS and Android than any other premium navigation solution.

Can we get some more dev resources over here plz

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Re: Yay Navfree user!

+1 for Navfree on Android.

It has a few updates to go before it offers all the features of a decent SatNav, but the maps are supposedly updated frequently (every 2 months?). Heck, Google Maps hasn't even got the A3 Hindhead tunnel on it which opened to traffic last July!

Plus, maps are downloaded (for free of course) to SD card in full for offline use so no need for a data signal to plan or update your route which can be very annoying with Google Maps when you're in the middle of nowhere.

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