April 19, 2014

App Review: TeleNav GPS Navigator

Title: TeleNav GPS Navigator
Developer: TeleNav
Available: Soon, TeleNav & Android Market
Cost: 30 Day Trial, $9.99/mo

Lasting Impression: If you don’t already own a GPS device then you need to grab this for your Android handset.  It’s everything you expect from a stand alone unit in a convenient size. One of the most fully realized apps I’ve had a chance to play with.

Nitty Gritty: I’ll get this out of the way before going any further – I don’t have a GPS unit for my car.  Having said that, TeleNav GPS Navigator gives me everything I was expecting it to be, plus more.  There’s a lot of hype around a coming Garmin/Asus phone and rightfully so.  If it ends up anything like this experience, there will be plenty of happy folks out there.

When you first open TeleNav GPS Navigator, you’re given four options: Drive To, Maps & Traffic, Search, and Tools & More.  Most of usage so far was with Drive To.  It’s here that you can pick from My Favorites, Recent Places, Address, Intersection, City, Business, Airport, or Contact.  I’d like to spend more time trying out the Intersections and Airports.  Unfortunately, I’m not the well-traveled entrepreneur I aspire to be.

I really liked the way the app kept my addresses and recent searches handy.  In the short time I’ve played with this, I have not had a chance to go online and do much of the pre-planning stuff.  Based on what I’ve gathered elsewhere, it will a great feature (PC crashed a week ago and I’ve been living in the cloud until data is recovered).

I ran through the business search function a few times a day to see how accurate it was.  I’m happy to say that it found everything I looked for, even the local mom & pop stores.  Using voice was not quite as accurate as by typing, bu I hear that it’s not fully up and running yet.  This is where pre-planning might come in handy.

I found the gas search much more convenient than the weather function.  I’ve got WeatherBug on my G1 and it works better for me.  It is a stand alone weather app after all.  If you are new to Android and don’t have a dedicated weather app, this should suffice.  You get forecasts at the push of a button as well as weather for destinations too.

WARNING: You will need a car charger if you plan to use this app often.  There’s just no way around it.  It stays on and runs in the background even if you go to the home screen on your phone.  I found this out on accident.  I didn’t realize I still had it running when I went into other apps on the phone.  My robotic female travel assistant reminded me that I had a left turn coming up.

I was concerned whether or not the G1 was a good size screen for GPS functions.  It’s safe to say that this need not be a worry for you as it works good in portrait mode and superb in landscape.  The app uses every bit of the screen possible and nothing seems too small.

If you’re at all like me, you drive with music on.  Whereas the G1 does have a great sound for a phone, it’s not going to be louder than your CD’s.  TeleNav has a cool feature where your next turn is shown at the top in black.  Once you get close enough to the street or exit, the margin turns green.

I was curious to see how it handled the names of some local street names.  Where I live you’ll find roads like Tuscarawas, Stuhldreher, and Applegrove.  TeleNav didn’t quite butcher the names, but it like most apps like this, there is still work to do.  Either way, it was nice to hear names instead of things like “Turn right at next exit”.  It takes a little stress off when you are traveling, not having to worry about whether that dirt road is counted or not.

While most of my driving is done in the same circles with just a bit of highway usage, I could still find this app handy to have.  Using TeleNav, I could adapt my daily commute using the traffic feature.  I can check to see whether or not I need to leave earlier for work.  I’d imagine that the bigger the city, the more convenient this would be.

Overall, I am very impressed with TeleNav GPS Navigator.  I am more than content to spend $10 a month for the service until the Garmin phone arrives, maybe beyond.  It’s apps like these that help show off Android and the G1′s capabilities.  The cool thing is you don’t have to take my word for it.  You can download a trial version and kick it around for a month.

Accessories that I’d reccomend for this program are the Arkon Dash Mount and a car charger.

Article Tags

Related Posts