App review: TomTom Navigation (v1.10) for iPhone

A navigation system is pretty useful when travelling to remote or unknown locations, especially if you missed the right exit or turned the wrong street corner. However, for someone who needs it only a few times a year, like myself, a GPS can seem a bit expensive.

I'd love to own such a handy gadget, but I already have an iPhone with Google Maps. And there are tons of other resources available through the App Store. Some of them are free, so it's up to you to decide how much you want to spend and what you expect from your GPS.

TomTom's got a fantastic new app at $49.99 (Canada-Alaska) that ranks among the most comprehensive and offers many different benefits.

Tom Tom

Photo: Tom Tom

''Comprehensive'' is not an overstatement. When you launch the app (which takes a mere 4 seconds, by the way), you'll see a very familiar menu whose ergonomics make it easy to use on the go. It can be displayed vertically or horizontally depending on how you position your iPhone.

Much like the brand's conventional navigation systems, you can customize your TomTom-enabled iPhone in a million ways. From celebrity voices such as the Simpons ($5.99) to the HD Traffic feature that helps you avoid gridlocks, you'll find everything you need or want.

The available updates and Map Share technology allow you to make changes to your own map and benefit from improvements by other users, giving you the most accurate navigation data possible. You can also synchronize the app with your Twitter account and Facebook status, and access your personal address book in a flash.

Of course, in addition to the app itself, you'll need to buy some form of mount to be able to use it safely while driving. Fortunately for me, I had my RAM Twist Lock + Universal X-Grip, which worked wonders here. And remember to keep your charging cord nearby because the app significantly drains the battery. On a related note, make sure you shut it down when you're finished; otherwise it will keep running in the background and still consume energy.

All in all, the TomTom Navigation app is a great fit for the iPhone and represents a cheaper alternative to traditional navigation systems.