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Review - iGuidance v2.1.1
Posté le 07 juillet 2005 à 12:03:25 par gpspassion.

iGuidance v2.1.1 on a PDA

Here's an article by Marvin, moderator of our forums and experienced Laptop GPS user who recently added a Qtek S100 PDAPhone to his "road kit", and now shares his experience with the PocketPC version od iGuidance v2.1.1 by iNav Corp



Two for one - PC and PocketPC
When you buy iGuidance navigation software, you will really get two for the price of one: you will get the PDA version and also the laptop version (reviewed here) of the product both included on 1 DVD (or 3 CD’s). Since 2003 I have been using the laptop version of this software quite extensively. A few months ago I purchased my first PDA (actually it is a PDA Phone). Since I love iGuidance it was just natural for me to install it on the PPC as well. I have not tried any other PDA navigation software, but based on what I have read over the past more than a year on this forum, even on the PocketPC platform iGuidance fairs very well among the top competing products.

Installation
Installation is easy and straight forward. It may take anywhere from a few short minutes to well over a half hour, depending on how much of the available map coverage you wish to install. My memory card is only 1GB in size so I couldn’t just install it all (like I did it with my laptop version), but still it allowed me to install 19 US states and 6 Canadian provinces, which is much more than I really need, and it still left me with almost 300MB of free space on the storage card. If you do wish to install it all, you will need close to 2.3GB of space for that.

Map
iGuidance has excellent map coverage of Canada and the USA, including Hawaii, but excluding Alaska. My guess is that Alaska may come in version 3 because NavTeq, the company that provides map data, released the company’s first maps of Alaska in December of 2004.

Earlier versions of iGuidance, while having detailed US coverage, covered only a few big cities in Canada. That is no longer the case as even very small towns across the country are now included.

Points of Interest (POI’s)


Users of various navigation / mapping software know that there is not yet a product on the market that would list every shopping mall, each restaurant, or all hotels. In fact we could say that POI database of all available products on the market is far from complete even in the included categories. But each new version of not just iGuidance adds a considerable number of POI’s, and your satisfaction in this area only depends on your expectations.


The restaurant sub-menu offers the choice of 56 restaurant types: from African, American, Austrian all the way to Vegetarian and Vietnamese. I’m quite pleased with POI’s in iGuidance, and the only thing I find a bit odd is that Auto Service category has mysteriously disappeared. It used to be there in previous versions.

Routing

The products ability to create optimum routes to our destinations is really the heart of every navigation solution. In my experience iGuidance generates very very good routes but it is quite critical that you select METHOD: QUICKEST and REDUCE TURNS: ENABLE. Avoid the settings I marked red (or use those red marked settings with caution).

Voice Prompts
A lot of thought must have gone into implementation of the voice prompts feature in iGuidance. It doesn't say an unnecessary word. It is straight to the point, very succinct and it doesn't waste your time. In my humble opinion there is almost no room for improvement here.

The application uses a pleasant and easy to understand pre-recorded real human voice. The moment you complete your turn, iGuidance always lets you know the next instruction, even if it is 200 kilometres (or miles) away from where you are right now. When you start approaching the next turn or highway exit, you again are given another voice prompt. The number of voice prompts you get depends on your speed and proximity to your next turn.

Entering of destination address



You may enter your destination in a variety of ways: you may search for a POI and enter it as your destination, or you may pan the map to see the area where you wish to drive, and then select the destination by tapping on it with your stylus. But most of the time all I want to do is to just enter street name and street number. To get to the "Enter Street Name" dialog box all I need to do is tap Menu > Destinations > Address > Street First. Type-ahead feature simplifies entering street names. After you enter your street name, "Enter House Number" dialog box opens up, showing you a valid number range of the street(s).


Display options

iGuidance 2.1.1 offers 4 color themes to chose from. Each has its own day and night colors which can be switched manually or iGuidance can do it automatically by calculating your exact sunrise and sunset times based on your GPS position, time, and date.

Customization
Some more technically inclined people who like experimenting and tweaking may enjoy iGuidance. It is not because iGuidance requires some major fixing, no; iGuidance is just fine as it is. But if you are passionate about fine-tuning even things that work well, then you may join like-minded iGuidance users and share ideas in iGuidance official forum hosted by gpspassion.com

Europe
A first version with maps of 14 West European countries is now (July 2005) being finalized and could become available any day now.

Conclusion
It is hard for me to believe that iGuidance is only in its version number 2.1.1, because it feels like a very mature software application that has been around for many years. The good people responsible for bringing us this navigation tool have done an exceptional job of making the program very intuitive. It has almost no learning curve. Even a person who is completely computer illiterate can be taught iGuidance in 5 minutes or less, yet this simplicity is not an indication of a compromise in functionality.

Available at Semsons for $99* for the software and bundles starting at $170 *

* Before GpsPasSion Club discount)

 
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