iPhone Navigation Apps Embrace iOS4 Multitasking: TomTom, CoPilot and Navigon

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Now that iOS4 is out of the door, most apps need a quick update to support multitasking. TomTom's first with a multitasking navigation app, but CoPilot and Navigon have both shown off what to expect from theirs too.


CoPilot told us they're hoping their app will be on the App Store in under two weeks' time, with the new version allowing for turn-by-turn navigation even when conducting a phone call (instructions are in push notification form, as the picture shows, otherwise you can navigate by the virtual map). Audio directions are muted while calls are taking place, for safety reasons. Plus, it'd be pretty difficult to carry a conversation and listen up for the next turn right—as evidenced in Navigon's video below.

When not on a call, the voice navigation will still work when other apps are in use, with a double-tap on the home button taking you back to the map. The update also includes better clarity for the iPhone 4's retina display, apparently.

Navigon, which showed off its multitasking wares last week, bizarrely continues the audio directions when you're on a call—and judging by the video below, even the person you're on call with can hear them. Otherwise, browsing in Safari, and the usual multitasking operations seem applicable here.

On to TomTom, their version 1.4 app is available to download now (albeit for $60), and brings the same navigation during calls, only with visual notifications unlike Navigon's. Other apps are available for use while voice directions are carried on, just like the other two offer.


TomTom's new update also lets the driver share routes over email, and receive reminders in their calendars of upcoming trips. I imagine it's pretty difficult remembering to pick the kids up from soccer practice, after all.

CoPilot's app costs just $20 for North American maps, TomTom's is $60 for US and Canada and Navigon charges a pretty large $80 for North America—though you can buy maps for just your region, for a more-sensible $30. As for which is the best—well, the iOS4 update changes things, but in our two previous group-tests on the various satnav iPhone apps around (which also included TeleNav, GoKivo and Sygic's apps) Navigon and CoPilot performed best. [TomTom on iTunes, Navigon on iTunes and CoPilot on iTunes]


Navigon's video demo:

TomTom's iPhone app pics:

CoPilot's iPhone app pics:




Can someone help me understand this? I thought the multitasking was inherent to the phone itself, not needing the application to sepport it? I understand if making an update for added features, such as making the turn-by-turn voice volume turn down or mute altogether while on a call. Other than that, I just thought the processesor and RAM would make it to where several apps could run at the same time, regardless of what they were?