With smartphones stealing GPS market share, TomTom have been busy tinkering with their GPS units, looking for innovations and introducing services that will help them reclaim lost ground. At their frontline is its new Live services, including HD Traffic, and its just released Go Live range.
Its Go Live range consists of 4 new GPS models, the 820, 825, 2050 and 2050 World.
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|TomTom’s 2050 World|
The Go Live 820 accommodates a 4.3″ resistive touch screen, is receptive to voice controls and can replace in-car speakerphones with its Bluetooth connectivity. And that’s just the base model.
The 825 is just as capable as the 820, except it has a larger 5″ touch screen.
The 2050 and 2050 World are TomTom’s premium GPS units, made from superior materials and incorporating more advanced technology. Both make use of capacitive touch-screen technology, offering an iPhone-esque experience when it comes to using its refined mapping system. You can pinch to zoom and swipe across with ease.
Although almost identical in every way, they’re worlds apart, as the 2050 World comes with the maps of 49 countries.
Where the 820 and 825 have an inbuilt and adjustable suction cap for mounting, the 2050s use an ‘easy click magnetic mount’, making it easier to position the unit. It’ll also eliminate the tell-tale suction cap mark that taints windscreens.
To make mounting easier, each TomTom in the series now features an accelerometer. A nifty addition, if users want to mount their TomTom to their dashboard, they can as the display just flips over.
Complementing the robust hardware is TomTom’s mapping system. The system’s graphics are crisp, making excellent use of its limited screen size to communicate a clear route to an otherwise preoccupied driver. It is focussed, detailed and intuitive, without distracting divers from the pleasures of driving.
Features like Advanced Lane Guidance extricate the tangled view that plagues junctions. The navigation screen switches from a bird’s eye view to a driver’s point of view. It displays the number of lanes and where you should turn off. They’ve really squeezed the full potential here, executing perfect timing, making sure it switches to and fro when the driver needs it.
TomTom maps are updated seasonally, with updates being released in December, March, June and September. Updates, however, are not free and will cost $49 per year. TomTom do offer a ‘Latest Map Guarantee’ saying “if a new map becomes available within 90 days of first year every user is entitled to download the latest map free of charge.”
Where Tomtom differs from other GPS units is its new HD Traffic. HD traffic takes the details that slow your drive down, like traffic, roadwork and accidents, into consideration when planning your route. It takes these real life scenarios into consideration, before navigating you into the thick of them.
A continuously updated traffic feed (by an impressive 2 minute interval) helps avoid areas that are congested, easing the city’s clotted arteries from dense commute and getting people to their destination quicker.
“The introduction of TomTom HD Traffic to Australia marks a fundamental breakthrough in the quality and functionality of GPS devices, giving Australian drivers real-time information about road conditions,” says TomTom’s VP Chris Kearney.
A one year free subscription comes with the purchase of any TomTom Go Live GPS, with the following year costing $69. TomTom do offer a website that delivers the same information on PCs at no cost, but the in car aid is where the inside scoop is most needed.
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|PC Friendly: HD Traffic can be acessed via TomToms online|
Navigation units of present include an estimated arrival time, but anyone who has used one before would’ve noticed the constantly adjusted estimate, being pushed back further and further, moderating a theoretical estimate to adapt to real life conditions.
Each GPS sold feeds information back to Tomtom, such as the obvious speed and distance travelled, to help the company identify the bottlenecked areas.
Its new HD traffic may steal the show, but it is just one of many features that make up TomTom’s Live services. Older generation GPS units focused on delivering a route system alone. The new software concentrates on being a complete travel companion, feeding a five day weather forecast, verified safety camera alerts and Google local search.
HD Traffic has also been incorporated into its iPhone Application. Current owners of the $90 app can simply update to the new version (1.8) at no extra cost. They will need to pay a subscription for the Live services, either $7.50 monthly or $42 annually.
TomTom’s Go Live range is currently available, with the following prices:
TomTom Go Live 820 at RRP$299
TomTom Go Live 825 at RRP$349
TomTom Go Live 2050 at RRP$399
TomTom Go Live 2050 World at RRP$499