The guys from Garmin got in touch with me a couple of weeks ago, to let me know about the Garmap iPhone app. I been trying out for the last few weeks, and I am really impressed. I have covered a couple of the South African GPS apps, including NDrive, CoPilot & Navigon previously.
The Garmap iPhone app (iTunes Link), which goes for $59.99 on the app store, is co-developed with the local guys from Garmap South Africa, and includes the latest mapping software & technology, as well as Turn-By-Turn voice guidance to get you to your destination. The mapset in the app is the South African are the latest 2010 mobile maps as well.The maps are pre-loaded, which means you don’t have to use your internet connection to see the maps, they are all built into the app.
During my testing, I found the app to be one of the fastest to lock onto GPS signal on the iPhone4, meaning that as soon as you open the app, you can almost instantly see where you are.The points of interest in the app, are also very up to date, and includes all sorts of POI’s like banks, entertainment & even vehicle service centres.The app also allows you to route to a specific GPS co-ordinate, which is handy for the like of geocaching etc. Another must have in any GPS app/device is the traffic camera alerts, which the Garmap app has as well.
There are one or two things that I didn’t like about the app though. Firstly the app does not run in background mode on iOS4 software. This means, if you exit the app, it doesn’t continue running in the background, but exits the app and then restarts it when you open it again. It would be great if the app supported background, and let it run while you on a call etc. The other thing that I found a bit hard to use in the app, is that it uses scroll up & down buttons to navigate through the menus, these should be “finger scrolling” rather, as it makes it easier to use, while on the move. This could be a personal preference thing for me though ;)
Overall, I was pretty impressed with the app, and will definitely be keeping it in my GPS folder. For me the thing that stands out the most, is that it is from a South African company, which means the maps & poi’s are always going to the most accurate. If you looking for a GPS app for the iPhone I highly suggest this one :)