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Test Drive: Gokivo GPS iPhone navigation app

Consumer Reports News: October 15, 2009 07:38 AM

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Gokivo is the latest iPhone navigation app that our GPS team has evaluated. We have spent hours in the lab and in the real-world in the New York City metro area putting the software through our paces, judging ease of use, features, and usefulness. It has proven to be an effective navigator, though its limited feature set and pricey service plan limit its appeal.
Gokivo is made by Networks In Motion (NIM), who provides the similar VZNavigator service for Verizon. The program is just 2.7 MB. Pre-installed databases, like those used with the Navigon and TomTom applications, typically use more than 1 GB of memory.
It is a server-based solution, meaning the maps and data are downloaded as need, akin carrier-based services from AT&T and Verizon. Consequently, this model carries a monthly service charge, $5. Well suited to seasonal usage, the Gokivo is a less-expensive choice for year-round navigating than some competitors.
Gokivo-menu-blog Navigating with Gokivo is much like using VZNavigator, found on many Verizon cell phones. It provides good verbal directions with a typical map layout, displaying the current road, next road, and distance to next turn. Further, it is one of the few GPS applications we have tested on the iPhone that provides text-to-speech for spoken street names--a valued feature. However, it lacks some helpful features found on many GPS products, such as multi-destination routing, reality view, and lane assistance.
We feel there are better iPhone solutions available, such as Navigon Mobile Navigator, Sygic Mobile Maps, and the TomTom iPhone application.

Read our full Gokivo review.

See our reviews of AT&T Navigator, iGo My Way, Navigon Mobile Navigator, Sygic Mobile Maps, TomTom iPhone application, and X Road G-Map for iPhone.

For more information on portable automotive GPS navigation systems, see our Ratings, first looks, and buying advice and watch our video guide. Discuss GPS devices in the forums.

 —Jeff Bartlett and Frank Spinelli

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