REVIEW: AT&T Navigator By Telenav GPS (and how it compares to Gokivo)
I'm not going to go into great detail since I think this app is pretty much the equal of it's worthy competitor, Gokivo by Networks in Motion (NIM - the same company that powers the VZ Navigator) -- the *other* monthly streaming GPS app -- which I also did a recent review of:
REVIEW: Gokivo (powered by yahoo!) GPS App for OS 3.0 - Mac Forums
The basic features of both apps are essentially the same (although ATTN seems to have a more robust POI/database). What I said about Gokivo, basically also holds true for ATTN. Both require a $10 monthly fee. Both stream real-time maps/data/traffic OTA. Both apps feature *text to speech* ("text to speech" = the ability to speak the names of streets/highways, etc. -- TomTom will not have this feature...at least not initially). I haven't had any problems running either one in 3G or Edge. Neither can do landscape mode (personally, I think landscape is a *little* overrated so I don't care, but I know this might bother others). Let me preface this by saying: I think they're both awesome. Of course, I tend to favor the monthly mobile phone GPS subscription model and the two giants in this area have always been Telenav and NIM; sort of the "Garmin" and "TomTom" of the mobile phone GPS field. Telenav is the well-known GPS power-horse for the Sprint and AT&T Navigators and NIM is (I thought one of the posters here had mentioned) the most successful mobile GPS service in North America, powering the VZ Navigator, AAA's GPS service, etc.
So I'll focus on the few differences I've seen between the 2 apps:
-ATTN has a prettier layout; nicer-looking, cleaner graphics, though there's nothing wrong with Gokivo's appearance either (purely cosmetic point here).
-The speaking voice for ATTN is definitely louder than Gokivo's but I find Gokivo's voice to be *clearer* and sharper. The ATTN voice does sound (especially at high volume settings) "muffled" and can make understanding 1-syllable streets a chore at times. :Sigh...I wish ATTN's voice was clearer and I wish Gokivo's voice was LOUDER.
-Entering an address on ATTN is easy enough...but it's not integrated with the contacts app on the iphone. I'm rather surprised and a little disappointed that in all this time Telenav had to develop the app, they didn't think to integrate their app with the contacts in the iphone? Gokivo, of course, *does* feature contacts integration. This should be a requirement for any GPS app that appears on the iphone. (From my understanding, both Navigon and TomTom will feature contacts integration...I have no idea whether G-Map will or will not). Telenav has a constant update/data stream...they need to fix this ASAP.
-Gokivo features ipod/music library integration and ATTN apparently does not (I haven't tested this yet...only going off of initial reports by other users).
-ATTN seems to lock on and get a GPS signal a little bit faster than Gokivo.
-When you go off-route, Gokivo seems to recalculate faster than ATTN. Gokivo: ~1-2 seconds, Telenav: ~8-10 seconds.
-Both apps calculate smart, efficient routes. In fact, in all the test routes I ran, they basically gave me the same map summary.
-Gokivo features a pay-as-you-go 30-day subscription with no obligation to renew/no-strings attached. In other words, it doesn't automatically renew your monthly subscription - it leaves it up to you to decide whether or not you want to continue paying. I rather like that model. By contrast, ATTN automatically renews your monthly subscription unless you either call them or go to their website and cancel - which is not difficult to do but it's still not as convenient as Gokivo/NIM's billing model.
That's basically it. It's the age-old question of "Sprint Nav by Telenav or VZ Navigator?" Comparing ATTN to Gokivo is like comparing Coke to Pepsi. I give 'em both 4.5/5 stars (for what they do, all things considered). At this time, I have to call it a draw. As I spend more time with both apps, I might start to lean towards one side but for now, it's too close to call to say one is better than the other since the services are so similar and comparable.
BOTTOM LINE: If you're okay with paying $10 a month and want constantly updated maps/data/traffic in real-time, BOTH Gokivo by NIM and AT&T Navigator by Telenav are excellent GPS options. You can't go wrong with either one. The great thing about competition is that it's going to spur both apps to try and top the other.
Last edited by Tunnelrunner; 06-23-2009 at 09:42 PM.
- 06-24-2009, 11:22 AM #3
- 06-24-2009, 11:44 AM #4
Your guess is as good as
mine re: TomTom. Probably anytime before August (hopefully?). They're sure taking their sweet time (it better be one hell of a nav-app!). Re: Navigon (for North America), they had initially promised end of June--which seemed to make sense since the European app just launched last week. If they hold true to their word, Navigon's North American app should be here anytime this week since July is next week (so any day now?). Re: XRoad's G-Map, their rep, Sean, said that the 3.0 version would launch "within a week hopefully before Navigon." That was sent on June 15th...so there might be some slight delay. I actually thought G-Map would launch this week. We'll have to see.
If you're running the app on Edge, the incoming call gets redirected straight to VM if I understand correctly. Running on 3G, both apps stop running until you either decline the call or take it and hang-up -- at which point both apps automatically relaunch, which is nice. ATTN even relaunches the same route without prompting. Gokivo asks you if you want to resume the same route before relaunching.
Last edited by Tunnelrunner; 06-24-2009 at 06:56 PM.
I stand corrected; I was just running ATTN on Edge and got an incoming phone call which did indeed stop the app. I took the call and as soon as I finished talking and hung up, ATTN relaunched and continued my route without prompting.
- 06-24-2009, 07:22 PM #7
- 06-24-2009, 11:07 PM #9
GPS Chip, Microphone, Speaker, Aux Out jack, and ability to charge.
I just hope the app will use the speaker for the voice directions if you have the aux jack hooked up. For instance, if I am listening to Sat radio and don't have the radio input on the aux input from the iphone, I'm hoping the voice directions will come through the speaker and not just through the aux input (since I won't hear them unless the aux input is selected).
Last edited by sleeks; 06-24-2009 at 11:10 PM.
It *should* allow you to do that but if worst comes to worst, you can just use a standard car charger and window/dash mount (if you just want to play the GPS through the iPhone speaker while sultaneously playing the car radio through the car speakers) which is what I do right now with Telenav when I *don't* want the speaking voice done via aux input.
- 06-25-2009, 09:05 AM #11
Agreed. However, if Tom Tom has their stuff together at all, this mount should allow them to do this.
Right now I have a Kensington Liquid Aux, which is very convienient. It connects through the dock connector only. It charges of course, but then an aux jack comes out of the cig. lighter. That means that I only have one connection getting in and out of the car and dont have to connect anything to the headphone jack.
Anyway, hopefully Tom Tom designs the app and mount in a way that allows that if you have your phone connected, you have the option to have voice done via iphone speakers and aux.
How do the other nav apps handle this? I know that the current build of GMAP does not handle this as I get no sound unless I have the aux input selected.
- 06-29-2009, 04:43 AM #12iPhone Nanite
- 5 Posts
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- 06-29-2009, 07:12 AM #13
- 06-29-2009, 09:02 AM #14
I am not a big fan of paid subscriptions so.. I hope Tom Tom will not be the case. If Tom Tom is subscription then I will look into both of these options mentioned in the OP even though I do not like streaming maps..blah. Thanks for the review..good insight.
- 06-29-2009, 05:50 PM #15
And the winner is...AT&T Navigator By Telenav!
I've had about a week and a half to play with Gokivo and just over a week's time to play with the AT&T Navigator by Telenav.
After work today, I wanted to try Gokivo in the city (downtown Chicago, IL). I presently live in the suburbs of Chicago and up until now, Gokivo had worked flawlessly for me--in the 'burbs, that is. For that matter, so had ATTN. The main differences between the 2 GPS apps were that Gokivo boasted contacts integration and Gokivo had a much clearer speaking voice (vs. the poor, over-modulated muffled voice of ATTN). A clear 2-point advantage for Gokivo.
So as I'm driving down to the city at rush hour time on the highway (290 East) using Gokivo, I notice that it changed a route option in mid-stream: it originally told me to get off on 90W, but then minutes later, changed it's mind and told me to turn right on Wacker Dr. and go through the Loop (the heart) of downtown Chicago. Fine, so I did. Mind you, I'm playing my ipod music at the same time (via aux through the car stereo) I'm using Gokivo. So as I'm in the Loop of downtown Chicago, Gokivo STOPS TALKING. The music continues to play but Gokivo stops giving me any voice directions or prompts. I'm not sure if it was the simultaneous playing of music that messed up the app or whether it was all the tall skyscrapers but whatever the reason, Gokivo was acting buggy to say the least. The map display even partially disappeared (the icon signifying my position remained present but the map was almost all blank white) for what felt like forever (in reality, it was probably like a minute but still, that's a long time in a major metropolitan area)!!! Minutes later, I had to manually stop then restart the app and Gokivo starts talking to me again. Finally, I'm able to pick up a friend and locate a little sushi joint in Lincoln Park (Toro Sushi on Clark St.). Whoo-boy...not a good first city-showing for my favorite GPS app.
Anyhoo, after sushi, we part ways and I try using Gokivo to get back home to the suburbs. Not long after I get back on the city streets of Lincoln Park (Diversey Ave to be exact), Gokivo spontaneously recalculates and tells me to take a new route. A minute later, it RECALCULATES ANOTHER ROUTE AGAIN and then it stops talking to me (but the music keeps playing)! In frustration, I finally switch over to ATTN/Telenav. It has no problem locking on to a GPS signal and immediately pin-points my location and tells me to get on S. Halstead Street and get back to the highway. I don't like the muffled, distorted speaking voice, so I hook it to the aux and play it through the car stereo...I can now hear the voice prompts loud and clear. To make a long story short, ATTN proceeds to save my arse and take me home in style.
Anyone who reads my posts/tweets knows that I'm a huge fan of Gokivo. Gokivo has worked great in the suburbs but it simply got schooled in the big city. By contrast, ATTN/Telenav was rock-solid and dependable. Keep in mind, this was not the first time I tried ATTN in the big city: on 6/25/09, I used ATTN to navigate through Humboldt Park, Bucktown, and Wicker Park -- ATTN did this flawlessly. Yes, ATTN's voice should be clearer -- yes, it should integrate with contacts -- yes, it sometimes will lag on quick turns -- yes, I wish it would recalculate as fast as Gokivo does but the bottom line is this: when it counted most, Telenav delivered where Gokivo could NOT. In my mind, this settles the issue for now: ATTN is the more solid and polished nav-program at the present time It is overall, the superior GPS app for the iphone. I have no doubt that Gokivo will continue to improve as will Telenav -- so the debate isn't over yet: there will be plenty of updates coming from both sides. But for now, the winner is: AT&T Navigator by Telenav.
Last edited by Tunnelrunner; 07-01-2009 at 06:12 AM.
- 07-02-2009, 04:54 AM #19
IGO is an interesting app. I've watched some of the videos on YouTube. One thing I don't like is how all the building are rendered in virtual 3-D style so you literally cannot see past certain turns til you actually pass the structure. :shrugs...we'll see how it goes when it launches.
Last edited by Tunnelrunner; 07-02-2009 at 08:46 AM.
IMHO, the 4 biggest areas that ATTN needs to fix first are:
1) lack of contacts integration
2) the distorted, muffled speaking voice
3) the occassional lag/delay that occurs when you make quick turns or successive turns
4) the slow recalculation that occurs if you miss a turn (I've timed it to be as long as 12 seconds).
Yes, there are other bugs, but these are the most immediate deficiencies.
Anyhoo, today I had a chance to go over #1-4 in detail with Telenav's PR person Mary Beth Lowell. From what I gather, #1 is being taken care of as we speak. Hopefully #2-4 will be taken care of as well in the next Telenav update.
I have to give props to Telenav AND Gokivo for being great about dealing with customer feedback/questions. I do know that both companies are presently working on bug fixes for their second roll-outs and are always ASKING for your input/feedback.
If you're on Twitter:
Gokivo can be reached at:
or you can e-mail Mary Beth: Marybethl@telenav.com
Last edited by Tunnelrunner; 07-02-2009 at 05:16 PM.
- 07-02-2009, 05:17 PM #22
I've been using Telenav for two weeks now and I used Gokivo prior to it's release and I have to say Tevenav, even with it's shortcomings, is the clear winner.
Too many times with Gokivo I input where I wanted to go and it would try directing me to another place out of the state! Yes, I double checked the address I would put in.
- 07-02-2009, 05:54 PM #23
Didn't know where else to put this but the update for Gmaps came out today with voice commands, but that's the only change, none of the features seen in the Youtube vid made it, no landscape mode, nothing, and I was really looking forward to landscape mode..
- 07-02-2009, 06:31 PM #24
- 07-02-2009, 06:54 PM #25