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    cjvitek's Avatar
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    Default Review: iGo Primo North America by

    iGo Primo, by NNG Global Services
    $39.99, ****


    • Nice graphics
    • Internet search for locations/POI
    • Some nice “little” features, like estimating gas usage

    • Slow load times and some lags during activity
    • Difficult (at times) for in-navigation controls

    In the interest of full disclosure, I received a promo code to review this app. I previously reviewed the iGo app here (App Review: iGo My Way 2009) giving it 3 out of 5 stars. Many of the positive features (such as the route comparison) remain, while some of my criticisms have been addressed (such as adding intermediate travel points).

    Let’s start when you load the app. I found there was a really LONG load time, waiting for the app to start up. Much longer than other GPS apps, and it certainly makes it difficult to quickly find a route. Once the app loads, however, you get a screen with nice large buttons to show a map, find a location, find a route, or more options. Show the map is basically a map of your current location – no routes, or anything. This is actually a nice feature so you can simply see your surroundings.

    If you want to look for a location, you can find via an address, via a location type (food, gas station, etc), using google local search, or using favorites and contacts. This is a nice layout that provides plenty of methods to find even the most obscure or remote kind of destination. You also have a history button to go back over your previous destinations.

    Find a route brings you either to your current planned route, and enables you to start a new plan. One especially nice feature here is that you can build an itinerary – choose one location after another. This is a great feature if you are planning a road trip with lots of stops, or even just planning to run some errands all day and don’t really know the area. It even can auto-optimize the waypoints for you if you want. When the app calculates a route, it will then incorporate all the various locations along the way. It will automatically suggest what it thinks is the best route, but you have the options of choosing different alternatives. Routes can be selected based on speed, “green”, shortest, or easiest. You can also choose various standard settings like using highways, choosing vehicle type (including bus, taxi, and bike!), and choosing things like paying tolls. There is even an off-road calculation option available, although I didn’t try this.

    The routes selected seemed very reasonable. It was able to find my standard "out of the way, in the middle of nowhere" location, and chose a reasonable route to get there. In addition, looking at various locations around town, reasonable and accurate routes were obtained (no taking me down back alleys or anything - which has happened before!).

    Once you have a route, the maps are very clear, and there is a lane assist available (showing you the lanes and road signs coming up). One issue I had was that editing options are not very easy to get to from the main map screen. You can easily see distance and ETA, but if you want to get to a turn by turn overview, or some other features, it can take a few taps to get to that screen. There is a “quick menu” you can customize to some degree, but that doesn’t have all the options that are available to you. You do have the option is selecting specific roads and trip sections to avoid, something I am very happy to see. You can buy a traffic option to avoid traffic, but I didn’t purchase any of the optional downloads.

    One interesting features I noticed: it calculates the gallons of gasoline you will use in the trip, along with the carbon dioxide you will produce. The gas feature is nice, because at least you can try to predict if you have enough gas, or how many times you will fill up. You can modify the car settings (including things like mileage) in the settings menu.

    All in all, I feel this is a strong improvement from the previous iGo navigation app. Many of my concerns with the previous app are addressed to some degree, and many of the nice features from the previous app remain. I still wish it would load faster, and I wish it had some easier buttons for in-navigation use, but for $39.99, this is a strong contender in the navigation field. Some of the add on purchases, like traffic for more than $30 seem excessive. For people with an iPad, this is a universal app, so you can use it on all your iOS devices with a GPS. Four out of five stars.

    Rating scale:

    * = No redeeming qualities or features, probably not worth it even if it is free
    ** = Few redeeming qualities, or is simply isn't worth the price
    *** = Some good features but also some clear flaws.
    **** = A solid app, worth the money if interested, a few flaws or problems or slightly overpriced
    ***** = Top of the line app, no problems or drawbacks.

    Price is factored into the ratings. Ratings are lowered if I feel the price of the app outweighs the benefits/enjoyment/features it provides. Likewise, an app that is a good value for the money will have a higher rating. Please comment on these reviews. If you own the app, tell me what your opinion is. If the review prompted you to buy (or not buy) the app, let me know why. If you want more information about the app, go ahead and ask.

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