Quick App 3.0: NAVIGON MobileNavigator for iPhone North America

Navigon just sent word that their turn-by-turn GSP navigation solution, MobileNavigator for iPhone [$69.99 on sale - iTunes link], North American edition is now live in the iTunes App Store.

Previously available in European flavor, the North American edition features the same NAVTEQ maps, Reality View Pro, Lane Assistant Pro, Speed Assistant and Day & Night Mode component, points of interest (POI) along the route, and a host of other features.

Pricing is set at $99 -- on sale for $69 through August 15. So, if you prefer to pay up front rather than entering into a subscription service, and you give MobileNavigator North America a try, let us know how it works for you.

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Rene Ritchie

EiC of iMore, EP of Mobile Nations, Apple analyst, co-host of Debug, Iterate, Vector, Review, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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Reader comments

Quick App 3.0: NAVIGON MobileNavigator for iPhone North America


Woah, MobileNavigator Europe is $139.99! That's gotta be the most expensive app in the iTunes store now. :)

maps on the iphone are good enough for me. I will not be paying that kind of money for turn by turn. it's silly

I concur, that's a rediculous price point. Just like $10 a month is. Aren't we already paying enough?

@Chobbs & @Jeff
Disagree wholeheartedly - map development costs money, and replacement cost of a standalone GPS unit is far more (if you were to get a Garmin or Tom Tom instead).
Also, given that you're getting onboard, offline maps with turn-by-turn, I think there's a significant value there. Anyone who thought real turn-by-turn would land for less than $75-100 is kidding themselves.
I'll be waiting to see what Tom Tom comes up with, but this is an interesting development.

"Disagree wholeheartedly - map development costs money, and replacement cost of a standalone GPS unit is far more (if you were to get a Garmin or Tom Tom instead)."
Really? How about the Garmin Nuvi 200 that sells for around $100. Or the TomTom One 130-S for around $120.
They both include... well let's see, a box, an actual hardware GPS, LCD screen, battery, cables... well you get the picture. Oh yes, and maps.
Meanwhile Navigon is $100 for what exactly? Methinks a lot of folks will not bite. Perhaps at the sale price of $70, but even that is a bit pricey for just software and nothing else (compared to dedicated GPS units).

So I've been playing around with the app for a while and I have to say this: Thoroughly unimpressed.
The GPS connectivity is reportedly spotty at best in the best of Europe's locations, and I can't speak for the US's comparison because unfortunately, there is none in the lite version. All you can do is view a demo of what a trip might be like for a couple blocks.
Want to test POI search? Tough cookies. And no, you can't even look up the closest Mrs. Fields!
Like I said, all I'm going by is the Lite version of this app, because the full version isn't up yet (should be any moment), but if the Lite version is anything to judge by, this might be a reasonable purchase.
The UI is nicely done, intuitive, and easy to navigate. Setting your home location is extremely simple, as is searching for locations you wish to navigate to with the predictive suggestions while you type.
All in all, if (BIG if) the GPS connectivity and POI system hold up, this seems to be a top notch navigation app.
...too bad no one will pay for it...

"So I’ve been playing around with the app for a while and I have to say this: Thoroughly unimpressed....this seems to be a top notch navigation app."
Sean, your review completely confuses me.
I subscribe to the AT&T Navigator as i used it with my AT&T slide phone as TeleNav. Now that the volume issue has been resolved, I love that app. It's very easy to use and I CAN search for the closest business, I can make a call to them from that search, and the directions are clear to understand. I do not find the monthly $10 subscription unfair.

You weren't the only one confused by that review.
Reminds me of the App Store user reviews that say an app "SUX" yet in the same review they give it 4-5 stars. I mean, WTF? LOL.

@Macman101 - hopefully before August 15th, so we can make a decision 'cause if I spend $70 only to learn that the TomTom app is better, I'll be PissedPissed...

$99 seems like a lot given how much the prices of "traditional" GPS units have come down. $69 is much more reasonable, but I think $49 would be the max I'd pay...
The other major disadvantage is that if the app does, in fact, suck... you're screwed. If you buy a GPS from Best Buy and you're unhappy, you can always take it back. Not so in the app store. $100 or even $70 is a big investment to make without any guarantee or protection.

What makes this app and the upcoming TomTom different from almost every GPS on the market is the two way connectivity. Only a few models have ever tried two way communications (the Dash being the most ambitious, though it ultimately failed). This is a game changer. Two way connectivity means unlimited POIs updated in real time, at least potentially. I haven't found this to be true in practice (the AT&T Nav program, for example, had no idea where a park nearby was, or for that matter, didn't even seem to have a POI lookup for parks at all!). But two way GPS units will open the door to expanded traffic reporting (like what Dash is trying), more effective route planning from your computer, integration into your address book on the phone, etc. I think the potential is huge.
Given that, is this unit worth it? I tried out the Lite version and was somewhat impressed. But it seemed to be missing some features and the movement through the app wasn't as intuitive as I would like.
Finally, I think TomTom has the right idea with a hardware accessory to clip the iPhone to the window. This solves the battery issue and the problem as to where to place the unit when you are navigating. I am looking forward to the TomTom release for that reason alone.
I wish Garmin would also get into the game, but up to now, they have indicated that they aren't going in that direction. I think they'll change their minds, though, since the market seems to be going to converged devices and away from discrete limited function units.

I do not undastand why people say that this I too high price for this program. Regular gps that you can buy from best buy is between $100 and $500 and that what you should expect from the gps on iPhone that only reason why we are not paying 200-300 is because we do not have to buy device only a licence to use the program. I agree that it would be hard to return it in case of the problem or if we do not like the program that why it should be some kind of trial version to test it. I'm also waiting for a Tom Tom app to see which one would be better I don't know when they will came out with it but it better be soon because if somebody really need a gps they will buy this one and in future would be stupid to also get the Tom Tom.

Navigon not available on the store anymore, it is already gone. That was fast. You can search it and find it, but not download it.
As for this discussion on its price, lest ye forget that your subsidized iPhone is really worth 699-799, so I somewhat understand the choked feeling of paying above $50, for an app when the hardware was already so high. Unlike a lot of people I had to pay full price for my upgrade to the 3GS, as my 3G took a soak in the wash machine thanks to a roommate. So in the end the dollar value of my device is that of same or more of a standard gps unit. I think the value has to come down a bit.

Sure, it's all bundled up front. Now go price updated maps. Tomtom 130 replacement maps for US/North America? $79.99 by themseleves
The application itself costs money to port to the hardware, then you have the content (maps) to consider.
And neither of the hardware GPS you mentioned a) connect to the internet or b) work with you iPhone address book.
Apples to apples, buddy.

@richard price out what maps for a GPS unit cost - it's unfortunate that you had to pay full price, but that's not Navigon or TomTom's issue, right?
How about looking at it this way - $10/mo for AT&T Navigator for 7 months or Navigon $70 flat?

My iPhone 3Gs would only last a 30min trip using this or burst into flames. Any word on 3.1 yet?

Have you all not looked at the app in iTunes? It is $65 right now but will "go up" after August 31st. Too bad this was not pointed out in the TIPB article.
I hope someone jumps on board and buys it and lets us know what they think about it.

Hi - I bought this app today and used it around Columbus, OH. It worked great with no hiccups. The auto re-route was amazingly fast (I'm on a 2008 3G iPhone). I'm using the Griffin WindowSeat Mount and it works just fine. I've had no issues with GPS signal and not enough time using yet to make a battery judgment. I'm happy with the app and at $65 with a $25 mount it rivals any stand alone plus I'm reducing the amount of gadgets I have to keep track of in my truck.

Also, this should work without a live data connection, so someone from the U.S. can travel through Canada without data roaming and vice versa. The AT&T app is more expensive after a short period of time and not available in Canada.

@ibepiglet & @TunnelRunner
Sorry guys, it was 2:30 in the morning and I meant to do a better job of conveying the fact that I really liked the app but was worried about the full version not doing a good job.
The unimpressed feeling came from the fact that the Lite version is so gimped that you can't get a feel for the GPS part of the GPS app at all.
Again, I apologize =)
Won't do that at nearly 3am again lol.

Still going to wait for the TomTom app/mount. Having played with a high-end Navigon PND and high-end TomTom, I find TomTom is much better both in usability, features, and mapping data.

Did they pull the Lite version of the app when the full version went live? I'd like to play with it before I pay the full amount.

Anyone else notice that the TomTom iPhone preview is now OFF of the TomTom homepage? Makes you wonder...

If you're on the fence you can get a free full working version on appulo.us. You must have a jail broken phone to do this. I'm evaluating it now and if I like it, I'll buy it. So far it seems pretty good. Full review tomorrow. (7-28-09

I tried out the jailbroken app (north america version), on my T-mobile iphone and I eventually bought it. It works prefectly well for me, GSP signal takes about 1-3 minutes to sync-in, but after that, this app is both visually appealing and simple to use. Isn't that what an iphone app suppose to be?