App Review: Gokivo Navigator Turn by Turn GPS for iPhone

(Goviko Navigator for iPhone Forum Review by cjvitek For more Forum Reviews, see the TiPb iPhone App Store Forum Review Index!)

Gokivo [$4.99 - iTunes link (opens in new tab)] is the next GPS application in the increasingly long list of iPhone GPS turn-by-turn apps. First off, when I started the app, I got a little confused because it looks almost exactly like Google Maps (in fact, it may literally be the same). But the interface expands beyond Google Maps. When you put in a term for searching, you get an expanded list of options - including using local Yahoo lists, categories, your contact list, etc.

To use the app, you simply choose your destination (either as an address, contact book entry, local business, etc). From there you can choose to "Bo Navigate" (which is the Gokivo app). Warning - don't choose "directions" - this is the Google map directions. I had a slight problem once where I went into "directions" and actually got into Google Maps, and I couldn't get back to the Gokivo app. There are no settings initially to choose route types or preferences - those can be adjusted later.

The directions provided seems pretty straightforward. It didn't have some of the features that the other apps has (like speeding warning) but it did have traffic warnings. You can also view standard options like ETA, distance to arrival, etc. The POI database appears to be based on local Yahoo data, so it is pretty robust. I put in some obscure locations and it was still able to find them with relative ease. The choice of routes was pretty standard, no real problems or anything, although as with all the apps the ETA was slightly longer than I have seen in reality.

You can review your directions before you take the trip, either in a list form or in a simulated trip form. It does have text to speech, so it reads the road names for you (a feature that I think is great). Because the maps are (seemingly) based on Google maps, there is little footprint on your iPhone. So you do need to have a phone (or internet?) connection to use the app - the maps aren't stored on the device. You can also play your music while in the app.

The app use is very nice - the voice is clear, the directions are announced in plenty of time before the actual turn, and the map itself is easy to read. There wasn't any option I could find to add an interim destination, but all destinations are saved in recents, so you can easily reroute yourself if you change your plans. The maps are very clean - not a lot of clutter making them very easy to read while using the app.

So let's discuss the pricing plan, which has it's plusses and minuses. The price is only $4.99, and this gives you 30 days of access. However, unlike the AT&T Navigator, you don't automatically get rebilled for a new month. You can choose to purchase a new month, or you can wait until you need it again, then purchase a new month. Each month that is purchased is $9.99 [Gokivo has announced this will soon drop to $4.99 -- Rene]. This is, IMO, better than the automatic billing of AT&T Navigator, but ultimately I still prefer to have an upfront cost and not be billed every month. But if you would be using a GPS app sporadically, this may be an ideal solution for you - provided you will have phone coverage where you are going.


All in all, I think Gokivo is a strong competitor in the GPS turn-by-turn market, giving it's variation on the monthly pricing scheme. I still don't like the fact you need to have a data connection, and I found the menus to be a little difficult to use while in the car (unlike the apps that have very large, easy to hit "buttons"). But for people who will only sporadically use a GPS app, this might be a top solution. Combined with their use of Yahoo for a POI database, it holds its own in the market. For a $9.99 initial price (for one month, too bad they don't give you two months or something to start!), I give it four out of five stars.


  • Text to speech
  • Simple interface
  • Pay as you go
  • In app song control
  • Uses Yahoo for POI


  • Pay as you go
  • Buttons for in car use not intuitive
  • Need to have data connection (maps no on device)

TiPb Review Rating

TiPb Forums Review: 40 Star App

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  • As you said this looks like an option for those that only occasionally use turn by turn. Thus, it looks to be competition more so for CoPilot than Navigator or TomTom whom target the everyday users. I'm using CoPilot now, but may give this a peek.
  • I like how motionx gps drive stores the map data on the phone after you go to that location, so I simulate the place I am going to before I go there and predownload the maps just in case I lose data connection on the way, it seems to work well
  • This doesn't have much to do with Gokivo, but I'm still glad that I got Navigon at the introductory rate. Haven't had problems with it (though POIs are out of date). Last night I was looking up a hotel for a future trip and was using online Google maps to get an overview of the area. Google maps didn't even have the street. Looked on Bing and there is was with an aerial view of the location and the actual street. I was a little concerned that I wouldn't be able to enter the location on Navigon when I will actually need to get to the city but when I looked it up, it was quickly found along with a listing of the hotel in the POIs. I also looked it up on my iPhone in Google maps and (as expected) it wasn't found. I don't know how long this street has existed but it seems Google is falling behind in their updates.
  • The biggest feature that I see is if you can enter an address (in normal form). Navigon and other software have a major fail in that area.
    It might be worth the extra $$$ per year to pe able to copy and paste addresses from email, apptointments, web sites, etc. Without needing to write them down on a piece of paper so you can enter them backwards one piece at a time.
  • Please call me (347)785-6597 ASAP