When Apple showed off it’s iPhone 3.0 software at WWDC, one of the more interesting presentations came from TomTom with their GPS app. It was finally a an iPhone app that actually replaced another expensive gadget. The TomTom app has yet to debut, and so far the GPS apps we have seen require a monthly subscription, which seems a bit overkill. That is until now, at least, with the first major GPS navigation company releasing their app, free of monthly subscription.
The first major GPS app comes from NAVIGON, a Germany-based company, whose European app has been available since June 18. Today it’s North American app (which includes USA and Canada, sorry Mexico) has been approved and pushed to the App Store. One o the first major draws of the NAVIGON app is that all of it’s maps are included in the original 1.29 GB download, so there’s no having to wait for AT&T’s 3G network to download the maps you need. It also features standard iPhone features, like the option for the traditional landscape view or “photo-realistic” 3D portrait view, multi-touch zoom pinching, and uninterrupted use after a phone call is made.
As the first major GPS navigation app in the App Store NAVIGON’s MobileNavigator looks to be as good as any other choice. The iPhone seems like a great idea for these kind of apps, being able to set the destination as one that of one of your contacts seems like a no-brainer. There’s also less chance of your car getting broken into to take it, since chances are you wouldn’t be leaving your iPhone 3G or 3GS in your car for any extended period of time. At the introduction price of $69.99 (going up to $99.99 after August 15) it’s far from an impulse buy, but if you’re in the market for a new GPS unit, and already have an iPhone it might just be worth it. Now if only there was a nifty way of attaching your iPhone to the dashboard to charge it like any other GPS unit.