| | 12-13-2012, 12:47 PM #1
I know a lot of people (myself included) were very disappointed with the navigation offering on our Verizon 8x's. I've been testing lots of different apps for navigation and have been decently impressed with third party offerings. One of the apps I was testing was VZ Navigator on a free trial, and after the update from a couple days ago, I plan to pay $2/month to keep using it.
First, for anyone who's used it before or read reviews, these are the new things I've noticed in the update...
- New UI while driving
... menu is now metro style pull up from bottom instead of a button
... the old menu button is replaced with a new route view which gives you a full view of the route
... now shows speed limit of the road your on and alerts you if you're speeding
... swipe the screen over to preview the upcoming intersection, swipe back to center on your car
- Choose from male or female voice
- Runs in background!!! This was a deal breaker before since resuming would lose your route info. Now it not only multitasks properly, but it even narrates directions to you while you're in other apps. So my wife can play angry birds while VZ Navigator announces our upcoming turns from the background. If you click on VZ Navigator's tile from the start screen, it opens properly to your current route instead of restarting the app. It even alerts wrong turns and reroutes you from the background.
- GPS improvements... without a changelog I can't prove they did anything, but it used to fail to find my location while I was in buildings and since the update it has worked everywhere I've tried so far.
- Performance improvements... Once again, this could be me making it up, but it seems to perform quite a bit better.
With all of this, I must say it's my favorite navigation app now. I especially love that it runs in full 720p with no ads and also integrates with the default bing maps well. If you haven't used your free 30 day trial, I recommend giving it another chance. It's really much better than it was before.
The remaining list of issues for me is...
- Doesn't have lane guidance, which it does on iOS and android
- Only has two voices, while iOS and android versions have many more
- Doesn't provide transit information (I never bus, so this doesn't bother me)
- Pauses music every time it announces a direction, and doesn't resume the music after. So you can press play every time it is done talking, but it talks a lot so it can get old and dangerous while driving. This needs to be fixed for me to give it 5 stars.
- Can't access main menu of the app while it's navigating. So to change settings, you have to end trip->update settings->view recent trips->pick the one you were just on so that it continues. It's not the worst thing ever, but would be nice if it kept navigating you while you were changing settings or doing a search for a gas station on the way for example. You can still search bing maps while it navigates, but VZ navigator shows you the gas prices of all the nearby stations which is pretty nice.
- Doesn't have 3d view of buildings, which it does on iOS and android. I would like this.
Overall 4*/5 and in my opinion, the best navigation app available for Verizon customers.
Edit: Let me know if you have any questions about the app. I'll try to answer since it has many features I didn't mention here and I can test anything for you if you want.