The Magellan RoadMate iPhone App is compatible with iPhone 3G and iPhone 3GS and requires iPhone OS 3.0 or later. It requires a reasonably large 2GB of free memory which might be a big ask if you have an 8GB iPhone model. Magellan are advertising different versions of their application based on the pre-loaded NAVTEQ maps; United States & Canada, Western United States, Eastern United States and Europe.
It seems to have been the large 3.5 inch widescreen and simple app installation of the iPhone which has spurred a much more rapid uptake of GPS applications than for previous cellular phone technology. Some specialist GPS navigation device manufacturers, such as Magellan, have embraced this new market and developed adaptations of their automotive navigation software for the iPhone (and iPod Touch).
Consumers should be aware however that the GPS receiver in the iPhone is the same as used for many cellular phones and will likely give similar performance to other GPS enabled cell phones rather than the performance of a dedicated GPS navigation device. For improved performance one can buy a car kit such as the Magellan Premium GPS Car Kit Cradle which has a GPS receiver and battery charger built in.
A complete list of features of Magellan’s RoadMate for iPhone App with brief descriptions is provide below however, it’s worth noting some of the more unique and well integrated features. Although many standalone GPS devices will import address book data files, the integration of the Magellan RoadMate app with the iPhone contact list seems to be well appreciated. The OneTouch interface has integrated well with the iPhone and the ability to create one’s own shortcuts on a dedicated screen is very appealing. Some will find the ability to control audio file playback from within the navigation app to be just what they have been looking for. Switching between portrait and landscape view by rotating the phone is something not found in automotive GPS devices however, there hasn’t been any call for it.
The Magellan RoadMate app is already up to version 1.1 with improvements over the debut 1.0 version user interface have been made including a larger Back Button (small one was much disliked), larger Vehicle Indicator, direct Map Access button, larger placement of Music button, tap Car Icon to save “current location” and improvement on the panning experience.
Feature List – Magellan’s RoadMate for iPhone App
- OneTouch Favorites Menu – for bookmarking favorite places and searches
- Text-to-Speech – spoken street names included navigation instructions
- Highway Lane Assist – for correct lane guidance
- QuickSpell – quicker entry of addresses
- 3D Landmarks – for identifying visual cues
- Address Book Integration – use iPhone address book for desination entry
- In-app Music Control
- Find Your Car – save your parked cars location and find again with pedestrian mode navigation
- Pedestrian Mode navigation
- Pre-loaded maps – supplied by NAVTEQ
- Auto Zoom
- Dual-destination routing – functionality lets you navigate around accidents or stalled traffic, and chooses the best route to get you to your destination quickly and safely.
- Route optimization – optimize a trip for the most efficient route, saving you time and money
- Speed limit warnings
- Night mode – automatically adjusts color and contrast for lower ambient light conditions
- Portrait to Landscape switching
- 6 Million Points of Interest – help you easily find gas stations, restaurants, ATMs, coffee shops, and much more.
- Customizable route options – lets you select the shortest distance, fastest time, most use of freeways, or least use of freeways to customize your route.
- Highway exit POI – search let the user find gas stations, restaurants and hotels near upcoming exits
Some Features Missing from the Magellan’s RoadMate for iPhone App
The Magellan RoadMate App is missing features which are found mostly in the premium RoadMate standalone GPS navigation devices. Features missing include:
Traffic Link – For drivers very familiar with the roads they regularly cover, a Traffic service can be one of the selling points for getting a GPS device. Magellan standalone GPS navigators will automatically generate a route around traffic delays saving time and fuel.
Voice Recognition – Another feature increasing safety by keeping the drivers eyes safely on the road is the voice recognition functionality allowing many functions to be controlled hands-free.
Magellan Maestro AAA Tourbook Guide – provides ratings and descriptions on AAA approved places to stay, play, dine, and save.
Branded POIs – to display favorite coffee shops, restaurants and more by logo