The TomTom Debate

Almost two years ago, I purchased a TomTom GPS unit for my car and it turned out to be one of the best decisions I ever made. I was getting ready to go on a business trip to Claremore, Oklahoma (ever been there? No? Don’t.), and I knew that without some kind of help, I was destined to get lost. I spent way more on it than I ever intended to, but it worked. I left the airport and instantly was stuck in round-a-bouts that I never would’ve been able to navigate without the TomTom. It was sweet.

And then it got stolen back in October when I went to Vegas on business. Yay.

At that point, I had my iPhone 3GS, so I used that to get around town when the GPS was gone, but it wasn’t quite the same. Kinda sucked, actually, because it’s difficult to drive while looking down at your phone regularly to make sure that everything is OK.

I’ve been debating getting the TomTom app for the iPhone, but two things are stopping me. First, it’s not cheap. $49.99 is nothing when compared to a full-n GPS unit, but the fact is that I feel like it should be cheaper for some unexplained reason. Second, I’d need a way to mount it on the windshield so that I could see it while driving. That fancy little kit pictured above is $100, and it doesn’t work with my iPhone 4. I’m sure that’ll change soon.

So for me, it would run $150 to get the kit setup the way I want it to work, and even then, I’d have to wait for all the parts to be produced and released. Is it worth it? Part of me says yes, because it’s current, it’s frequently updated, and works well. On the other hand, Apple has been buying up a lot of map companies in the past few years, and it makes me wonder if they’re working on a turn-by-turn system of their own.

Thoughts?

Comments

  1. Try MotionX Gps Drive. It’s $.99 and works great! I just took a road trip from Sacramento to Colorado and used it the whole time without any issues. It’s iOS 4 compatible so you get background instructions.

  2. I’ve had the TomTom (US/Canada) since it came out for iPhone at $99, and it has definitely been worth it, even at the higher price. If I were buying today, I’d probably consider Navigon as well, as it appears to be well supported, and have feature parity with pretty much all the good GPSes out there.

    As far as a window mount, I don’t use the TomTom mount, but the Kensington mount that can fit different size iPhones. The additional GPS in the tomtom mount might help in city environments, but as I’m mostly driving around the suburbs with occasional city trips, the added expense and the inconvenience of the mount (it appears to mount very close to the windshield, which is a looong reach in my car) aren’t worth it.

    After using an iPhone GPS system, I don’t think I’d ever go back to a standalone unit…it is just too convenient to always have a GPS with you, and not to have 2 different devices to juggle car adapers for.

  3. Tigerman says:

    I have Tom Tom as well as Navigon and honestly prefer the latter. The iPhone4 fits in the Tom Tom holder if you put a little something behind its bottom to assure a tight connection. You’ll know because the phone will make a chirp sound as it connects.

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