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Review: NDrive

December 10, 2009



img_0064NDrive is a new turn by turn navigation app for the iPhone and iPod Touch produced by NDrive Navigation Systems SA of Portugal. There are getting to be a lot of navigation apps for the iPhone, and many of them have similar feature sets, so I won't bore you with all the normal information, since NDrive can do all of the same things; nearby POIs, search by street, business name or type, search by zip code and save favorites. So what features are unique to NDrive?


• Text-to-speech and turn-by-turn voice directions - Vocal output of street names and locations • Maps of USA and Canada stored on the iPhone - No need for a data connection for maps • 3D/2D driving views - Standard map views for more or less detail • Portrait/landscape mode - View mode switches with accelerometer • Option to detour and choose an alternate route - Should main route be congested, find a way around • Route optimizer - Choose the best routing for your needs. Toll, non-toll, highways, back roads. • Tap to dial a POI directly on screen - Just tap to access Points of Interest from the menu • Import your trip itinerary - Use on-line account to plan entire vacation trip and import to iPhone. • Auto day/night mode - Maps will auto adjust to represent day and night driving.

The Breakdown:

I will be honest with you some may say that NDrive isn't as polished as the others but it is a very good app. I know a lot of people with iPhones that either through personal budget or being frugal like me can't fathom spending $79.99 to $99.99 for an app for their iPhone. Well for those of us in those categories, NDrive is a great app for turn by turn navigation. It is a well designed app and does a very good job of getting you from point A to point B and contains all your major POIs as well as any of the others. The Good: img_0067Unlike most of the other turn by turn apps for the iPhone, NDrive shows both the distance to your next turn as well as to your destination. For me this is a big difference I really hate navigation apps or units that always only show the distance to my next turn. Now Magellan's app does show the distance to your destination instead of per turn which I love but NDrive gives you the best of both worlds. The maps and audible commands are very well done in NDrive just like the others and you can change the view from 2D to 3D and tracking modes. NDrive also downloads all the data to your iPhone so it takes over one gigabyte of space like all the others. Now another feature that is unique to NDrive is that you can create an account on their website and using the website and NDrive on the iPhone you can plan your entire trip itinerary for where ever you are going. Want to take the family on a trip over vacation to see the country? Well NDrive can handle all your travel details and import them right into NDrive on your iPhone so you can always have all your plans handy on the road. Also I like the speed alerts and even better the built in camera trap alerts as well. These can come in handy in areas like Atlanta where a lot of those pesky cameras are being used. The user interface is also very smooth and well designed and navigating NDrive is easy and hassle free the settings and all the sub features are handy. The Bad: The one major negative I found in NDrive is that sometimes the data isn't as accurate as the other similar apps. For instance, I typed in my home zip code in PA of 16947 which is located in Bradford County but it seemed to at times confuse Bradford County with Bradford the City. The other thing I did notice it was lacking was the ability to specify other vehicle types, such as RV or motorcycle. I'm not going to complain a lot about that as even though I ride motorcycle a lot I generally don't need to specify it in my GPS. Additionally I feel that it is something they can always add with a simple update. The Verdict: In conclusion, I feel that NDrive is a great turn by turn app for the iPhone and iPod Touch. One of the best things about NDrive is the great price at only $32.99 versus the big name apps that run $79.99 to $99.99. I don't know about our readers but I am a bit frugal when it comes to buying apps for my iPhone and I can go for the price of NDrive a lot easier than the more expensive apps like TomTom, Magellan and Navigon. Now don't get me wrong I am not knocking any of the others I just like the price point of NDrive a lot better and I don't feel that the consumer is going to miss anything against the others.

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