A few years ago, back when I had just started making videos, I reviewed CoPilot Live UK + Ireland along with the Brodit Proclip mount for my car. Well recently CoPilot got back in touch and offered me their ‘Premium’ version of the software to test drive. Naturally I can’t turn down an offer to review something that involves driving, I love to drive.
First off, this app is very similar to the standard app save for a few extra features (kind of obvious given that it’s called CoPilot ‘Premium’). You can check out the basic app here in my original video:
(Jump to 2.30 to watch the review of the app)
A lot of people argue that with Google Navigator pre-installed on most Android devices (me included before I trialled CoPilot alongside it) that there is no need to also pay for these high-quality navigation apps. Why not just use the free service that you are given? Personally I have found that I can’t rely on Google Navigator 100% of the time, sometimes I need to take a different route to the one it has laid out for me and it takes up valuable data allowance re-routing me. I only have 500MB limit on my contract and I often push that limit during the month, I don’t want to find myself lost because I can’t afford to let Navigator re-route me. I know Google recently started to allow you to pre-cache areas of the map to help but I can never second guess a traffic incident and cache the right section of the country. This is were the premium sat-nav applications come in with their regularly updated map downloads, I don’t seem to be the only one to think this either, CoPilot have reported a 40% year on year rise in sales (Q4 2010 – Q4 2011). Larger screen devices are proving the most popular with the Samsung Galaxy S2 being used by over a fifth of all CoPilot users. Tablets are also beginning to prove popular as navigation devices, with 10% of users running the app on a tablet device including 4% on the Samsung Galaxy Tab, and 3% on the Asus EeePad Transformer. Meanwhile with its huge screen, the Samsung Galaxy Note already accounts for over 5% of users. That’s enough of the figures though, lets look at what the Premium app has to offer over the standard one.
As you can see here, the actual UI is a complete change from that of the standard app. All the same functionality is there, it’s all just been given a make over. I find it much nicer and it seems to all just respond a bit more fluidly, maybe it’s just because I prefer it.
The basic routing is very similar, but with their ‘Personal Routes’ feature you can customise the journey to take in your favourite roads or have the app show you up to three different alternatives. To change the route to take in a favourite road or a nice bit of the countryside just click the route and drag! It’s that easy and I have actually used this a few times. I’m not accusing CoPilot of not getting the best route, but it’s just tried to send me around the ‘faster’ roads when I knew that inside of rush hour the lanes would be quicker (I suppose your question then was why did I need sat-nav? I just like to use to for it’s ETA when I am driving roads I know). You can also simply tap the map and say ask it to route you there, eliminating the need to actually know the name of where you are travelling to.
Another new feature (and inevitable in this Foursquare inspired culture) is the ability to post your location to Facebook and twitter upon arrival! I am not that excited about this feature, I’m not one to post my location constantly unless it has a real purpose (I’m at the cinema seeing * insert film*, ask me about it later) but there are a lot of people that do like that sort of thing.
The final feature that I want to talk about is the ActiveTraffic.You can turn on and will periodically check the traffic situation for your route ahead. You can adjust update intervals and how far ahead you want it to warn you about. I think that’s quite a nice feature, it’s an extra £9.99 a year on top though.
So is it worth purchasing? At £20.82 it’s not exactly cheap, but if you already have a phone it makes it much cheaper than a dedicated system. Free map updates, app updates and the ActiveTraffic make it very tempting. The only downside I could come up with was the lack of a custom keyboard for using when your driving. I know you shouldn’t use it when actually driving but a couple of times I did find myself needing to make adjustments and the standard keyboard didn’t quite cut it, it was very difficult to accurately type in an address.
Overall I do recommend this app, it’s very aesthetically pleasing and works perfectly as a sat-nav. It’s just down to you to swallow that ‘£20.82’ pill.
CoPilot Live Premium (Market Link)