Tom Tom sat nav put up a good fight

There is no doubt that Tom Tom make some of the best sat navs on the market at the moment, they can tell you where the local food house is, where’s the best shopping parlour to get your shoes and all the while it keeps you from getting stuck in traffic for hours.

Sat navs have come a long way in the last few years; it’s not so long ago that a mobile phone wasn’t very good at making phone calls let alone have a map on it.

Things are very different now; with the advent of smart phones we can navigate to anywhere in the world while Tweeting about it. Even Tom Tom have realised the shift of the buying public over to smart phones and released an Android and iOS app that allows all the same functions of the traditional sat nav but on your phone.

Is there a future for the in car sat nav these days?

Yes, the bigger screen and the stick on pad still make the sat nav better than a smart phone.

I’ve had a few different types of sat nav on test from the Start 25 to the Go-Live 1000 and although the features vary around the basic “get me to an address” remains the same. They all work out of the box but I find that you need to update them using your computer to make them work properly. For instance I had the Top Gear Clarkson edition and he had this habit of stopping mid sentence by saying “Ahead turn left and then..” nothing, after I updated he would tell me what was next.

The Top Gear version is the most fun but you need to be a fan of the show because Clarkson continues to talk even if there are no directions to give, “I’m so board with this journey now” features along with “You’ve arrived at your destination with the aid of 32 satellites and me, well done”

The fundamentals remain good, setting a destination once you have an address is easy enough but, finding a business name in Ireland can be a hassle. There is built in Google search on most of the devices which allows you to search for anything using the Live Service. Google is such a big search engine that its very easy to pull up 10 or 15 results on what you’re looking for, it’s also possible that none of them are the one you want.

You see the UK and most of the rest of Europe is mapped with the Postcode system working along side which means you just type the postcode and the sat nav knows what you’re on about. Despite the fact that postcodes were invented in 1850 by Rowland Hill, the same man who invented the postage stamp, Ireland still doesn’t have them which mean we still have to search by address which can be a little cumbersome because street names change and new streets are added.

While the Tom Tom range is extensive, the real future of Sat Nav is on your phone and Tom Tom knows this that’s why they’ve put the Apps on, now all we need is postcodes and a nice holder for your phone in the car. Until then the big screens of the sat nav will reign as the best way to get around.

I have a video of me using the Top Gear sat nav that will be up shortly.

You can find out more info about the Tom Tom range on the web site right here