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Thread: My Comparison of CoPilot, Navigon, and Sygic

  1. #1
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    My Comparison of CoPilot, Navigon, and Sygic

    As some of you know, I do quite of bit of route planning before our road trips, cetainly more than average traveler. While we always have a destination in mind, we tend to take a lot of little side-trips and different routes to get there. Until now, I’ve used a combination of Google Maps Online on my laptop and my Garmin Nuvi 350. Last Christmas, I bought the Navigon app (now owned by Garmin who will hopefully enhance it) at a discount. A few months ago, I installed the free version of the CoPilot app, as well as the totally free Navfree USA app.

    Recently my Nuvi died, so I’ve been contemplating a replacement. Kenneth has me pretty well convinced that I should consider using my Thrive. Since I tested use of my Thrive on our last trip, I already know that it is too big and unwieldy for my style. However, BusyOne noticed my plight and suggested I consider a 7” tablet instead (though not necessarily a 7” Thrive due to cost). To aid in my decision, he has graciously provided me with a full version of the Sygic app to test, and I’ve been enjoying doing so.

    To make it a real-world test, I decided to plan the route for our next trip coming up in Jan/Feb using 3 of the 4 apps I mentioned earlier. I’d previously tested Navfree USA and found that it can’t find my address here as well as several other addresses without using the internet search function. While that will work when I’ve got an internet connection, I refuse to use it simply because it can’t find my address, even though it shows up when I zoom the map. I know the app works for a lot of folks, but it’s just not for me and I’m not going to spend any more time on it. Sorry!
    Anyway, I already have the route in Google Maps Online and the major stops/POI’s entered in my Nuvi. However, to make the test even more real, I’ve decided to start from scratch. Plus, we’ve added a few new stops, so I figure it will be a good test.

    The first thing you notice (with the versions I have) is the cost. CoPilot is $15, Sygic is $40, and Navigon is a whopping $60. CoPilot has USA/Canada maps, Navigon has USA/Canada/Mexico maps and Sygic only has USA maps. They all have various options to purchase different sets of maps, as well as versions with different feature sets, and these all affect the final cost. I should note that CoPilot’s Canada map is one file, while Navigon’s is separated by Province. Unfortunately, Canada will not be part of this test, but I’ll try to see if I can determine if this makes any real difference. I’ve been to several parts of Canada, so I can retrace some of that.

    Along the same line, storage requirements are different too. CoPilot uses 1.66 Gb, Navigon uses 3.75 Gb, and Sygic uses 3.80 Gb. I’m probably not going to be able to determine why there are differences or how much they matter, but I’ll note anything I find.

    Here is the itinerary for getting to the first major destination, our daughter’s home in GA. We plan to do something similar on the way home by going up to the DC area, over to Woodstock VA, and down through Chattanooga TN. For the purposes of this review, I’ll only do the first half. I start by entering the “final” destination and then add Waypoints for the stops along the way. There might be better ways to do this, so I’m open to suggestions. If I skimp of specific menus, etc., just ask and I’ll try to elaborate. This is not intended to be a User’s Guide, just a general idea of what’s involved and what’s different between the 3 apps. Rather than one large post, it's split into 4 parts; Overview, CoPilot, Navigon, and Sygic.

    Home, Peoria AZ
    Motel, Ft Stockton TX
    World Birding Center, Edinburg TX
    Relatives, Humble TX
    Motel, Slidell LA
    Brother, Cape Canaveral FL
    Everglades Alligator Farm, Florida City FL
    Brother, Cape Canaveral FL
    Daughter, Richmond Hill GA
    lastcatspike and rosalie like this.
    Cheers, Dave

    ICS Rooted (IMM76D.01.000072314)

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  3. #2
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    CoPilot

    App opens to “Go To” page
    Select Address option
    Enter City
    Enter Street
    Enter House Number

    First thing I notice is CoPilot cannot find the house number (hello Navfree USA).
    So, it finds a location in Townsend GA. Not good.
    I zoom in on map to discover it is not up-to-date.
    I go through browsing the map, etc., to pick the nearest location and save it as a My Place.
    I then try to use it, but find I have to back out to Clear Destination and start again.
    This time I pick My Places and nothing happens.
    I select Map in the upper left and it takes me to my starting point.
    From there, I select the Menu and My Route to finally get a route displayed.

    The display offers Preview and Alternate options, one of the nice features. In this case, it wants me to go up through Amarillo, Dallas, or San Antonio. Since I’ve already decided on some Waypoints, I select the San Antonio route and go back to My Route to see the list of driving instructions next to the route map.

    Now it’s time to add my Waypoints, so I select Edit and then Add Stop.
    I again get the options for Address, My Places, POI’s, etc.
    Since I don’t know the city, I select POI’s. One of the categories is Hotels, so I pick that.
    Here is where I had some trouble before I finally saw the light.
    You are presented a list of selections, but they are for your current location.
    You have to select the Search Nearby option where you then see “To Different City”.
    Here’s where we enter Ft Stockton and get a list of hotels/motels. You can scroll the list or start entering letters to narrow the selection. I chose Super 8 and found there is only one in Ft Stockton. And then Add To Trip.

    Here is the next thing I don’t like, though just like Google, it adds Super 8 to the end of the list.
    So, you have to select it and then use the up/down options to move it. There is a “Trip Options” called “Optimize Stops” that will put them in order for you. However, you’ll see later that you need to be careful with this option.

    Anyway, now we have our first Waypoint.
    Next we want the birding center, so we go through the Add and this time we select “Search All” or “More Categories”.

    Here we find another thing I don’t like, I can’t figure out which category the center might be in. I try Attractions, no. So I try All Categories, still no. So, I resort to Bing Local Search, the same problem I have with Navfree USA. It finds it, so I add it to favorites, but what if I was without WiFi?
    Then I go through moving it up or optimize again. To be fair, you can enter all you Waypoints and then optimize them.

    I now enter the in-law, internet friend, brother, and Everglades addresses. I select optimize and we’re good.
    Now though I need to go back to the brother address before continuing to daughter. When I put those in and optimize, guess what happens? Yes, the two brother address as grouped together and the daughter is placed ahead of them because the optimum route would be to go there first and then the Everglades.
    So, you manually rearrange those and leave your hands off the optimize option.
    Select “Calculate Route” and you’re basically done.

    But wait! I see a toll road I don’t want to pay for. Oh-oh, no option to avoid tolls that I see. If it’s there, I missed it.
    I try various things. I zoom in on the road and get a popup with an option to “Avoid this Road”. I select that and it successfully avoids the toll. However, you may need to select multiple parts to avoid the entire toll-way. You can then decide if the alternate route is worth the savings. You can leave it in and check the mileage/time, then take it out and check the difference. In this case, the toll is $7.00 and the difference is 13.9 mi/14 min (3390.1/57:45 - 3404.0/57:59), but you avoid going through Orlando in favor of skirting Jacksonville, so cost is not the only factor.

    When the route is the way you want it, select “Go” to begin navigation. My version doesn’t have that or the option to save the route, so I need to stop here as far as CoPilot goes.
    Cheers, Dave

    ICS Rooted (IMM76D.01.000072314)

  4. #3
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    Navigon

    App opens to a stupid warning page about driven attention. It would be okay if it was only once, but it’s every time.
    Hit “Ok” and it takes you to the real opening screen.

    Select the option for “Route Planning” where you can start a new route.
    Here is where it gets a little silly. The screen says to “Add route point”, but to do so, you have to select the settings Window in the bottom bar or the Menu icon in the upper right. Both bring up an “Add route point” option that also needs to be selected. Silly!

    Anyway, now you can enter an address, etc. The other weird thing is you have to start by adding your current location. The cool thing is you can select “My Destinations” to get 3 options; Recents, Favorites, and Contacts. Contacts is a very useful option, it even lets you select between home and work addresses.
    Entering an address brings you to a location info/map screen where you can double-check and then finally add it to your route.

    Things change a bit here. Select POI to bring up some categories. Trouble is they are icons, some of which are less than intuitive and, to be honest, it never really tells you what they are. You just kind of figure it out. .
    The first looks like lodging, but you won’t find that out until further in.
    Anyway, set the state and enter a city to get more specific categories. Lodging will get you a list of hotels/motels. Again, you can scroll or enter letters to get what you want.

    Once you have it, you get the info/map screen and have to select “Add to route” again. This one I don’t mind though because the map shows how close to the freeway you are, etc.
    To find the wildlife center, you select the icon that kind of looks like a map to bring up some categories.
    You set the state and then select a category

    Again, I don’t know where to start for a center, so I used All.
    Now I can enter some search terms. I start with W-O-R and there I see the World Birding Center. Unlike CoPilot, it lets me search state-wide. Also unlike CoPilot, it actually has it in the POI database, so I don’t need WiFi, a BIG plus!
    There is no optimize option, but you long-press to move locations around, then “Calculate Route”, followed by “Start Navigation”.

    Once in navigation mode, there is an option for Route/Route Profile where you can avoid/forbid toll roads. When you exit that, it recalculates the route. I had to Forbid the toll road because it decided I should spend the $7.00 if I just select Avoid.
    Last edited by DoubleDAZ; 06-18-2012 at 10:05 PM.
    Cheers, Dave

    ICS Rooted (IMM76D.01.000072314)

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    Sygic

    App opens to Last Route and takes some time to calculate it. Fortunately, a Cancel button eventually shows and it takes you to a map of your current location. You can choose a flat or earth-type grid view. There are other options inside, but I’ll leave it at these.
    Select the Window icon to get a list of options.

    The first thing to do is look at Settings/Route Planning. This is where you set toll road and fast/short/econ options. In this case, fast/short go through Dallas, econ goes through Amarillo and none go through San Antonio. If you change your mind later, these can be easily changed.

    Now use “Navigate to…” to start. Here you can select address, POI, contacts, favorites, history, etc.
    I’m going to start with my daughter as a contact and “Drive to”. A negative here is that it again calculates the route. At this point you can select Done or add Waypoints.
    To add a Waypoint, select that option, then “Enter address”.

    This works a little different, but it’s easy enough. Select a state, enter a city/zip. Sygic is forgiving here because it recognizes both FT and FORT as meaning the same thing. Unlike Navigon, you have to enter a city/zip.
    Again, I don’t know the street, so I leave that blank and move on to POI.
    There are no categories. So you get every POI in the city and have to narrow the search by entering something. I again looked for Super 8.

    Here is another little quirk. When you make your selection, you get “Drive to”, “Walk there” and “Travel via”.
    At first, I kept selecting “Drive to” when the correct answer was “Travel via”. If you hit “Drive to”, it reset your final destination and you start all over.

    Again, it calculates the route, something that does get a little irritating after awhile.
    Here you can select Options to enter another Waypoint (you have to scroll down to find the option). The problem here is I cannot find a way to use Contacts, Favorites. etc., again and it also recalculates yet again.

    When I get to the Cape, it sees there is a toll road and asks if you want to avoid it. You can change that later too or change the default.
    I should mention here that adding subsequent Waypoints means you have to scroll through all the instructions to get to the option again, another thing that gets old. One good thing is if you have to enter the same address more than once, it remembers and brings up the previous selections as you move through the address fields. Not as good as just selecting a Favorite or Recent, but better than nothing.

    Optimize is the default, so you have to go in after and move some Waypoints. Select one and get various options, including move up/down. I don’t see an option to change this, but I haven’t explored all settings, there are a lot.

    The coolest thing feature is that like Google Maps Online, it shows mileage/time between Waypoints, something neither of the others do. That is pretty valuable when planning a route that requires several stops.
    Last edited by DoubleDAZ; 06-18-2012 at 10:06 PM.
    Cheers, Dave

    ICS Rooted (IMM76D.01.000072314)

  6. #5
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    In summary, this was an enjoyable exercise and I've narrowed my personal options to Navigon and Sygic. Until I got Sygic (thanks Bill) and I delved deeper into Navigon, I was going to buy the upgrade to CoPilot because it seemed closer to Google Maps Online. Even though I didn't really need it, I though $15 was cheap enough. However, now that I've experienced the differences first-hand 9n a real-worod exercise, CoPilot just falls too short for me. IMHO, the lack of up-to-date maps and fewer POIs is too much to overcome.

    I'll admit that already owning Navigon is probably a factor. But even without that, I'd now opt to pay $40 for Sygic before I'd pay $15 for CoPilot. The Waypoint mileage/time make up for the constant recalculation and is so useful for planning long trips. I'm not sure I'd pay $60 for Navigon though. I like how it searches for POIs and most everything else is easy enough. If it showed Waypoint mileage/time, I know I'd pay the extra $20. As it is, I expect Garmin to make some improvements now that they own it. Bill has graciously offered to let me use Sygic as long as I want becausehe doesn't use it. So, I've got plenty of time to make up my mind and that probably won't be until after I decide between the Nuvi 2455LMT and a 7" tablet.

    I should also mention that the routes chosen by all 3 apps were different in some places and I still need to look at that. If I find anything significant, I'll be sure to post an addendum. And I certainly would welcome comments, as long as they aren't just bashing one over another. I realize a lot of folks use Navfree USA, probably because it's free, but it does do much of the job, just not enough for me. CoPilot is also a fine app, but fell short in some areas that are important to me. So, the only apps I feel comfoftable with are Navigon and Sygic.
    Last edited by DoubleDAZ; 06-18-2012 at 10:47 PM.
    Cheers, Dave

    ICS Rooted (IMM76D.01.000072314)

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    Thanks DD. A timely report.

    I have just spent a week in Santa Margherita Ligure, Italy.

    I used it to try Copilot GPS on a Samsung S2 phone. If you only download one country the software is free. So I downloaded Italy.

    I found it pretty useless for walking about the town.

    Quite often it took the phone back to its logon screen after about thirty seconds of use.

    It struggled to lock on to the GPS signal when my GPS Status app was showing a good signal.

    The range of POI's seemed rarely to include the hotels and restaurants we intended to visit.

    I have yet to discover how the screen orientation worked. I am pretty sure it was not North to the top and it certainly was not the direction we were walking.

    All in all a total disappointment. And now I have Italy on the S2 I cannot try any further tests in the UK.

    The paid for CoPilot would need to work a lot better for it to be worth 2 USD let alone 20. I guess I need to try Sygic.

    Tony

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    Very comprehensive, Dave. Thanks!
    I'm taking a serious look at Sygic-comparing it to the Pioneer-based OEM Nav in my car.
    We'll see how it fares once I can drive again...
    ~Dan


    Running DaleNet Rooted ICS v4.0.4 and Turbo Prop mod

    No affiliation with Toshiba whatsoever- other than as a satisfied Thrive owner.

  9. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by TonyGamble View Post
    Thanks DD. A timely report.

    I have just spent a week in Santa Margherita Ligure, Italy.

    I used it to try Copilot GPS on a Samsung S2 phone. If you only download one country the software is free. So I downloaded Italy.

    I found it pretty useless for walking about the town.

    Quite often it took the phone back to its logon screen after about thirty seconds of use.

    It struggled to lock on to the GPS signal when my GPS Status app was showing a good signal.

    The range of POI's seemed rarely to include the hotels and restaurants we intended to visit.

    I have yet to discover how the screen orientation worked. I am pretty sure it was not North to the top and it certainly was not the direction we were walking.

    All in all a total disappointment. And now I have Italy on the S2 I cannot try any further tests in the UK.

    The paid for CoPilot would need to work a lot better for it to be worth 2 USD let alone 20. I guess I need to try Sygic.

    Tony
    It's a real shame that all versions are not free like "GPS" is. I don't know what extras the "Live versions bring to the table, so I encourage folks to read the descriptions.

    I didn't do any actual navigation, that is for the next comparison test. I'll have to take a look at the orientation though, I didn't notice that, just assumed it was direction of travel.

    Thanks for the comments and confirmation about POIs.
    Cheers, Dave

    ICS Rooted (IMM76D.01.000072314)

  10. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by danvee View Post
    Very comprehensive, Dave. Thanks!
    I'm taking a serious look at Sygic-comparing it to the Pioneer-based OEM Nav in my car.
    We'll see how it fares once I can drive again...
    I need to find out what system my brother's Hyundai Sonata Blue uses. I know my daughter's Suburban is Pioneer. I used both while visiting and got fairly good with the Suburban, but was a lot quicker, etc., with my Nuvi. I did have a chance to update the Suburban and what a PIA that was. I had to insert the DVD and then sit in the car for over 3 hours pressing buttons to keep the update going. Could have been something wrong with the unit or disk, but it did say the update would take about 3 hours. I probably would have learned them faster too if I could have held them in my hand, etc. The experiences just reinforced my desire never to buy in-car navigation. I've used my Nuvi in 8 cars, something you can't do with an in-car system.

    The only real negatives to Sygic were the constant recalculations during the planning process and having to scroll so much to add a Waypoint.

    Next will be driving tests so I can see how they recalculate when I deviate from a chosen route. One of the complaints about older Nuvi's was the constant "recalculating" notice. They've taken that out of newer models. However, the unintended side-effect is now you can deviate from your route and not realize it. The Nuvi just recalulates the route and keeps going. I guess sone don't even do that, they keep trying to get you back on the original route unless you manually reset the destination. I don't know how true that is, but you can bet I'll check it.
    Cheers, Dave

    ICS Rooted (IMM76D.01.000072314)

  11. #10
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    Odd.. Both of my Lincolns (and now my Toyota) update their firmware and maps from DVD in less than a couple of minutes...
    It wouldn't surprise me if Hyundai made their own. They have an electronics division in Korea (and have for a long time) called Hynix (I've seen laptop computers with Hynix-branded memory cards from the factory- HP for one..). There have also been many Hyundai-branded radios, receivers, VCRs, DVD players that have crossed my path over the years.
    When I was in the business many moons ago Pioneer, Alpine, Blaupunkt, and Eclipse were the big guys in OEM Nav systems.
    ~Dan


    Running DaleNet Rooted ICS v4.0.4 and Turbo Prop mod

    No affiliation with Toshiba whatsoever- other than as a satisfied Thrive owner.


 
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