CoPilot Live [iTunes link] for North American roads is becoming the little engine that could. At only US$34.99 it is quickly adding new features, and in this latest update has added the coveted text to speech capability. For drivers, that means the nav app will say “turn left on Elm street” instead of “turn left just ahead”.
Other new features include adding an iPhone-standard keyboard for entering destinations, instead of the one designed for the app (which was clunky). The maps have been updated, and the developer says there is better integration of the address book from the iPhone.
I took CoPilot for a drive. It acquired the GPS signal quickly and I was on my way. It looks like the POI database has been improved, and the text to speech worked as anticipated. It is a great addition, and even the TomTom still doesn’t have that feature. Navigon and AT&T both have text to speech in their offerings.
I still find that the maps are way below the quality of every other navigator I have tested. Driving home it couldn’t find my street so it just put me on some nearby street. That could be misleading to a driver at best, and dangerous at worse.
The developers say the maps will continue to improve, but maps are what navigation is all about and they need to be up to date. I’ve talked to some users of this software, and they say their region is very accurate, so it depends where you are.
At a fraction of the cost of the ‘big boys’ and with text to speech, CoPilot Live is becoming a very competitive driving companion.
User ratings continue to improve, and I think it is very worthwhile at the low cost (if the map coverage in your area is adequate). If you have your own experiences to share, we’d love to hear from you.