Updated to include force-quit fix for missing favorites.
If you're already a Navigon GPS app owner you'll find a significant free update at the app store today. If you haven't chosen a GPS navigation solution yet, Navigon has given you good reason to check the product out.
Navigon 2.0 is a complete rethink of the app, with new GUI elements, and the ability to selectively download just the states you want maps for. Never get to the West coast? Save space by not putting those maps on your iPhone at all. Users of the North America and USA versions in particular will benefit, so map storage can be measured in megabytes rather than gigabytes. Even owners of the regional versions can save a lot of storage space. The result is a lot of extra room on your iPhone or iPad for music, movies, or apps.
Even better for fence sitters, Navigon has reduced the cost of the North America version to US$39.00 until November 30, which is $20.00 off. Navigon USA drops $20.00 to $29.99. Navigon Canada gets a a $20.00 discount too, so it's also $29.99. The regional US apps drop by ten dollars to $19.99.
The new user interface is much easier to use, allowing you to switch between different pages with animated menus and new multi-touch gestures. It is now possible to access the start screen during navigation to enter a new address without having to first stop the current route. In addition, NAVIGON separated the app options into two menus, differentiating between settings and actions. The new settings menu allows users to easily customize functions and change preferences, for example when to receive speed warnings, while the new Actions menu lets you use functions that are needed while navigating such as points of interest search and social network postings.
NAVIGON 2.0 for iPhone also has a new look that displays the map in the background even when accessing menu pages. Furthermore, it is very easy to rotate and zoom maps in any direction when in 3D mode and tap points of interest on the map to instantly add them to a route.
When you update the app you'll get a first time user page that asks what states you want to download. You can download them all, or be selective. I downloaded Arizona and a couple of surrounding states I travel to, and that totaled about 100 MB, a far cry from the almost 2 GB the whole country would need. When I tried to restore some of my previously purchased extras, however, the app wouldn't do it. It may be because I switched phones recently from the iPhone 4 to the 4S, but it's an issue that needs to be sorted and I'll offer this warning for people in the same boat. Also note that recents, favorites, and your home address may be invisible after the upgrade. NAVIGON recommends force-quitting the app (double-tap the home button to bring up multitasking bar, hold down finger on app icon until delete badge appears, tap badge in upper left corner to quit app) and relaunching to get back your preferences.
Navigon continues with a policy of in-app purchases for extra features, and adds FreshMaps, which is a subscription service that keeps maps updated for a year. A subscription for North America is on sale for $14.99, which is $5 off during the sale. Frankly, I'd like to see map updates as part of the package, not as an add-on. Navigon also continues to offer extra cost packages for live traffic, Zagat reviews, and Panorama 3D views, which show hills and mountains areas you might drive through.
On a brief test I conducted this morning, I found the typical Navigon quality, and I liked the overall reorganization of the menus. They are simpler and faster to use, and grouped in a logical way.
The Navigon family of apps will satisfy just about anyone's navigation needs. This latest update is a compelling addition and a must to consider if you are looking for one of the best high-end navigation solutions around. The Navigon apps are universal and run on the iPhone and the iPad. You can see some of the new features in this Navigon video on YouTube and you can check some of the new screens in the gallery below.