Finding your way from a printed map was fine back in Lewis and Clark’s day, but not for you. You’re a man of the 21st century. You haven’t mailed a letter with a stamp since 1998. You haven’t gotten your news from a newspaper in years. So why should you be expected to get directions from a static, paper map? You need cutting-edge technology. You need interactivity. You need a female voice ordering you what to do.
TeleNav GPS Navigator is a full-function navigation system that, instead of coming as an expensive, stand-alone piece of equipment, resides entirely on your mobile phone. I gave it a shot this week, and I was surprised how much was packed into what is essentially a cell phone app.
Once you launch TeleNav, (and agree not to do anything but listen to directions while actually driving), it gives you the option of getting driving directions by searching over 10 million businesses, coffee shops, ATMs, WiFi hotspots, hotels and even gas stations by price. Choose one and you’ll get detailed voice and onscreen turn-by-turn directions. In 2D, or in 3D.
If you need to get to a specific address and you’re already on the road, typing it in while driving isn’t exactly the safest thing to do. TeleNav lets you hit one button and “talk” your destination into their system through a toll free number. Switch back over to the GPS, select the address when it pops up on the list, and you’re off. Miss a turn and it’ll reroute you.
The TeleNav Traffic function can even color-code the maps to alert you to traffic situations the whole way to your destination. If there’s an accident ahead and your route gets clogged, TeleNav Traffic will instantly find you a new route.
There are a couple of downsides: It’s only available on certain phones from certain carriers, each with their own pricing and terms, so you’ll have to check to see if you can even order the service. (It wasn’t on mine. I had to review it on a demo phone. Which I may, or may not, ever return.) And the screen size is limited to the size of the screen on your phone. So your map may only be a couple of inches across, as opposed to the larger screens of the in-car models.
But, overall, the features, convenience and value outweigh the screen size issue. Instead of paying several hundred dollars to buy and install an in-car system that may be outdated in a couple of years, you pay about $10 per month. Meaning you could use TeleNav for a few years for about what you’d pay for an in-car system. In any car, at anytime. And some carriers offer short-term deals you can use only when you need it. Most of all, the end of her nagging for you to pull over and ask for directions is worth the monthly fee ten times over.
www.telenav.com for more info