After a successful post going through my experiences of upgrading the 3GS, I was presented with an opportunity to give the much maligned maps a real time run as a Sat-Nav.
As most of you may know, the maps facility on the 3GS is slightly downgraded in so much as there is no voice instruction, so you are left with the maps. This is not an issue as i hardly ever use the voice instructions on the one built into the car either.
My journey was about 30 miles around the M25 and then 5 miles home, so not that tricky. For those of you not in the UK, the M25 runs in a 140mile loop around London.
It located my location quickly and gave me a route just as quick. Instead of getting voice, you get a signpost with an instruction eg drive here for 15 miles or turn off at junction 2 and head towards London on M2, etc. So detailed enough, but may not be too much help if you are not familiar with the route. I imagine it would be easy to get a turning wrong.
As you hit your next turning, a dark circle appears on the map, highlighting you have a move to make, which is already detailed on the screen. So far , so good, but if you are making several quick turns is can get out of sync, or just not update. This I imagine will be the biggest issue. Having used the 4S, it seems to be a lot better in this respect.
There appear to be a bug, because if the phone orientation is changed, normally from portrait to landscape, sometimes the map doesn’t appear on the screen. and you just see your little blue dot travelling across a screen.
My next test is to see if this works without recourse to using 3g, eg can it just use GPS? Next week in America will tell me pretty quickly. I assume not, but I will update here. As a warning a 40 minute journey took 20% battery. So the advice is to take a charger on your travels if you intend to use this a lot.
Would I throw away my Sat-Nav? No. But if stuck I would use this. Now Apple just need to work on the accuracy of the data! see here