CoPilot Live USA Review: A Good Travel Guide for those on a Budget
No matter how good those $30-$50 navigation apps may be (like TomTom and Magellan), there are still those who will find their prices far too extravagant, and seek out more affordable options. After getting a taste of what’s available in navigation apps, we can say with confidence that downloading and using one of them is essential to getting the most from your iPhone . . . We’ve come to the last of our three navigation reviews, and CoPilot Live USA comes in as the most affordable option by far. However, does it sacrifice quality for price? Design and dependability have never mattered more than when you need to travel quickly and safely, so take a good look at this review, as well as the others, before making your choice.
Getting around inside CoPilot Live USA instantly feels a little different than what we’re used to. Whereas TomTom and Magellan present interfaces that feel similar to other handheld navigation units, CoPilot will have you tapping more icons and flipping through more pages in order to plan a trip and find your destination. As a result, you’ll get lost inside the app’s layered structure more frequently than in the others, which is a major annoyance when all you want to do is get back on the road.
Like all the rest, CoPilot lets you input a destination right away, or use the app’s directory to find a gast station, restaurant, hotel, etc. You can mark your favorite places, plan a detour, and alter the driving view (2D/3D and day/night views are available) . . . In other words, there’s no shortage of features. What distinguishes each of these navigation apps thus becomes their user-friendliness and presentation. ALK Technologies has done a good job with these aspects of CoPilot Live USA, no more and no less . . . but there’s no denying the gap that separates it from the other, more premium-priced offerings.
In addition to getting lost within the pages and subpages of the menu, navigating the driving map is also less functional than we might have liked. The screen is plagued by a delay, so when you try to pinch to zoom or scroll around the display, you might see nothing happen, only to suddenly lurch one direction or another and become more lost than you were without the navigation tool.
At risk of souning too harsh, let’s be clear: You won’t go wrong in spending the $4.99 it’ll cost you to acquire this app. Actually, you’ll probably be quite pleased with it’s performance. But if your budget allows, then by all means, indulge in the likes of TomTom or Magellan. Those apps are simply more accessible and less of a challenge to learn. Their reliability is higher and they require less fiddling and tweaking to obtain a decent view of the road . . . The developers would have you believe that, price aside, CoPilot Live USA is a “premium navigation app” that brings everything offered by the pricier options. Given our complaints about the app, that statement is a little strong. If you need some navigation help but don’t want to feel it in the wallet, then by all means, get to know CoPilot Live USA. But if you take your travel seriously and are willing to spend top dollar, you won’t be wasting your money.
Our Score: 3 out of 5