Ndrive United States of America

So you got a GPS map app that comes standard on the iPhone, so why on earth would you want to buy a new one? The standard map seems to work fine, right? Well, yes it does for the most part, but it simply lacks a few key features in our opinion that would make it a true GPS substitute. If you want professional GPS navigation software that has all the bells and whistles, then you must try out Ndrive.

Ndrive basically transforms your iPhone into a fully functioning GPS navigation system. All the map data is stored on your iPhone so you have the luxury of navigating without the need to pay for additional data downloads. Downloading all the map data initially is convenient but take note: this is a very large application. Version 9.2.31 topped out at almost 1.5 GBs. The developers recommend downloading this app directly through iTunes because of the large size. NDrive Navigation Systems S.A., the makers behind Ndrive USA, have also released versions for Western Europe, Mexico, Poland+Czech Republic, Germany+Austria+Switzerland, Rome, Philippines, and Los Angeles. We obtained the app under a special introductory price of $29.99. That initial price is what you pay – no monthly fee’s included! A great value for all the features incorporated within this application, especially considering the cost of stand-alone GPS units.

Ndrive has a huge amount of features and user preferences:

*** WHAT YOU ARE BUYING ***

  • A lifetime license of the latest map (Navteq 2009). There are no monthly fees or hidden charges
  • No data plan is needed to run NDrive software and even when your phone is in roaming, your GPS Navigation from NDrive will run smoothly and uninterrupted

*** MAP DISPLAY / INTERFACE ***

  • Video quality experience with fluid graphics
  • Important buildings and landmarks in full 3D for better orientation
  • Extensive use of gesture recognition for faster selection
  • Use of multi touch technology for zoom, rotation, tilt and shortcuts
  • Optimized interface with large keyboard for quick and safe entry
  • Simple and addictive interface
  • Automatic landscape or portrait viewing options
  • Integration with iPod, so you can listen to music while in navigation

*** GETTING YOU THERE / ROUTING ***

  • Select from Car, Pedestrian or Adventure modes
  • The fastest optimized route calculation in the market
  • If you do not like your routing, ask for a automatic next best option (or manually block the roads you want)
  • Program your own itineraries in advance with optimized multiple routing points
  • Use Adventure mode for navigation in 4×4, walking in mountains, adventure land sports, boats and airplanes. With compass, km done so far, ETA, altitude and velocity indicators

*** SPEED WARNINGS ***

  • Sound alarm for desired maximum speed
  • Visual and Sound Alarm for street maximum allowed speed

*** FIND AND INTERACT WITH PLACES ***

  • Search for city center, street names and numbers, crossings, postal codes, favourite places, last inputs, coordinates and distance
  • Use ABC or QWERTY keyboard in both landscape or portrait
  • Search for more then 1.500.000 places from the most complete database available

*** COMMUNITIES INFORMATION ***

  • Can handle an unlimited number of favorites and categories defined by the user and customized with scale of visibility, names and icons
  • Favorites can have name, address, email, phone, web, fax, and extended descriptions
  • Use wireless connections to publish to and retrieve from the NDrive community as well as other favorite databases at no cost. Each entry can be ranked and given a star rating by other users. Information can be star ranked and sent to other users

*** MAPS INCLUDE ***

  • Latest USA Navteq 2009 Maps
  • Use of information generated by NDrive Communities

*** VOICES INCLUDED***

  • English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, German, and Dutch

While using Ndrive in a car, for the most part it performed well. The interface is very slick. Not only is the map quite detailed but you also have multi-touch capabilities that help with the interactive experience. The menu layout is easy to understand and all the touch controls are responsive. The app has its own keyboard interface that will take some getting used to. Some other nifty features on the interface are a speed indicator so you know how fast you are traveling, as well as shortcut buttons to the settings page, the road book (which lists your turn-by-turn directions), a quick link to the GPS status showing you the compass and providing you the global position details, and the main menu button. Once your route has been loaded, you have many options that can be accessed on the fly for modifying. You can avoid a specific road, make note of a roadblock, or calculate an alternative route. There were a few times when the map stopped refreshing upon use, but this was not a frequent occurrence. If the GPS was acting up at all, i simply reloaded the destination and that instantly got me back on track. Another item that was a bit buggy was using the “point of interest” feature. At times when i selected a specific POI, the system fell into a constant loading period where data could not be obtained. This is actually one area where the standard iPhone map app always shines. The simplistic nature of locating POI’s has always been a breeze with Apple’s Map app.

Even though Ndrive has its bugs, that’s to be expected in an app of this caliber . One bug in this version that stood out was the “distance to next turn” did not prompt at all, or at times, not early enough, making it hard to navigate. The developers have already addressed some of the issues and have released a “coming soon list” and “bug fix list” so rest assured that these items will be taken care of on the next release. From the lifetime license to the 3D map interface, the multi-touch technology to the multilingual voice options, Ndrive is one app that will get more than its fair share of use while on your iPhone.

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