APP OF THE DAY: Wisepilot GPS Navigator (Android)

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wisepilot-top.jpgToday’s App of the Day feature turns its attention to the Wisepilot GPS Navigator for Android devices, a sat-nav app that offers real-time traffic updates and speed camera information. For those living in the capital, London’s expected to be chocka-block with traffic chaos for the next couple of weeks, as certain lanes get closed off for Olympic officials and athletes, meaning an app like Wisepilot could prove a lifesaver if you’re planning on driving around in the near future.

Wisepilot stores all its data in the cloud. Using reliable maps from NAVTEQ, it’s an interesting take on sat-nav apps. On the one hand, you’re not clogging up a handset with sizeable mapping files (we’ve seen them easily run into the hundreds of MBs in other services) and they’re always up to date, but on the other, you’re always pulling data down over 3G when out on the road for 3D maps, so its best suited for use on a phone with a sizeable data package. You can grab 2D maps and store them locally, but this undermines the point of the app being constantly updated, as saved maps wont reflect any on-the-road changes.
wisepilot-mid.jpg Perhaps the biggest draw to Wisepilot is its interface. Colourful icons and buttons make it very easy to navigate the app’s many functions, which include the obvious navigation instructions (with voice guidance, no less), checking out local amenities, businesses and events, adding favourites and checking out your Wisepilot account details.

Maps are clean and easily understandable too. They can get a bit busy if you have all the traffic information and speed camera locations switched on, but as these can be toggled on and off that’s not too much of a problem. What we did find frustrating was the lack of pinch-to-zoom functionality. It comes as second nature to use the gesture to zoom in on maps in other software, and having to use “+” and “-” buttons on touchscreens these days is starting to feel a little old-fashioned.
wisepilot-low.jpgWisepilot is free to install, and comes with a 5 day free trial. After that, you’ll have to pay to use all its features. Wisepilot falls down a bit here as using its many add-ons can quickly become a pricey affair. For instance, while a lifetime licence for European maps costs roughly (converted from EURO pricing) a reasonable £22, you’ll have to pay extra for live traffic updates and speed camera information, as well as the Wcities local events listings. In its defence, Wisepilot offers access to these features at a daily rate too, and as all these features may not be useful to you all the time, optional add-ons may actually prove more affordable for some.

All in, Wisepilot’s not too shabby. The interface is simple to read and clean enough to use safely while on the road, as is the presentation of maps. You could do a lot worse than Wisepilot for an app based sat nav, though it probably wont trouble dedicated in-car systems all that much.

To give it a go, click here.

Gerald Lynch