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  iNav iGuidance v2.0, finding your way around 
  Aug 05, 2004, 09:30am EDT 


By: Vitaliy Fuks

The first screen that pops up after you launch iGuidance warns you against operating the software while driving and recommends stopping and parking your vehicle before doing so. We certainly agree to that, as you simply cannot operate your pocketpc and keep your eyes and attention fixed at the road ahead of you at the same time. Nevertheless iGuidance has a simple but very effective menu system that can be operated with just one hand. We even left our stylus in its housing and used our finger instead, which worked just fine.

Set Destination - Main Menu Set Destination - Input Method Set Destination - Enter City Name
Set Destination - Enter Street Name Set Destination - Enter House Number Set Destination - Select Address

iGuidance offers a very effective auto-completion feature so in most cases typing a few letters of the street or city name is all that is necessary. After setting your destination you press the Nav button and a pleasant female voice with a slight Irish accent will start guiding you to your destination. iGuidance also gives you timely voice warnings about upcoming turns. For example, as you get close to an intersection the screen zooms in and a progress bar on the right shows you the decreasing distance until your turn. This is helpful especially in complex road intersections as you can visually see the shape of the upcoming turn and its location.

Navigating Navigating - Zoomed In

iGuidance also gives you a hint whether you need to "bear", "turn" or "make a sharp turn", as well as "exit on the left/right" or "continue to". All of these are very useful when navigating complex routes. The screen is always showing useful pieces of information at all times: your current location (street name and approximate number), heading (North, South, etc.), distance to your destination or current speed, time left until destination or approximate time when you will reach the destination. Also, as you can see above iGuidance switches to full-screen mode after some time by hiding the "Start" menu, thus giving you a slightly larger screen.

Once you have your destination set you can also add stopover points while en-route. For example, while driving to your office you could add a gas station on the way iGuidance will then guide you to let you fuel up and then continue on your way to work. You can also tell it to avoid certain roads. For example, if you know that a certain road has construction or traffic congestion you can press Detour and then select that street to be excluded from your route. iGuidance will then automatically calculate a detour route and guide you through.

Navigation - Avoid Roads

In our couple weeks of driving with iGuidance's navigation software we found the routing algorithms to be fairly smart. There actually are several options available to adjust them: Method (Quickest, Shortest, Major, Local), Reduce Turns (on/off), Toll Roads (include/exclude) and Carpool (include/exclude). All these affect how iGuidance selects roads for your route. We stuck with Major in our everyday driving and only switched to Shortest once we were close to our destination during a trip to New York City.

We've also been told by iNav that a v2.1 downloadable update is coming soon and will improve performance of plotting long (multi-state) routes.

1. Introduction and Installation
2. Navigation
3. Points of Interest
4. Notebook Version
5. Conclusion

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