TeleNav GPS Navigator (AT&T)
CNET Editors' Rating: 3.5 / 5
The good: TeleNav GPS Navigator brings color maps and accurate text- and voice-guided driving directions to your smart phone. It also supports text-to-speech functionality and can find gas stations by fuel price.
The bad: The app is a bit slow to redraw maps, and the service currently works with only a limited number of cell phones.
The bottom line: If work or pleasure requires you to travel a lot, TeleNav GPS Navigator is a handy and accurate navigation service that delivers maps and directions to your mobile device.
Design, Features & Performance (out of 10)
Earlier this year, Verizon launched a navigation app for its cell phones called VZ Navigator, and judging by the user opinions, it has been well received. Now, Cingular has launched its own location-based service, called TeleNav GPS Navigator. During our tests, we found it to be a useful and accurate navigator, though a bit slow to perform some tasks such as redrawing maps. Still, if work (or pleasure) requires you to be on the road a lot--and you're a Cingular customer--TeleNav GPS Navigator is worth the $9.99 per month for unlimited use or $5.99 for up to 10 trips. The service works with a number of Cingular's smart phones, including the Cingular 8525 and the Palm Treo 680, but you can check for compatibility on TeleNav's Web site. Also, unless you own one of the HP iPaq hw6900 series models, which have built-in GPS antennas, you will need to get a Bluetooth GPS receiver.
From the main menu, you have six options: Navigation, Biz Finder, Map, GPS Tools, Preferences, and Support. The Preferences page is a good place to start, as you can set your measurement unit (miles/feet or kilometers/meters), how you want routes calculated (fastest, shortest, avoid highway, prefer highway, or pedestrian), your navigation screen, and more. From there, you can start planning your trip via the Navigation menu--where you can enter a specific address--or, if you don't feel like typing, by calling TeleNav for directions. In most cities, this option allows you to use a toll-free number, but in some areas the system will default to a local number. TeleNav says you shouldn't see a difference at all, as local and toll-free numbers are both charged at the same airtime. If you don't need guidance to a specific destination, you can go into the Map menu and simply get a general map overview of your current location or any recently visited areas.
Maps are presented in 2D or 3D view. Of course, a smart phone's smaller screen isn't optimal for in-car use, but it gives you a good idea of your location, and could be a lifesaver when you're completely lost. You also can zoom in and out of maps, but we noticed it takes some time for the app to redraw maps, which was a tad frustrating. When following a specific route, TeleNav also gives you visual prompts about the current street you are on, the next street to turn onto, remaining distance to your next turn, and so forth. In addition, you can get a text-based preview of your entire route. TeleNav GPS Navigator automatically recalculates your route if you happen to get off track, and supports text-to-speech functionality to speak actual street names rather than generic directions.
Biz Finder is essentially your points-of-interest database. You can search for all the major attractions, such as lodging, ATMs, and gas stations. There's a great feature called Fuel Finder that lists gas stations near your location by fuel price so you can find the best deal. Also handy is the ability to search for restaurants by cuisine type and call a listed number directly from your phone.
Some other helpful extras include a compass and an option to record and name your location. These can come in handy if you're unfamiliar with the area and need to, for instance, mark where you parked your car, or if you'd like to record frequently visited sites, such as your home, and use them as a Favorites list.
We tested the TeleNav GPS Navigator on the Palm Treo 680, pairing the smart phone with the TeleNav Bluetooth GPS receiver. We downloaded the app from the mobile's Web browser and though it took a few minutes, it was easy and required minimum effort on our part (just a few Yes or No questions). Overall, the service was easy to use with a simple and clean interface. It took a couple of minutes to acquire a GPS fix, but once located, the service did a good job of tracking our position. The rate of route calculation was acceptable, but more importantly, TeleNav GPS Navigator provided accurate directions.
Average User Rating: 3.5 / 5
User Rating Breakdown
5 Star: 6
4 Star: 8
3 Star: 4
2 Star: 4
1 Star: 9
This service is nothing new
Rating: 4 / 5
on December 7, 2006
5 out of 5 users found this review helpful
Pros: GPS in the palm of your hand
Cons: Monthly subscribtion
Summary: This is not so much a review as it is a correction. The review implies that this is a new service that was just recently introduced by Cingular. It has been available for well over a year on Sprint phones and even longer than that on Nextel phones. Also, most of those do not require a seperate GPS bluetooth receiver. It has been available on select Cingular, T-Mobile and Verizon devices with a GPS receiver for a while as well. I have used it on both Sprint phones and Nextel phones and it is suprisingly good. It has great features such as gas finder (with prices!). For being integrated into your existing phone you can't beat it. The only downside is you have to pay $9.99 a month for it, which may not be so bad considering on some devices you don't have to shell out any money on hardware. Hope this helps some as well as inform.
Nice complement to my smartphone
Rating: 3.5 / 5
on December 7, 2006
3 out of 3 users found this review helpful
Pros: Easy to use, Bluetooth
Cons: None so far
Summary: I've wanted a GPS unit for a while but it always seemed that the good units were so expensive. When I recently purchased the Cingular 8525 smartphone I noticed that TeleNav GPS was available for $99 for the receiver and $10/month so I decided to try it out. I love the fact that it's integrated into my phone so I don't have to worry about someone wanting to steal my GPS unit if I accidentally left it out. It works really well too. One really nice thing is it gives you three methods for entering information; you can do it through the interface, through a web interface from anywhere (cool if you’re planning a trip) or by calling a toll-free number. The biz finder and fuel finder are nice too, I can think of so many times when this would have come in handy. A feature that I really like is that it will turn on the Bluetooth on the phone when you go into the program so you don't have to remember to do it. I like the fact that the initial cost was so much lower, $109 vs. $500-600.
Convenient for Treo 680; sporadically reliable
Rating: 2.5 / 5
on March 5, 2007
2 out of 2 users found this review helpful
Pros: Accurate guidance with good visuals
Cons: Needs constant resetting. Slow bootup
Summary: I purchased this because I already had the Treo 680 hardware. I'm no road warrior, but I do head off on regional road trips for pleasure, golf trips, and travel sports for the kids. We did a five-hour road trip, and when the TeleNav GPS connected with the satellites above, and the Treo suction-cupped to my windshield, the gentle-and-kind female voice guided us with confidence. The frequent glitches are in the activation of the GPS candybar, then the Treo Telenav software. Sometimes they connect, sometimes they don't. Not sure if it was something else interrupting and/or delaying the communication between the Treo and the GPS device, or just a built-in glitch. Especially frustrating when we were behind schedule, without a paper map, and had to reset the Treo three times before it finally communicated. We were then 15 minutes late for the soccer game. Nice cheap option if you don't mind paying $99 upfront for the device, and $10/month for the service, which apparently doesn't work when your in a dead cell area. Frankly, I'm looking for something better, and this little dude is going on ebay. It was worth a try.
Love this thing
Rating: 4.5 / 5
on February 2, 2007
2 out of 2 users found this review helpful
Pros: Very easy interface, easy to install and operate, great customer and tech support. Very affordable
Cons: You need practice to master all of the features
Summary: I was looking at getting a dedicated GPS unit (Tom Tom, etc) but since I already had an IPAQ 6515 I thought I'd give this a try. The software was a breeze to install and configure and inside of 10 minutes I was up and running. The service recently stopped working and I called tech support where after just 3 prompts I was speaking to a real person who helped me diagnose that my GPS unit had failed, not their software but then put me directly in touch with Cingular who replaced the unit within 24 hours. The accuracy of the program is tops and has gotten me to some very hard to find places and for $9.95 a month, is well worth it vs. the $800+ unit I was considering buying. Great product, highly recommended.
Useful tool while far behind free app LifeInPocket i
Rating: 0.5 / 5
on January 12, 2009
1 out of 1 users found this review helpful
Pros: Turn directions are clear, straight forward menu.
Cons: When you spend $10 per month, you are expecting to have much more features, powerful utilities etc. than free apps. While comparing with the free app LifeInPocket, Telenav becomes a small toy by missing so much power and features.
Summary: I used Telenav for years while switched to free app LifeInPocket one year ago. It's much better design, more features and better thought than Telenav.
Why would any one want to spend more money for less product and services?
Telenav was a good product 5 years ago but better and cheaper (or even free) products are here now.
Updated on Dec 5, 2009
I like the free app LifeInPocket better.