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Navigon USA and Europe both receive new features in latest update for the navigation app

Navigon GPS

If you had to ask us what our favorite GPS navigation app for Windows Phone was, we would go with Navigon. While the app is not free and certainly not the prettiest, it does have the most features and best traffic-route planning that we have come across on Windows Phone. People should consider if they’re heavy GPS users, while the “here and there” crowd can stick with Nokia’s Drive app.

Today, Navigon USA and Europe have both received updates that make the app even better. Indeed, if there was one issue we had with Navigon, it was just fixed: working below the lockscreen (off by default). This was a frustrating issue as the app would basically cease working at times.

Other new features in version 4.8 for both apps include:

  • Traffic information concerning your route can now be read out (TTS)
  • Click on POI: Tap and hold on a POI on the map

In addition to the above, we’ve noticed the UI seems a little smoother for motion and that the Search for POI screen has had a slight redesign, with some of the faux tiles being made smaller.

Overall, Navigon is a solid GPS navigation app that has just become better. While it is certainly the most pricey ($49.99 for the US and $99.99 for all of Europe), you get what you pay for in terms of features, including red light camera warnings, energy saver mode, street names read aloud, lane assist and more. Luckily, Navigon often has sales of their app, so while these full prices are a cost prohibitive for many, if you pay attention to our site often enough, you’ll see when they get discounted.

Pick up or update your current Navigon app to version 4.8 for Windows Phone by click here for the USA or here for Europe. Thanks, Mickaël C., for the tip!

QR: navigon euro  QR: Navigon US

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Reader comments

Navigon USA and Europe both receive new features in latest update for the navigation app

70 Comments

Is it just me or does Navigon pick up on the downloaded Here maps? I noticed a new road construction was displayed in Navigon but I've never purchased their Fresh Maps upgrade. Makes it even better value.

Definitely seems so to me. There's a new route 200 near Rockville that was opened within the last year that now appears in Navigon when it didn't before. Strange. Also they added Garmin HUD support in the update.

Road Construction has always been in the normal version without freshmaps. But the freshmaps just has newer maps. So if those constructions are finished and changed the original route, you would need Freshmaps to see it. Construction is pretty similar to traffic information.

for the record (I used to work at Garmin) Garmin owns Navigon now, so while there are separate apps, the companies are merging more and more :)

I'll be honest: Nokia Drive is horrible, imo. Looks great though. Terrible for routing in NYC, bad traffic options, just a PITA. I'm ready to uninstall it.

Totally agree. It has led me on several bad routes, particularly in cities.  It refuses to give the exit number when you have an upcoming exit, which in a major metro is a huge problem.  I could go on.  I love the interface and the look, and of course the price, but there are too many problems with it right now.  

Me too. Nokia Drive is terrible. It lost my trust after few terrible directions.  Once it asked me to take a backroad unnecessarily and wanted me to go thru' a gated community to get to a strip mall. The security guard at that gate said there's no outlet and should have taken the highway. Another time, it kept insisting that I take the highway and loop around after 3 miles to get to a shop next to the exit ramp which is just 0.3 miles straight shot from where I was at.
Also, on highway direction, it will only say 'take Harbor highway' (wont even say north or south and guess what most highway signs only has number, not names) and when there's multiple lane splits into different highways (which we have lots of in LA area), you are screwed. It's much easier if it says 'Take CA 91 south', I don't even care which side of the road I should be on. Oh, don't even get me started about its usability in India, though its better than no gps and gives general direction we should be on, its highly unreliable on exact roads you need to take. I lost more than an hour once trying to get to the airport in a small city.
Oh well, it's a shame that a great potential is wasted by Nokia here, hope they realease major fixes soon, last update was good but only for UI. I really enjoyed its offline capabilities though during my Miami to LA trip earlier this year.

+Daniel Rubino - What would you consider to be the best top 3 nav apps regardless of cost? Is there a WPCentral article ranking nav apps I may have missed?

Here drive has sent me to the middle of nowhere several times, tried to force me down carpool-only onramps, and occasionally just totally failed to produce a route at all (it acts like it has no idea where I am until I drive a block or so farther). Plus fun bugs like when the route gets broken up into a dotted line and so it tells you that you've got a turn coming up every 500 yards, for the entire trip. And it's been like that ever since launch, so I'm assuming at this point it's never getting fixed. The only thing keeping me from switching to Garmin/Navigon are the reports of it draining the phone's battery down crazy fast. As soon as that is fixed, I'll switch and never look back.

Since it uses the screen, 3d graphics, audio, gps and sometimes 3g/4g (for getting the latest info if you want) it is likely to drain a lot of battery but if you connect it to a car-charger it will run without issues. My 920 gets a bit hot while routing but its never empty and since the last patch its also a bit longer to use without a charger. So unless you are also downloading stuff on the background and stream your music, it is not a problem to use.

I really like it for the amount of extra info it offers, the lane-assist (which is pretty damn accurate), the estimated time of arrival which is darnly accurate and the options it gives you. I also like that you can get directions to nearby parking if you want and it tells you which side of the road the address is.
I'm gonna try the spoken traffic information later today but i think i'm gonna like that as well :)

Nothing, but before Nokia came on board Navigon was the best nav solution and it still offers things Here doesn't like dynamic traffic rerouting and lane assist and now Garmin HUD support so its a very good navigation application in its own right.

Sometimes I am forced to use Gmaps because the Nokia Drive is really bad, it displays wrong speed, is starts bouncing me around on the map while I'm driving, my wife has a Lumia too, and be live it or not, yesterday we both had Nokia drive on and set to the same exact destination (keep in mind both drives have exact same settings), each diamond vice was showing different roots.

That's for you. For me, HERE Drive is awful. Gets me lost all the time, doesn't offer different routes, etc. I uninstalled it as it's just useless in NYC for me.

Wow, sounds like the experience cab be very different. I've been using it for two years, mostly in western Europe, and it has not misdirected me once.

Navigon is great except it makes my 920 as hot as the sun. But that's more of a 920 issue I think

RE #12 (Scanning for WiFi networks):  I'm not sure about this one.  I thought that location services used available WiFi network info to help determine location (along with cell phone tower and GPS).  If it does, then you could end up using more battery if Location Services has to fire up the GPS radio to figure out where it is.  GPS is much more the battery hog than the WiFi radio is.

HereMaps? You should know that HERE Drive Plus is the navigation app by Nokia. Makes us wonder if you've actually tried and compared. I have both and I prefer buying Navigon.

Someone please tell me why this is 50.00 better than HereMaps+ ?? Now if I traveled frequently and i wanted a premium GPS I think I would have a dedicated GPS unit... Rather than pay 50.00 for this app. Or am i crazy

Because HERE Drive doesn't work well everywhere? I don't use it anymore due to it providing bad directions and not offering nearly the full feature list that Navigon offers.

Everyone has different needs, which I point out in the article. If you're happy with Drive, knock yourself out. I for one, won't use it.

There's two main features: lane assist and traffic information.  Check out the the picture attached to the article, Navigon shows the lane configuration of roads with multiple turn/exit lanes.  If you travel frequently, this is an essential feature.  Navigon is also traffic-aware, another essential feature. 
Although I own Navigon (and Street Pilot) I prefer to use CoPilot (also recently reviewed here), which also supports traffic information.  While driving a few weeks back, it made me aware of a 40 minute delay in my route, and provided an alternate route.  The Here featureset just isn't rich enough yet.  Navigon and CoPilot are really the benchmarks for full-featured car navigation.
I also own a dedicated GPS unit and the only advantage there is it can stay on, with the screen fully lit, ffor an entire day on a pair of rechargeable AA batteries.
 

+1 CoPilot, cost is much less ($8.99 Map + $9.99 Live Traffic) and has a modern interface and produces quality routing.

While I haven't had any problems or issus with HEREdrive, others, like Daniel, have.
It's just a matter of choice and experiences.
I applaud them for the changes they have made and I hope Nokia will do the same (ie alternate routes). For me, however, the Nokia app works just fine.

Once you use Navigon, I am sure you will think otherwise. Btw, Navigon was for $24.99 for the whole last month. And before anyone says anything, I had tipped WPC.

Doesn't uninstalling and re-installing update the map? I bought this app probably two years ago. I uninstalled it a few months ago. I now reinstalled it and I see NY map is from Q1 2013.

This one is out of my monthly app budget. :/ I think when Waze comes out if beta, that a lot of people will like it.

My wife would kill me if I buy a NAVIGATION app for $50 when there's alot of free ones in the store...

I can't believe people are comparing Navigon with Here Drive. Navigon gives you a real GPS receiver experience, whereas Here drive is just a basic Nav.

Somewhere maybe maps doesn't work very well. Where I'm using it it's just good :)
My Garmin is retired, collecting dust...

I have both and plan on keeping both. Although I think Navigon is the best out there it did get me lost going out to Morrisville Pa. Had me driving around in circles where as Nokia Here took me to the exact location. Like Daniel said depends on your location on how well it works..I only have NJ downloaded on Nokia Here and have about nine states downloaded on Navigon. I love Garmin and find it more accurate than the two but downloadable maps is the key feature I needed.

From the reviews in the Windows Phone Store, the map updates are almost as pricey as the app. One reviewer also stated that just becuase you buy the USA version, you don't get all of the states unless you pay extra. Can anyone confirm?

It's mixed. The map updates are part of "fresh maps", an optional 2 year program for $30 that gives you new maps every 3 months. You don't have to do it and presumably you get map updates with major releases anyway. I'm also pretty sure you get all the states--I never saw a limit.

I used Navigon on my Titan II and I have it on my Lumia 920. I LOVE the feature that tells you what lane to be in. When you dive into the snake pit of roadway that is ancient metro New York or more ancient downtown Boston, that is one indespensible feature. 
But, I have a problem with Navigon on my 920: I cannot use it for any length of time doing ANYTHING else without sucking dry the battery (I frequently switch between navigation and Inrix for a better understanding of traffic to come). I can't even be on the phone for 30 minutes. The car charger I have is a 2.1A output - the highest available from a single port charger. 
So, I am now using Here Drive + instead. It seems far better, now that it's "outta beta" and I am generally good to go for a three or five hour trip unless I get into a very long phone conversation. Further, I've had no repeat of the navigational disasters I had with the beta (thank God we're talking cars not boats).
I will try this new version of Navigon this afternoon - but, I haven't read anything about it being more energy efficient in the update release notes...

I'm glad I'm not the only one having battery sucking problems with Navigon even when plugged in the car charger.  I love the app, but can't use it with the screen on.  I have to turn off the screen and rely on the voice or turn it on if my distance is short enough to react.

Well, now, it has an energy saver mode that turns the map to black but keeps the important icons. Does it cure the battery suck issue? Nope. I'll use Here Drive + (must be lost in translation) and, if the destination is in a congested area, I'll pull up Navigon. 

I have the same issues.  I really like Navagon but I just can't use it because it makes the phone unusable.
I guess if it runs under the lock screen, maybe that'll help now.

Downloaded the update - ALL my favorites and saved routes GONE.
Seriously? No warning, just deleted.
Prior to the upgrade (and it was an upgrade, not a fresh install) I'd just spent days adding waypoints and routes for a 4000 mile journey I'm about to take (including routes around historic race tracks and some current street circuits - and they've all gone, not to mention the places and routes I had saved before planning this trip.
Not impressed.

YES! WARNING! The upgrade to this great and wonderful navigation software resulted in ALL MY FAVORITES AND SAVED ROUTES ARE GONE! It's still the best navigation software, but someone working there is an idiot.

I have to chuckle and wince at the same time.
 
Navigon, owned by Garmin, uses NAVTEQ map data; ie: Nokia map data. Unfortunately, Here Drive's algorithms and routing options (what to use, what to avoid) are lacking. It will get better over time and updates of course but it is pain inducing to see the company that makes the map data they both use have such a weak interface and algorithms.
It is true though, the routing performance is worse in some locations than others.
 
But if you want to use the Navigon software and pay for the map updates, please do. It helps pay my salary!!! :)
 
Disclosure: Nokia employee -- in the mapping (Here) division.