Road warriors, those that get lost easy or for those of you who just need an A-Class GPS navigation system for Windows Phone 8: you have a new option on the table with Scout GPS Maps by Telenav. The app and service is launching today and we have all the info on it.
First launched on select devices for T-Mobile, like the new Lumia 925, the service is now open to all Windows Phone 8 devices (currently US only). We’ve been using the app for a few weeks now and have come away impressed with the full-featured navigation system and it is now our go-to choice when taking a trip.
The app comes in two varieties: free and subscription based, with the latter offering the full experience with premium features while the former is still a great valued navigation system.So what does Scout GPS Maps offer? Besides its intuitive and finger-friendly UI, the system includes all the bells and whistles you would expect in a navigation app. In fact, we were impressed with how much is included with an initial release.
Let’s look at the breakdown:
Scout for Free
- My Dashboard — This handy home screen is always updated with the most relevant local info for your daily journey. With just a glance or one tap, see your traffic-based commute times, your favorites, local weather, nearby places, and more.
- Multiple routes— Choose from up to three traffic-optimized routes that get you to your destination efficiently
- Step-by-Step Turn list — Easily follow the directions for your selected route with the visual list of all turns.
- Local search — With millions of listings, find what you need wherever you are with the convenient auto fill search box.
- Nearby Places — With just one tap, find nearby gas, restaurants, ATMs, and more. See details about each place, like phone number, ratings, reviews (Yelp and TripAdvisor), and hours of operation.
- My Places — Save your favorite and most frequented places so you can access them easily from My Dashboard.
- Fresh Maps – Scout’s maps are always updated and provide you with both 2-D and 3-D view options during navigation.
Scout Plus in-app upgrade - Navigate and beat traffic like a pro with the Scout Plus in-app purchase
- Voice Turn-by-Turn Directions —Drive confidently with award-winning voice-guided, turn-by-turn directions on 2D and 3D moving maps.
- Traffic Alerts —Know what to expect along your route with real-time traffic alerts, and avoid jams with one-tap rerouting. ETAs to your destination. See traffic flows on a map so you can take the guesswork out of knowing where you’ll run into congestion.
- Maps with red-light cameras and traffic flows — See nearby traffic flows and always have a heads up on red-light cameras in the area.
- Voice Commands — Speak, don’t type, to view a map or directions to a street address or saved place and navigate there hands free while keeping your eyes on the road to avoid accidents, hazards and being stopped by the police.
Scout GPS Maps is by far one of the easiest navigation systems we’ve come across for Windows Phone. The Dashboard shows your current location, weather and has a drop down map similar to how Foursquare works on Windows Phone. The Dashboard also displays your current trip, Home and Work buttons, Recents, Contacts and My Faves.
In our opinion, the layout was the most ideal we’ve come across—there was no swiping to find the main features. Even the Search window sits at the top of the display with the optional voice command option—very useful when in a rush or driving.
Swiping to the right brings up a Nearby screen with Tiles for popular destinations like ATM, Food, Parking, Shopping and even Wi-Fi stations.
Swiping to third and final pivot, users have access to their My Profile, which includes Account, Settings and the all-important Feedback
Under Settings, users can access things like Navigation options including
- Speed Traps
- Traffic Cameras
- Lane assist
- Speed limit
- Map color
Likewise, you can enter in your addresses for Home and Work, which gives you one-click routing to those frequently traveled locations.
As you can see, having features like those traffic cameras, speed traps and configuration of all the key aspects of the app make Scout GPS Maps a robust and useful tool.
Using the app to find our destinations was a breeze and we really enjoy the three routing options (based on traffic) that it always presents. The Voice Navigation system is particularly useful as it will even alert you if the app is in the background and not running. In fact, if it is idle for too long the app will tell you that it is shutting down, which is very smart.
The paid version, which offers the premium features listed above, will set you back $24.99 a year or you can use it for $4.99 a month. Considering how will it works and what you get with that price-tag, including regularly updated maps powered by Telenav, we’re more than happy to hand over $25 a year for the service.
Plenty of user settings and options
There are a lot of choices for navigation systems on Windows Phone 8 these days. Scout GPS Maps sits on top of our list as the most feature packed, easy to use and reliable. For casual drivers, Nokia Drive+ may be enough but we’re sticking with Scout for now due to all of the advanced features and better traffic routing options.
Even if you don’t want to pay for a navigation system, the app has lot to offer in the free, non-subscription version. So if you’re in the US and are looking for something new, you should definitely download and give it a spin. Don’t take our word, try it for yourself.
Scout GPS Maps is currently available for Windows Phone 8 devices in the US. Free (with optional in-app purchase for advanced features; $24.99/year or $4.99/month)
Update: Currently, Scout GPS Maps supports caching of map data for your route calculation like Google Maps. So long as you stick to the route, you won't need active data. A future update though will bring a downloadable, offline maps ability.
Grab Scout GPS Maps here in the Windows Phone Store.
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