CoPilot Live Premium GPS Navigation Review
This review covers the “Personal” version of CoPilot Live Premium. There are also “Truck” and “Enterprise” versions available – see the CoPilot website for more details.
CoPilot Live is GPS route navigation for the iPhone, iPad, Android and Windows Mobile devices. I’ve been trying it out on Android 2.3 on a Galaxy Note. This is what they say about their product:
“Combining advanced navigation technology with breakthrough design simplicity, CoPilot Live Premium guides you where you need to go by the way that suits you best. Featuring unique new routing features and a completely redesigned, interactive user interface that makes navigation features more accessible and useful – CoPilot Live puts all the features you need for accurate navigation, right at your fingertips.”
They’re absolutely right that CoPilot offers some great features that are still missing from the market leaders like TomTom (last time I checked). CoPilot have really made the most of having a high-definition touch-screen. If your route isn’t quite right, you can use your finger (or stylus) to move the route – particularly good if the postcode hasn’t put the destination quite where you want it. If you’ve used the similar feature on Google Maps, it will feel very familiar, and is a very welcome feature in sat nav software.
The interface and voice guidance is available in a huge range of languages. Most voices are free, and there are some premium ones too; on Android, these are purchased via Google Play (Android Market). To save space, you download voices as you want to use them, so it’s best to set the software up while you’re connected to WiFi. There’s a nice range of free UK voices to choose from, and those who prefer an American accent can choose from two free ones.
The map display can take advantage of smart phones’ orientation detection and display either in landscape or portrait. As a note, you have to choose “use phone setting” in the display settings to enable auto-rotation as it’s locked to landscape by default. The maps can be displayed in 2D or 3D, with or without directions side-by-side, and you can have two other configurable items of information like speed, ETA, arrival time etc too. You can set up different day/night colour schemes, with a choice of five day and five night schemes. The software can automatically switch between day and night displays automatically on phones that have light sensors (most now do). You can choose to have Points of Interest displayed on the map, or not, or only when you’re stationary, which avoids distraction. The display includes ClearTurn, which displays the upcoming junction for a configurable distance before you get there and also shows clear lane markings, so you know which lane to use when approaching a large junction. Inclusion of real signpost information means that what you see on the screen is what you should look for out of the window on the signs.
There are of course routing options so you can avoid certain types of roads, tolls, ferry links and so on. When you enter locations, the software predicts what you’re typing, so usually you need only enter the first few characters of a street, and then select it from the list that appears.
The software has a premium subscription ActiveTraffic service. It uses real-time traffic flow information to intelligently calculate the fastest route around traffic jams and view an accurate ETA to your destination. CoPilot Live’s optional ActiveTraffic service automatically monitors your route for delays as you drive and will alert you if a quicker, alternative route is available, along with a preview of the route and the amount of time you’ll save. The service requires an active mobile internet connection.
Safety camera information can be enabled, and the distance warnings are given at configured to your liking. There’s also a premium fuel price subscription service, allowing you to find the cheapest pumps.
If you’ve had a few tickets, you’ll be pleased to hear that CoPilot Live allows you to set speed limit warnings. The software knows the limits on most roads and can be set to warn you if you exceed the speed limit by a configurable amount.
The software includes social media integration so you can share your journey information with friends, family and colleagues via Facebook and Twitter.
I happen to be friends with an astronomer, and he loves the great GPS information screen that tells your latitude and longitude to six decimal places, plus a GPS-calculated elevation – very handy for star gazers and hikers alike.
There are some power saving settings, including the ability to turn on a power saving setting at 30% battery or less (or permanently), which decreases the frame rate of the map display, saving valuable battery power.
Other features include weather reports, find-where-I-parked, location saving, wikipedia places, and roadside assistance erm…assistance!
The features differ slightly from platform to platform, so be sure to check out their website for more details
Connected Digital World Score
I can’t fault CoPilot Live – it does everything I wish my TomTom could do and more, so I’m giving it the CDW Gold Award.
Prices on Google Play
Prices* for CoPilot Live Premium for Europe and North America are:
- CoPilot Live Premium UK + IRE: £20.82
- CoPilot Live Premium Europe: £33.32
- CoPilot Live Premium USA: £12.32
*Correct at time of writing. Click the button below for current prices.
The ActiveTraffic subscription (after the current offer of 12 months free expires) is £9.98 per year, and the Fuel Prices subscription is £7.98 per year.