CoPilot make a whole range of satellite navigation apps for the USA and other countries around the world. A great feature of these apps is that they can be used offline so that you can still use them even in a place where you have no internet access.
At home I have a built-in Sat Nav system in my car and tend to rely on it a lot, so it is always a bit of a shock when I have a rental car and no longer have access to my trusty Sat Nav. Every year we visit my family in the UK and Ireland and have to revert to paper maps to help us get around. This is fine in places I am familiar with, but not so good in new locations or when our regular route is closed due to an accident or roadworks. On our annual trip this year I tested out the CoPilot™ Premium UK & Ireland Sat Nav app on my iPhone. I bring my iPhone when I travel, but at AT&T’S RATE OF $19.97 PER MB ( yes almost $2,000 for 1GB!!) I make sure my cellular data is switched off so the ability to use the app offline is very important to me.
We used the app for a month traveling around England, Wales and Ireland and found it a great asset. I installed the app on my iPhone 5 and used a Spiderpodium by Breffo to mount the iPhone to a front air conditioning vent in the rental car so it was easily visible. I did find using the app for extended periods drained my iPhone battery, so I’d recommend keeping it plugged into a charger on long journeys.
When calculating a route you can have it start from your current location, saved favorites, or an address or postcode you enter. It will give you the distance, travel times and estimated time of arrival if you start now, and show the route on a map. If you don’t like the suggested route tapping “alternate” will give you a choice of 3 routes and all the information is displayed for all 3. You can also access route information and a turn list for all 3.
Once you have chosen a route you can even watch a video simulation of traveling along the route showing you all the turns and roads used. If you see a place near your route you would like to detour via, you can drag the route to go through it, or add it as a additional stop on the route, and the app will then recalculate the route including this waypoint. You can also calculate the estimated cost of fuel for the journey by entering your cars average MPG and current fuel cost (per liter as it is sold in Europe).
When traveling there are optional voice prompts, which I found very useful in unfamiliar areas. The app worked really well for finding routes for us and for navigating whilst driving. I liked that it always shows what the next turn coming up will be at how far away it is. In complex situations with multiple lanes the app shows arrows to indicate lanes and the lane(s) you should be in are shown in yellow – this was especially useful navigating in London! There were a few times we needed to divert because of accidents or bad traffic and this was very simple to do too as you can just add a diversion and pick approximately how much of the route you want to avoid. There is also an option to add live traffic info (this is a subscription service, but the first 12 months are free), but I did not use this as it needs a cellular connection and I didn’t want that for cost reasons when abroad. A nice bonus feature is the app measures your speed and knows and displays the speed limit for your location and you can have it alert you if you exceed the speed limit.
The app did have a few quirks – there were some very interesting pronunciations of place names, and it insisted on calling roundabout’s, which are very, very common in the UK and Ireland, “circles.” The one addition I would love to see is the have the motorway junction numbers added. In the UK motorway traffic advisories and travel information (such as where the next service station is) are often referred to just by the junction number not the location, so it would have been really useful to be able to see where certain junctions were.
Overall, CoPilot™ Premium UK & Ireland is an incredibly useful navigation aid when traveling in the UK and Ireland. I love you how can use it without needing a cellphone connection (and thus without incurring data roaming charges), from now on it is an essential part of my travel kit when visiting the UK and Ireland.
Requirements: Compatible with
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