Sunday, June 17, 2012

Car GPS Navigation : TomTom GO Live 1535M

The good: The TomTom GO Live 1535M options a set of destination looking out apps from Yelp, Expedia, Trip Advisor, and Google. Twitter integration permits users to update friends and family with ETAs in a very manner safer than texting. different Live services, like HD Traffic, fuel costs, and weather forecasts, spherical out the unit's nice connectivity service.

The bad: looking out the connected services is clunky and, at times, unintuitive.

The bottom line: The TomTom GO Live 1535M's may be a solidly performing GPS device and its app integration for search may be a nice 1st, however that is hardly this PND's strongest feature.


The TomTom GO Live 1535M has the excellence of being the primary transportable navigation device (PND) to feature connected apps. The 1535M options a trio of apps that, via the Live Services information association and accessed below the Live Services icon on the house screen, permit the user to look Yelp, Trip Advisor, and Expedia for points of interest (or POIs) for navigation. additionally to giving the user access to a bigger, additional up-to-date database of POIs, looking the cloud with the assistance of Yelp, Expedia, Trip Advisor, and even Google native Search (which has been a district of TomTom Live since its inception) additionally provide the user access to user generated and, within the case of Expedia, skilled reviews. every result came back when looking with one amongst these connected sources is in the course of a rating to assist kind the gems from the junk.

There's additionally Twitter integration that permits users to text their destination and ETA whereas driving. Before you groan, you will soon learn that this truly turned out to be one amongst the simplest bits of app integration the TomTom has got to provide.

Like the Live Services-enabled devices that preceded it, the TomTom GO Live 1535M conjointly options TomTom's HD Traffic service, that is well one among the simplest and most coverage complete traffic information services on the market. there is conjointly fuel value quotes, that is remarkably well integrated into the remainder of TomTom's OS, creating appearances on the trip outline page and automatically populating the fuel class of the POI search with native costs for normal and premium gasoline, additionally as diesel. There are speed camera alerts that sound an audible chime when the drive approaches an intersection with a red-light camera or a stretch for road monitored by a speed camera.

Searching via apps: best or worst?
I was within the mood for ice cream at the start of my testing, thus i made a decision to browse Yelp's database of destinations for a highly rated parlor close to my current location. POIs may be searched in proximity to the user's preset Home address, close to the destination of this route (if one was in progress), or during a town of their selecting. accessible destinations are organized into coarse classes like Restaurants, Nightlife, Arts & Entertainment, and Hotels & Travel, thus I selected the Restaurants heading and was immediately presented with the 5 closest restaurants in Yelp's database. Here's where things begin obtaining shaky. sadly, none of the restaurants listed was an ice cream parlor, and TomTom's Yelp integration does not provide a lot of granular categorization than its twenty two prime level classes. thus there isn't any thanks to specify that you just wish, as an example, an Italian restaurant and not a sushi bar. Even then, a number of these top-level classes may be redundant--for example, looking out "Food" returns largely a similar results as "Restaurants." this is often disappointing, as Yelp's thusmewhat obsessive categorization and subcategorization of the categories of companies in its database is an element of what makes the service so helpful on the net and on a smartphone.

There is the way around all of this categorization rigmarole and that is with the Search by Name operate. Typically, using Search by Name with the built-in and regionally stored POI database is barely very helpful if you already grasp where you are going or for destinations with self-explanatory names, like Luigi's Italian Restaurant. However, using Search by Name in tandem with one in all the connected search engines conjointly takes into consideration the expanded knowledge for every POI. So, for the needs of my search, Smitten Ice Cream would show up during a seek for "ice cream" however then therefore ought to the a lot of highly rated Bi-Rite Creamery, despite not having the precise search term in its title.

However, there are a couple of problems with Search by Name. First, hitting the Search button on the Results screen can solely filter the visible POIs (as against requerying the online service). And since choosing any class automatically takes you to a Results screen, the sole thanks to forged a broad search web is to initiate the Search by Name before choosing a class. Of course, this currently means an enquiry for The Fillmore concert hall will come the handfuls of unrelated restaurants, barbershops, and places of worship that are on Filmore Street. Additionally, search did not appear to love bound terms. specifically, each search I ran for the term "ice cream" was met with a mistake message proclaiming that "Something went wrong" which I ought to "Please strive once more later." it'd appear that the TomTom GO Live 1535M resolve to stay me from my dairy dessert.

Eventually, I simply keyed "Bi-Rite" into the search box and learned that TomTom's search engine additionally places the next stress on proximity than on search-term accuracy when Smitten Ice Cream was listed because the 1st search result, whereas the Bi-Rite Creamery sat concerning four pages down within the seventeenth position. The order of the results changes betting on where you're when initiating the search. I perceive why this happens, however like everything associated with the 1535M's connected search, it is a bit odd and counterintuitive.

With the four-star-rated Bi-Rite Creamery located and ice cream on the horizon, I tapped the entry and was taken to a destination details page that showed a preview of the POI's position on the map, its straight-line distance from my current location, and shortcuts to initiate a decision, rummage around for parking nearby, and Show data, that displays a range of Yelp's user generated reviews.

Connected services are integrated into the local database search, however not every others'.

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