CoPilot GPS app now available for iOS and Android--FREE!

I remember when I got my first Android phone I was thrilled with the navigation capabilities of Google Maps, which guided me on a 400 mile trip to Seattle. I wasn't so thrilled when I found out what it cost me in usage charges from my service provider. And that was the last time I used Google Maps for navigation. I wasn't too happy about AT&T's navigation for pay either.

At that time ALK Technologies, the developer for CoPilot Live had not entered the iPhone or Android market yet. I recall using CoPilot live in the glory days of Windows Mobile with great satisfaction even though I had to hook up with an external antenna.

There’s no need to rely on a mobile connection – detailed street maps of your chosen country or region are stored on your smartphone or tablet, so CoPilot GPS still works even when you are offline.

Now ALK has CoPilot apps for North America, Canada, USA, UK, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa. Unfortunately, there are no maps for Mexico or South America, which is on my wish list.

Prices range from $9.99 to $150 depending on what program you buy. The one for truckers gets the big price tag.

However, the good news is that there is now a free version for IOS and Android available in iTunes or the Play Store. (How did Google come up with that goofy name anyway?) The free version lacks voice-guided turn-by-turn navigation and advanced 3D guidance so you may wish to upgrade to a paid version. I use the North American edition, which includes USA and Canada. I wish it had Mexico.

CoPilot GPS makes it easy to find places you need and provides the best routing to your destination. Search the pre-installed points of interest for nearby restaurants, hotels and shops. Find local businesses and attractions using Bing and Wikipedia.

Some Key features
• Maps stored on-board your smartphone or tablet for off-line use
• Thousands of preinstalled Points of Interest (POIs) with in-app dialing
• Powerful route planning with multi-stop trip optimiser
• Alternate Routes: CoPilot provides up to 3 ways to your destination. Drag and drop the route to adjust.
• Driving directions: manually cycle through the turns to your destination
• Walking mode: explore unfamiliar cities on foot with confidence
• Social sharing: let your friends know where you are with Twitter & Facebook status updates
• Dynamic local content: find useful and interesting places with Wikipedia and Bing Search
• Online, dozens of languages are available for free download.

Another feature I appreciate is that you can go to your photo gallery, tap on a picture, and CoPilot will take you there.

At the bottom of the screen, you can toggle among various information boxes including speed, compass direction, time of arrival, distance to go, elapsed time, time to go, and altitude. However, there are only two boxes. I wish there were more.

You can input coordinates for latitude and longitude if you know them. Unfortunately, it will only accept the decimal format, which is a definite limitation.

I am pleased to report that the performance of CoPilot Live North American addition on my Android phone has been exemplary. It is quick to pick up a satellite signal and get oriented for almost immediate navigation. The directions have been accurate and clearly spoken. When you take a wrong turn, rerouting is quick and seamless.
The best part of course is that you are not using up your data allowance and being charged for it. It works offline with a direct satellite hookup. I give it two thumbs up and recommend CoPilot highly.

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