RNIB Navigator

Last modified
Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Description of App

The RNIB, and Sendero Group the pioneers of accessible GPS, have teamed up to create RNIB Navigator. Almost 20 years of user feedback and feature requests are behind the design of all Sendero GPS products. The accessible features in RNIB Navigator are only the beginning of what is yet to come as users help in evolving this first fully accessible GPS product for the iPhone for the UK. RNIB Navigator is a fully accessible turn-by-turn GPS iPhone app with all the normal navigation features plus features unique to blind users. RNIB does not receive any revenue from the sale of this app.
Unique to RNIB Navigator
• Instead of multiple layers of menus, the three important navigation elements are on the lower portion of every screen: Route, POIs and Location.
• At intersections, the cross street and its orientation are announced
• Intersections are described (e.g. four-way) with the clock face orientation of the streets.
• POI data is provided by Foursquare.
• Directions are configured appropriately for Pedestrian and Vehicle routes, including heads-up announcements for approaching turns, turn now, continue straight and upcoming turns.
• If one wanders off the route, it's automatically recalculated and updated turn information is announced.
• Point your phone in a given direction to hear what is nearby with the LookAround Wand.
• Nearby Points of interest and intersections are automatically announced.
Requires: Compatible with iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, iPhone 5S, iPad Wi-Fi + 3G, iPad 2 WiFi + 3G, iPad Wi-Fi + 4G, iPad mini Wi-Fi + Cellular. iOS 6.0 or later.
RNIB Navigator app uses VoiceOver feature for audio voice output and does not contain its own voice synthesizer.
Continued use of GPS running in the background can dramatically decrease battery life.



Free or Paid


Apple Watch Support

Not Known

Device(s) App Was Tested On


Accessibility Comments

Fully VoiceOver accessible.

VoiceOver Performance

VoiceOver reads all page elements.

Button Labeling

All buttons are clearly labeled.


The app is fully accessible with VoiceOver and is easy to navigate and use.

Other Comments

It should be noted that this app is free to download but does need a subscription, this is the English version of the seeing eye gps app.

Developer's Twitter Username



1 people have recommended this app

Most recently recommended by alex wallis 5 years 1 month ago



Submitted by james30 on Monday, May 12, 2014

It is nice to see an alternative app available in the UK specifically for the blind but having payed for Blindsquare and using it with Google/Apple Maps I feel I already have a much superior option. The one exception being of corse is that Navigator should use less battery power as it is only a single app, other than that I am more than happy with my current sett up.

Submitted by KE7ZUM on Monday, May 12, 2014

Because the RNIB is a specific organization I don't think they will be expanding it. You never know though. They techniqually do not have to. I guess time will tell.

Submitted by riyu12345 (not verified) on Monday, May 12, 2014

There's the seeing eye app from Sendero, which is the US version of the navigator app.
I'll check out blind square and see if it's any good for what I need.

Submitted by alex wallis on Monday, May 12, 2014

I would think seeing as this app and blind square both have access to 4square data that you would only need rnib navigator for actually finding out what's around you.
However I do think one useful feature in blind square is the ability to e able to explore the map with your finger.
I also guess the ability for blind square to announce where things are on the clock face might be useful to people.
I am curious how do the way direction are givens in this app and other apps differ, apart from them being free do people think there might be other advantages to using google maps, apple maps etc over this navigator app?

Submitted by riyu12345 (not verified) on Monday, May 12, 2014

I prefer navigator simiply cause it's cheep.
Easy to use, you can get turn by turn directions.
Search for a postcode.
Look up point of interest.

The only down side for me is that it uses the clockface directions and relative cumpas, which I don't like.
I'm going to email and tweet cendero about this and sse if they could make a togalable setting.

Submitted by alex wallis on Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Something else I would like to know is how much data the app is likely to use while following a root, I mean I know it will vary depending on how long a root is, but I wonder if we would be talking a few kb each time your position is updated, or if we might quickly be talking tens of mb.
I only get a 500 mb data allowance each month so have to be careful how I use data.
I also don't think the manual offers advice on the most accurate external receivers that can be used with it.
I have noticed that blind square is able to tell me my address reasonably consistently however rnib navigator tells me where I am near which is fairly close to my address but not the actual one, but blind square is able to actually detect it.

Submitted by Mike Taylor on Tuesday, May 13, 2014

I like this app very much, while I can appreciate other comments regards the subscription aspect, a fully functional GPS is just what I have been waiting for. Its easy to use, and although it will compliment blind square, I think RNIB navigator will be my go to app.
Don't get me wrong, lets not forget about the great work that goes in to apps such as blind square, as this as I said will work great as well as the navigator app. Its good to have the choice, and although there is a subscription for navigator, its just my view, but its well worth it, I will be keeping this one.

Submitted by Mark P on Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Hi all, does anyone know if we will have the ability to create our own points of interest. I do a lot of regular visits and want mor accurate markers if possible.

Submitted by alex wallis on Tuesday, May 13, 2014

I guess sendero are the only ones who can tell us if we will have the option to add our own points of interest,
personally I hope we get this feature as I don't think 4square is a really practical way of doing this, as most people for example aren't going to be interested in location of say a tree or a lamp post or other landmarks we might add to compliment a root.
I do think its quite lazy of sendero not to have added this functionality and to rely on 4square for creating pois.
also, lets say your house isn't shown properly by the app, no way would I just publicly add my house to 4square, I might as well put a sign out saying please rob me.

Submitted by Dave Nason on Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Member of the AppleVis Editorial Team

Hi all. For those in Ireland, just to let you know that this app works in Ireland too. I don't know why it's not mentioned in the app description, but I can confirm it works and a month subscription costs €4.49

Alwx, I totally agree, I am still using my Trekker pro from Humanware and have many hundreds of POI's put in over the years. My guide dog will be retiring and I really will be needing this basic function. I cant understand why it isnt in the tool box from the workd go?

Submitted by alex wallis on Thursday, June 12, 2014

What's New in Version 1.4.1

* added 1 Year and 3 Year subscription options.

The subscription options are currently priced at 1 month costs £6.99, 1 year costs £47.99 and 3 years costs £89.99

i think that clearly mike may has a disconnect between the customer and the company. not only have we been asking for a way to add favorites and POI's, but we've also asked for months on end for better mapping solutions, and what do they do? change the map providers three or four times, the latest being to tom tom where the directions are way off, and POI's are three to four miles or more off from google maps. clearly this company isn't listening.

Submitted by alex wallis on Thursday, June 12, 2014

An audio boo about this app that might be of interest was posted about a week ago, on the vip advisor audioboo channel.
the boo is a quite in depth interview about the app done by Claire Randall,
the boo description says
I spoke to Steve Tyler from the RNIB about RNIB Navigator, a project in conjunction with Sendero. Cost, current feedback and plans for the future were all part of the discussion.
end of description,
my own personal thoughts while writing this comment are
they certainly have bold hopes for the future not quite sure how realistic some of them are, but I guess time will tell.
The boo can be found at the below link, after clicking it you need to choose the option to play audio as it won't automatically start.

Submitted by alex wallis on Thursday, June 12, 2014

In reply to by brandon armstrong

starting to agree a little, I mean they go to the trouble of pushing an update simply to allow for them raking in more revenue,
I understand the need for subscriptions in order to pay for access to map data and fund future development, however it seems extremely lazy not to push out any new features apart from ones to increase revenue.
Regarding accuracy of tom tom, I travelled a car root the other day and was talking my driver through what the app was saying was around us and he said it was quite accurate.
Personally I think surely the best option if possible would be to allow access to as many mapping providers as possible so that people can select the one with best coverage for there area.

Submitted by Dave Nason on Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Member of the AppleVis Editorial Team

Hi. I have been trying this app for the last few days but find that it's not announcing cross streets and junctions as I walk. I have the settings selected correctly I think, and it does announce some points of interest, but not junctions. Is this working for other people, or is there something I've got wrong?

Submitted by alex wallis on Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Hi, do you have the phone locked or unlocked in your pocket?
this makes a difference to the amount of information you are given.

Submitted by Dave Nason on Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Member of the AppleVis Editorial Team

Hi Alex. I had the phone locked. Though I think I tried it unlocked too. I thought this app could do basically what BlindSquare does, as well as the additional features like turn-by-turn.

Submitted by bryan mcglashan on Saturday, June 21, 2014

Hi dave82 I have had the same problem as you with the app however one question what is your GPS signal like? I loose mine all the time so it could be a possibility that you have lost GPS signal

Submitted by alex wallis on Saturday, June 21, 2014

If you lose signal the app should tell you this by saying network lost or something like that.
I listened to a very interesting podcast recently comparing seeing eye gps and the android equivalent I can't remember the name, but I was quite impressed with what the android app featured, I certainly think seeing eye and this app could learn a lot from it in terms of offering customisation for speaking different information.
Has anyone tried using an external receiver with this app or seeing eye? would be interested in knowing what affect this has on accuracy, performance etc.

Submitted by Dave Nason on Saturday, June 21, 2014

Member of the AppleVis Editorial Team

Hi. No I don't think signal has generally been a problem for me, it usually says I have accuracy of within 5 or 10 metres. I would be interested to hear about external receivers too though.
Re the intersections, I was in touch with Sendero during the week (they were very friendly and helpful by the way), and they said that accidentally, the intersections data for Ireland had not been uploaded to the server, and that they have now fixed this. I have not seen real improvement as yet, but it might just take a few days for the data to filter through. So fingers crossed it'll be ok anyway. I'm not sure about your issue though Brian, where are you based?
I have though been impressed with the turn-by-turn directions aspect of the app, and find it gives me more useful information than say Navigon. So hopefully they can continue to develop the app.

Submitted by bryan mcglashan on Sunday, June 22, 2014

hi. I have to agree the turn by turn directions are great. This morning I took my guide dog out for a walk. I decided to follow a root that I wasn't very familiar with and the app got me home brilliantly. However, regarding the GPS signal I am based in Scotland and the GPS reception isn't too bad however I keep losing it. I think that I could be positioning the phone wrong in my pocket wich would explain things. Great app though

Submitted by alex wallis on Sunday, June 22, 2014

Hi, remember the app also needs a good data connection, which is separate to your gps coverage, the app needs the data connection to query the server and recalculate roots because you can't download maps.
Hopefully maps can be made downloadable in the future, given that other apps have access to downloadable maps.

Submitted by Kerry Fielding on Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Hi. I have just signed up to a subscription on a monthly basis to see whether or not it is any better than BlindSquare. Can my husband who is also blind use the app, or does he need to subscribe in his own right?

Submitted by james30 on Wednesday, January 18, 2017

I do not believe family sharing works for subscriptions. The only way you can both use the app without having to purchase individual subscriptions is if both devices are logged into the same Apple ID.

However I believe the app does offer a free trial