Intuitive navigation GPS app for a UK user

iOS & iPadOS
I got my first I phone just before Christmas (I phone 4s) and think its a brilliant device for blind users. The only problem I have is choosing an intuative GPS navigation AP, which works well in the UK and is accessible. I want something that will provide full navigation when walking (road names, house numbers etc) but it is very difficult to pick one, especially when the two in the Apple Vis directory either don't appear to be very accessible and are very expensive. Does anyone have any recommendations?



Submitted by David Goodwin👨‍🦯 on Thursday, February 2, 2012

Member of the AppleVis Editorial Team

At the moment, there is no one single app that meets all of your needs, so I think you need to be looking at using a number of apps in combination.

I would suggest that you look at the following 3 apps:

MyWay Lite
Where To? - Discover your next destination
Ariadne GPS

Each of these serves quite specific needs, but when used in conjunction provide a very comprehensive set of tools for exploring and navigating your immediate surroundings.

As for a full routing application, the only real option in the UK right now is Navigon. It is very accessible with VoiceOver, and quite intuitive to use. It has some resource issues on older devices, which make it sluggish and unresponsive, but on the more powerful 4S it is reported to work fine. Unfortunately you just missed a promotion, which saw the app reduced to £20, the cheapest that it has been for quite some time. Navigon tend to run promotions every couple of months, so you might want to wait for the next one.

I've tried the TomTom app in the past, and that was usable with VoiceOver, but there were still areas of the app that weren't accessible with VoiceOver. It also wasn't as intuitive as Navigon.

Avoid CoPilot, as that is totally inaccessible.

Submitted by steven carey on Thursday, February 2, 2012

In reply to by David Goodwin👨‍🦯

Dear David, Thank you, that was very useful. I did see the Navigan GPS at the lower price but was put off a bit by the comments by other users, which suggested that the AP wasn't very good and the GUI wasn't that accessible. However, after your comments, I'll wait until it goes-down in price again in price. Do you know anything else about it? e.g. does it use much data (I have 1Gb a month), Do you have to download maps all the time and do they cost you more money once you've paid the AP price? Do you need any of the other ad-ons? Do you know if any new UK-based GPS APS will be coming onto the market soon (those that are accessible)? Thanks, Steve.

The maps are stored on your iPhone, so you shouldn't use any of your data allowance when routing. If you use the Google Local Search feature, that would use data, but only a nominal amount.

As for add-ons, I guess it depends upon how and when you will be using the app. If you only use it locally whilst walking, you probably wouldn't get much benefit from any of the available add-ons. The 7-digit postcode add-on can make entering locations easier, and the live traffic add-on could be useful if you travel longer distances by car.

As for other options, I'm not aware of anything new on the horizon.

If you fancy trying something else whilst waiting for the next Navigon promotion, you could take a look at VoxTrek Navigation GPS. There was quite a buzz about this app among blind users a couple of years ago, but now it never seems to get a mention. It's not been updated since July 2010, and it has quite poor reviews, so you should keep your expectations low. But, at £2, it's not exactly at the Navigon or TomTom level. Personally, I've not spent enough time with it to have an opinion.

Submitted by Robin Christopherson on Friday, February 3, 2012

I use an app called SatNav 2 which is free (or at least was last time I looked) but which has very reasonably priced in-app upgrades for downloadable maps and alternative voices (such as Wallis and Gromit). it has turn by turn instructions and almost every button is labelled such that after you have spent a couple of minutes labelling them you then have a fully accessible app. It used to be called Skobbler and you can probably still find it by searching for that. It uses the Open Streetmap maps which are probably not quite as accurate as TelAtlas etc, but are in my opinion fit for purpose adn only provide the occasional wrong instruction. Also they are constantly being updated. SatNav 2 does not give you house numbers as you pass, however, so for that I would also recommend Ariadne (pronounced ArryAdni) which is only a few pounds.

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