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TomTom GO 930


The TomTom 930 will soon make its way to stores in North America. With flagship new features of Active Lane Guidance, Static Intersection Images, and IQ Routes we were excited to put a few hundred miles of testing the TomTom 930 over the last few days. Will the 930 be finding its way into a […]

449 Responses

  1. In terms of the voice recognition functionality– The Garmin wins there. You can pretty much operate the entire device by voice where the TomTom’s system is limited to address entry.

    Tim - June 30th, 2008
  2. Tim: Thanks for your answers. So may I ask you or are there some restrictions on your answerting this question–Garmin NUVI 880 or Tom Tom 930????? Which would you get? Thanks.

    Robert - June 30th, 2008
  3. Your needs/desired functions in a GPS device are likely to be different than what my needs are, which is why I don’t answer generic “which is best?” type questions. I’m happy to listen to what someone is looking for, and let them know which device I think will be best for them, but my own navigation needs and feature desires shouldn’t impact your decision.

    Based on what you’ve mentioned so far– voice recognition and Bluetooth, I’d go with the Nuvi 880 as Bluetooth calls can be routed over the FM transmitter and it has a more complete voice recognition system.

    Tim - June 30th, 2008
  4. Tim: Thanks. Appreciate your understanding of what I am specificallly looking for.

    Robert - June 30th, 2008
  5. I said above: “I also have discovered that if you invoke ‘Get numbers from Phone’, it erases the current Phone Book (which might have come from a different phone) and loads all of the numbers from the currently connected phone.” True. But here is a way to fill the Phone Book with numbers from more than one phone.

    Note: Back up your TomTom first using TomTom HOME.

    Note: This worked for me on a Mac. There are numerous ways that your situation may differ. This may not work for you, or could conceivably cause problems, especially if my instructions have errors or are unclear, or if you don’t follow them carefully.

    (1) Connect GO to phone A. “Get numbers from phone.”
    (2) Without launching TomTom HOME, connect GO to a computer. After a minute or two, it will be fully connected. If TomTom HOME launched automatically, quit it.
    (3) On Mac, open a Finder window; on Windows, open My Computer.
    (4) Open the TomTom folder. Open the Contacts folder.
    (5) Copy contacts.txt to a folder on your hard disk. Rename the computer’s copy of contacts.txt “PhoneA.txt” or whatever.
    (6) Repeat step (3). Select and eject the TomTom. Disconnect it from the USB cable or the dock. Reconnect it.
    (7) Repeat steps (1-6) but in steps (1) and (5) change “A” to “B”.
    (8) Using NotePad (Windows) or TextEdit (Mac), or some other “plain text” editor, use copy and paste to merge the PhoneA.txt and PhoneB.txt files into a new file on your hard disk called “contacts.txt”.
    (9) Be sure TomTom HOME isn’t running. Copy the merged contacts.txt from your hard disk to the TomTom “Contacts” folder, replacing the one that was there.
    (10) Repeat step (3). Select and eject the TomTom. Disconnect it from the USB cable or the dock.
    (11) Check to be sure all the numbers from both phones are now in your GO phone book.

    You may want to keep the three txt files on your hard disk as extra backups.

    Larry - July 1st, 2008
  6. (1) I used the TomTom to get to a store today five minutes before it closed, and then to another store that I hadn’t been to before. The 930T was easy to use and got me to both places quickly and safely. It’s a keeper.

    (2) I said above, “There are wires all over my dashboard due to the car charger and the FM antenna. To remove the unit from the dashboard, I have to unplug two cords.”

    I found a better way to route the cables and it doesn’t look as dorky now.

    I used a Rip Tie (Velcro tape) to make an inch-diameter loop near the USB end of the charger cable and placed the loop around the windshield mount arm so the cord can’t escape. I used another Rip Tie to secure the FM antenna cord to the charger cord near their respective connectors.

    (3) I said, “Sometimes, the 930T connects to my telephone automatically when I turn it on, sometimes it does not. I can’t predict it.”

    Here’s what is happening: If either my Bluetooth headset is on and serving as a hands-free for my phone, or my wife’s phone is nearby and not connected to any hands-free device, the GO can not connect to my phone. Doh.

    (4) I said: “The Mac version of TomTom HOME does not seem to support either ‘Operate my GO’ or any way to create an initial 4-digit password to enter when the unit powers on.”

    Borrow a Windows machine for fifteen minutes and set the password there. Any USB cable with the correct size connectors will do. I didn’t even need the software CD. The GO had a copy of TomTom HOME in its internal memory and Windows installed it from there.

    (5) I said, “TomTom HOME sometimes freezes.”

    I have experienced no freezes since the first few hours of use.

    Larry - July 1st, 2008
  7. There’s a point of interest in my 930T that is listed as a place “near you” but is not listed as a place in the city in which it is located. It’s unlisted there whether I use Find or simply scroll the long list.

    Consequently, I can’t navigate to that POI until I am already there, unless I know its address.

    Has anyone else seen this happen?

    Thinking it was not listed, I reported it as a map correction. I hope Map Share figures out that it’s a duplicate.

    Larry - July 4th, 2008
  8. Larry, what was the name and address of the POI?

    Tim - July 4th, 2008
  9. ok, I am debating between Garmin Nuvi 760 and TomTom Go 930. Does nuvi transmit phone calls through FM to speakers? What are the major advantages of one over the other? I read carefully both product reviews and am lost now. This is my 1st GPS and would like to make the right choice. Which one I can customize more? Any help would be great!

    Max - July 4th, 2008
  10. The Nuvi can broadcast Bluetooth via FM. The TomTom is much more customizable.

    Tim - July 4th, 2008
  11. Active Lane Guidance (ALG) as I understood has 2 parts: the lower left graphics showing lanes and the big static intersection image. Does it still work properly and show the small lower left graphics even if the static image is not available for many intersectons? If it does, then that’s perfect. I don’t like static image in a moving car :) Thx.

    JohnM - July 4th, 2008
  12. JohnM – The turn arrow in the lower left corner will often show simple lane information– like the highway splits and you want the right side. But as far as the images with many lanes depicting where they go, medians, which way you want, etc, that will only show (as near as I can tell) at intersections where the static images show.

    Tim - July 4th, 2008
  13. Thanks Tim for verifying my ALG question. But then how did you get the 2nd screen shot in the ALG review section above, with multiple lanes, 2 white lanes and image of the road with the car???

    JohnM - July 4th, 2008
  14. The static intersection image only appears just before the turn for a few seconds. In other words if your next turn has ALG and that turn isn’t for another five miles, they don’t show the static image the entire time. You still get the moving map (with lane info in the lower corner) until you get close to the turn, then the static image appears.

    Tim - July 4th, 2008
  15. Just got my 930 so maybe I will find them later, but at this time I cannot find the maps of Europe. How do I find them?

    Joel - July 5th, 2008
  16. Menu -> Change Preferences -> (next) -> Manage Maps -> Switch Map -> Western and Central Europe 2GB

    Tim - July 5th, 2008
  17. Hi there,
    Great support stuff!! Congrats. I am on the verge of upgrading from the GO910 to the GO930 but I understand from some web sources that the GO 930 has been discontinued. Can you confirm and will it still be a wise investment if this were true?

    Keep the light shining!!

    Chris - July 5th, 2008
  18. The 930 has not been discontinued.

    Tim - July 5th, 2008
  19. Thanks!!

    Chris - July 5th, 2008
  20. I am intrested in future write-ups on GPS devices.

    Vince Cimino - July 5th, 2008
  21. Tim (re posts #207-208),

    The POI was Peninsula Building Materials in Redwood City, CA. When I am near it and ask for POI’s “near you” it appears. When I am elsewhere and ask for POI’s in Redwood City, CA, it does not appear.

    I submitted it as a MapShare correction before I realized it was actually there.

    Larry - July 6th, 2008
  22. Hmmm. When I specify Redwood City and then enter only “Peninsula”, 24 POI’s appear (some of which re duplicates), none of which is Peninsula Building Materials.

    But when I enter “Peninsula Building”, Peninsula Building Materials does show up.

    It would be helpful if:

    (a) Duplicates were suppressed.


    (b) When the number of matches shown reached the limit (24?), the user was told (e.g., via a 25th entry called “Please be more specific”, which returns you to the text entry screen).

    Larry - July 6th, 2008
  23. Hi Tim,

    Great review site you have. Thanks!

    I desperately need a GPS device that can help me plan multiple routes (ala Mapquest or Google Maps style”) in advance of a trip. After extensive shopping, it seems that only the TomTom 920 or 930 series can do that. Garmin does not seem to have this feature, even at the high end. Is that correct? Please confirm.

    Re: the TT930, I have read many reviews that complain about its display quality (i.e. not readable in bright light). That seems to be a fatal flaw of the product. Do you agree? If so, is there a fix?

    Liz - July 6th, 2008
  24. Liz – You can plan routes in advance like that on the Garmin Nuvi 700, 800, and 5000 series devices.

    Regarding the screen– there isn’t a screen on the market today that is visible in direct bright sunlight. They will all wash-out. Some of the Nuvi models to have a brighter screen than the TomTom, but it isn’t necessarily a better quality screen. You can read more about this on our Screen Brightness page. There is also a good forum thread called TomTom screens really that bad? you can check out.

    Tim - July 6th, 2008
  25. Hi Tim,

    Thanks for the speedy response. The links you provided are very helpful.

    Just a couple more follow up questions:
    1. Still on Routing (which I consider to be the most important feature), on any of the models you cited to have multiple routing advanced planning capabilities, can you a) save the routes for later use, and b) review the route in advance and make modifications (like use this street instead of that street, etc.)?

    2. Re: the TT930, I have also seen a few reviews about map accuracy. Is that a common issue in your view on TT products in general?

    Thanks again for your great help.

    liz - July 6th, 2008
  26. 1) All of those citied can do those things.

    2) A couple of years ago it was an issue, no longer today. With that said, you will find map errors from time to time, but I hear from just as many people with complaints about either of the major map suppliers.

    Tim - July 6th, 2008
  27. Can I store pictures and music on the SD card in my 930? If so, how do I go about this?

    Joel - July 6th, 2008
  28. Yes, you can. Put in the SD card, connect to TomTom HOME, and have HOME add them to your device.

    Tim - July 6th, 2008
  29. Hi Tim,

    Went to the store today and played with both the TomTom 930 and the Nuvi780. Frankly, I detected very little difference in the display. I used the TT930 to plan multiple routes. The UI was fine. I had no issues.

    Now I’m down to deciding between the 930 vs the 930T. Tim, do you have any advice? My understanding is that the 930T comes with the accessories needed for receiving real time traffic information. But given that Googlemaps on my Blackberry can give me traffic information anyway, why would I need the -T model? Plus, the subscription to a traffic service is another $60 per year. Couldn’t I just use Googlemaps to check traffic before leaving for the trip? I plan on using this unit primarily for road trip vacations, not for daily commute. Do you think my reasoning is sound?

    liz - July 6th, 2008
  30. The traffic receiver includes the first year of service. The advantage is that it is integrated into the device, and is constantly updating the traffic conditions and ETA. It might not be worth the cost of convenience for you.

    Tim - July 6th, 2008
  31. Will the 930 work with an SD card larger than 2 gigs? I understand that some different machines will only support 1 or 2 gig cards.

    Joel - July 7th, 2008
  32. Joel, see my post (currently third from the last) in this thread.

    Tim - July 7th, 2008
  33. Hi Tim – awesome site. Appreciate your professional approach and neutrality.

    Re comments 167 & 170 above.
    1) Can you please clarify: The 930 has separate power & traffic cords/adaptors and each of these have NA & EU variants. Correct?
    2) The same TT subscription works in NA or EU as long as you have the correct hardware bits. Yes?
    3) What about Asia (specifically JP)?

    And longer term… do you see TomTom moving in the direction of Dash in terms of connectivity?

    Charles - July 8th, 2008
  34. 1) Correct.

    2) No, I don’t believe so. In North America the RDS-TMC traffic subscription is technically through Clear Channel. In many places in Europe no subscription is necessary (it is free).

    3) There are not any I’m aware of that are compatible with TomTom.

    Hard to say regarding connectivity. I’m sure it will eventually go that way… just don’t know how soon.

    Tim - July 8th, 2008
  35. I’m suspecting that something is going on with the 930T – Amazon doesn’t have it, and doesn’t know when it will be in and doesn’t have anyone else selling it. Buy.com is the same situation, and they don’t even have a picture of the 930. BestBuy doesn’t carry the 930t – just the 930,and I’m reading bad reviews about the poor screen, accuracy, etc which is very odd for TomTom. Crutchfield is the only site that looks ok. Thoughts?

    Rog - July 8th, 2008
  36. I’ve been having difficulty getting a signal once turning on my TT 930. Sometimes it takes over 10 min. Has anyone had this problem? I’ve since exchanged it but the problem persists. I don’t think it is the location because the TT 920 I had was OK after the initial start up.

    Alicia - July 8th, 2008
  37. Rog, I haven’t seen any indications of “something going wrong”. The 930 and 930T are the same except the T model includes the traffic receiver in the box. Most everyone appears to have good stock of the 930, and you can purchase the traffic receiver as an accessory. As for the screen issue, see the two pages I link to in comment #224 on this page.

    Alica – Check out our Acquiring Satellites Tips.

    Tim - July 9th, 2008
  38. Hello Tim,

    I am also debating between Nuvi 780 and GO 930 as my GPS selection. It seems to me that from Navigation point of view GO 930 has an edge over Nuvi. I particularly like the feature that I do not have to depend upon satellite signal for navigation. I just want to confirm this. Say On a particular day, satellite reception was perfect and I was able to navigate with GO 930. At the end of the day, I park my Car in garage. However, the next day the satellite signal is not good because of weather. Can I navigate with GO 930?

    Sanjeev Verma - July 11th, 2008
  39. I’m not sure I’d agree t hat the Nuvi has a navigation edge… The 930 still has (in my view) more customization and personalization options as far as routes go. But I’d say they are very similar in that regard.

    Weather does not impact the GPS signal. At least not “weather” in terms of things like cloud cover, rain storms, snow, etc. It is impacted by “space weather” from things like sun flares, etc.

    But in your scenario if for some reason at the time you turned it on the device could not find a signal, such as in a parking garage, EPT will not help. You must have a signal just prior to dropping the signal for EPT to work effectively.

    Tim - July 11th, 2008
  40. Hello Tim,

    Thanks for a quick response.My question is that if I leave car in my garage then GPS unit will have the information regarding my previous position and hence it should be able to use that information to navigate me to new destination using EPT without needing satellite signal. Am I missing something here?

    Sanjeev Verma - July 11th, 2008
  41. You are not missing anything– It just doesn’t work that way. It isn’t a replacement for GPS, and doesn’t work as well as GPS. It is merely designed to assist you if you are driving under a double decker road or temporarily go through a tunnel.

    Tim - July 11th, 2008
  42. Tim,

    Thanks for prompt response. I have a quick question for you: Which in your opinion is a better GPS device nuvi780 or Go 930?

    My criterion is very simple: which device has better (satellite) reception capability?

    Thanks in advance,


    Sanjeev Verma - July 11th, 2008
  43. It is really a draw on that criteria since they are both reportedly using the SiRFstarIII chipset and they both use a “quickfix/hotfix” type assistance software.

    Tim - July 11th, 2008
  44. Thanks Tim,


    Sanjeev Verma - July 11th, 2008
  45. Why does my TT930 seem to want to make me turn the opposite direction that I know I need to make on a route that I am familiar with — like into my driveway?

    Joel - July 12th, 2008
  46. Does anyone know if you can ADD Bluetooth funcationality to the NUVI 850?

    Robert - July 12th, 2008
  47. Occasionally when I turn off my 930, after a pause (maybe half a minute) it turns itself back on again. Usually by this time it has been put in it’s case, so it is hard to tell that it is on. Then of course the next time you got to use it, it is flat. Which is not a problem unless you don’t have a power lead with you. Anyone else have this problem?

    Mark - July 14th, 2008
  48. I’m shopping for a mid-range gps. I don’t want a system that locks the touch screen while the vehicle is moving. Do you know which brands I should stay away from?

    Debbie - July 14th, 2008
  49. Mark, I haven’t seen that myself, but if you can I’d try reinstalling the application if it continues.

    Debbie – Most portable devices (TomTom, Garmin) will work that way so any of them would work for you in that regard.

    Tim - July 14th, 2008
  50. Mark, When my 930T is connected to power and FM on my dashboard and I turn it off while the engine is running, it sometimes turns itself back on a half minute later. Whenever it has “turned itself on” at other times, I concluded that something might have pushed against the power button while, or after, I inserted it into the case. It’s a little too easy to do.

    Larry - July 15th, 2008
  51. The Mac version of TomTom HOME does not yet support either ‘Operate my GO’ or any way to create an initial 4-digit password to enter when the unit powers on. I used a Windows machine to do it (earlier post). But within a day or two (probably after I installed something through my Mac), the password was gone.

    Larry - July 15th, 2008
  52. Tim, I’m not so sure about TomTom and the 930T – even their own website glosses over the 930T model – http://www.tomtom.com/products/category.php?ID=0&Lid=4

    I really want to love this thing, but I’m also bugged by the fact that it can’t utilize a common device like a BlackBerry for it’s data connection – I already have a Bluetooth device for my car. They seem to omit data support for some of the most popular phones out their today (at least the ones with which you’d normally have an unlimited data connection with). No support for BlackBerry or Apple.

    Rog - July 15th, 2008
  53. The 930T is just a 930 with a traffic receiver in the box… no other difference. TomTom does acknowledge it on their website here, and places like Crutchfield currently have it in stock.

    I don’t know much about the Blackberry platform, but the reason data isn’t supported on the iPhone isn’t TomTom’s fault… Apple doesn’t allow those types of data connections to their phone. The same is perhaps true for the Blackberry.

    Tim - July 15th, 2008
  54. Also, was on TomTom’s site – the RDS unit is “temporarily unavailable”…


    Rog - July 15th, 2008
  55. Thanks for the reply Tim and Larry.

    Tim, would you mind clarifying what you mean by reinstalling the application? Is there a specific application for power on/off or do you mean reinstall everything?


    Mark - July 16th, 2008
  56. Use TomTom HOME to remove the application for your device. Then do an update and it should find the correct application and reinstall it.

    Tim - July 16th, 2008
  57. Super quick reply Tim, many thanks!

    Mark - July 16th, 2008
  58. Hi there Tim,i need to buy a sat nav and the go 930 sounds pretty good to me,im not into all the extras,i just want really detailed maps.Im going to be spending 3 months driving all over Australia,does the 930 have Australian maps on it?Can they be got?are they good?

    Trevor Bain - July 16th, 2008
  59. If you purchase the 930 in Australia it says it will come with maps of Australia, New Zealand, Europe, US and Canada. If you buy elsewhere it could come with different maps. I haven’t used the australia maps so I don’t know how good they are.

    Tim - July 16th, 2008
  60. Tim,

    Great site. Very informative.

    I’ve been looking at the 930T since before it was released in the U.S. and I’m on the verge of getting one. I’d have one by now if they were available in stores like [snip]. I do see it online at [snip] and that’s where I plan to buy it. However, I’ve seen a lot of negative reviews lately and they have me a little uncertain. I do take them with a grain of salt, but the one’s that sound like bugs or software issues are a real concern. My questions: Do you know how responsive TomTom is to correcting software error if they exist? Also, pertaining to the complaint that you can’t direct phone call audio over the FM transmitter, could that be changed with a software upgrade or is that a hardware function?

    I’ve been very happy with my four year old Magellan and its served me well, but it’s a dinosaur by today’s standards and I’m looking to upgrade. On paper the 930T is just what I’m looking for. I just hope that it can perform as expected.

    Barry - July 18th, 2008
  61. TomTom generally releases more application updates than other companies– however to some degree it is out of necessity to fix existing bugs as they create more. :) But generally speaking there are a few “solid” applications for each device and many people won’t update unless there is a new feature or fix they are looking for. That way they retain stability.

    The Bluetooth calls going over FM isn’t something they will likely address.. I think there are some hardware considerations that prevent it.

    Tim - July 18th, 2008
  62. I bought a 930 on my way home from Chicago to Milwaukee as I was weighing buying one and got frustrated with missing ramps in traffic. The active lane guidance was the main selling point to me, but I never found anything more than the arrow indicating the direction of the next turn. An improvement over my Garmin 10X and Motorola Q Smartphone. However, the Garmin and Q give me free traffic information and will redirect me on occasion. As you say, the IQ routing is great.
    Another feture that made me switch from Garmin. (I have four Garmins and own stock) The next feature that sold me was the editable software. Mapsource Peeved me once too many times so I’m gambling that TomTom’s is better.

    Negatives: FM signal is weak and often noisy in either of my vehicles, I can’t get my Motorola Q to work with it. It isn’t on the list nor is Sprint. I wish that I knew that before buying. The map correction feature is clunky to use on the GPS and via the Tomtom Home software isn’t much better. Finally, My Garmin 10X tells me that my destination is either on the right or left. TomTom just says I’ve arrived.

    One comment on the FM feature. I like to listen to AM talk radio. I wish it could work there and just overpower the AM station to announce directions. As it is, if I want to avoid the wimpy internal speaker, I end up listening to moldy oldies that I put on the SD card.

    Steve Bukosky - July 18th, 2008
  63. Have found the maps and lane guidance much more accurate and frequent over here in Europe. When I bought mine, I assumed the lane guidance would not be that regular in North America and was proven right. Here, I regularly get the arrows and the screens popping up to show me exactly which lane I should be in for an exit or to get past one.

    So far, very happy with my purchase. I have noticed that when the internal memory it too full, the unit hangs alot and sometimes does not restart. I discovered this when adding voice recognition to the european maps (per posting in forums) Have reverted back to the original software.

    One thing I did notice was the backup/restore did not function properly. I backed up (with a memory card in the device). this worked fine. I renamed the backup so I could use it later. (frustrating, each time you backup, you need to rename as the backup is done with the same name each time :-< ) When I went to do a restore, it would not let me, telling me the device has a different memory card than it had previously. It was the same one with the same data on it. So, don’t know the issue but the next backup I’ll do, I’ll take the memory card out first. I got around it this time by manually copying the files from the back folders to the device.

    Rick - July 27th, 2008
  64. I’m interested in getting a TomTom – either the 730 or the discontinued 720. The sites I’ve looked at which are selling the 730 in the UK are asking around £260, whereas you can get a 720 for £160 on one site I found.

    Do you think the £100 price difference is worth it for the extra features of the 730? I’m not overly bothered about journey-time calculation or lane guidance, but the idea that more intelligent routes are selected on the 730 is intriguing. I just don’t know if it’s woth £100 extra!

    Many thanks!

    Doug - July 29th, 2008
  65. hi Tim,
    I’m a European customer who lives presently in US. if I buy the TT930T in US, when I go back to Europe will it work normally without any additional purchase? if yes, are the stored maps for europe already good or do I need to buy some updates to have the most detailed? in other words is this really a world wide product or the version that they sell in europe is somehow different, to say better for that region?
    let me know if you can

    many thanks

    filippo - July 29th, 2008
  66. Doug, if you are not interested in the the time of travel, then it would not be worth the money. What I like about it is if I have it plot an alternative, it tells me the difference in time and distance the new route is from the original. When I travel to a big city and am rushed for time, it is important to me. Otherwise, I bought an XL330 for my wife who has all the time in the world to travel around town.

    Steve - July 29th, 2008
  67. filippo – Yes, with a couple of exceptions. 1) The traffic receiver will only work in the continent it was purchased in and 2) the voice recognition files only come for the continent it was purchased in.

    Tim - July 29th, 2008
  68. Thanks Steve, I think I will go for the 720 – I live within walking distance of work at the moment and so the car is mainly used for social engagements and holidays, neither of which are really time critical!

    The things that made me choose TomTom over Garmin’s 760 (speech recognition , iPod compatibility and more scope for customisation) are all present in the 720.

    Doug - July 31st, 2008
  69. In addition to my post #262, I have further observations after using my 930 for a couple weeks. Originally I could not get the traffic data connection to my cell phone and suddenly it began working. It worked well until two days ago and just stopped. In the course of trying to get it working again, I was able to make my hands free phone section work, just once! I dialed home and left myself a message. Very good audio, too bad it doesn’t work more than one time.

    Without the traffic data, the thing is a waste of money. About now I’d be happy with my wife’s XL330 which cost $300 less.

    Voice recognition was another tempting feature. Forget it. Stop the car, close the windows and it works pretty well but too often you end up using the keypad. More gimmic than a useful feature.

    Another sales gimmic that sold me was the ability to edit maps. Sounds nice but close to impossible to make modifications on the GPS itself and doing it on TomTom Home is still clunky. I like accuracy in my maps as like to change speed limits. Unless the WHOLE length of the road is one speed limit, it is too frustrating to use.

    One time it wanted to make me enter the expressway at a no left turn sign. I edited that correctly, I thought. Today while using that same road it told me to make an illegal turn there again. So much for accepting corrections.

    Editing POI’s works well however. Traveling a lot, I like to be taken to the entrance to the store I’m looking for. Relocating a POI on the GPS does go good so long as you park near by and can devote attention to the steps correcting it.

    Speaking of TomTom Home, everytime I do some uploads and downloads, my quick menu loses one or two menu items and I have to reselect a voice. Sometime it switches to FM transmitting when I know I left it to internal speaker.

    I added a memory card with some of my music but the FM signal flat stinks. I have two vehicles that I use it in. A Subaru with antenna in back and Toyota with antenna in front. Both give noisy signals most of the time and often the DC adapter radiates noise, probably from it’s voltage regulator. Pull the plug from the outlet and some frying goes away.

    So to those interested in buying a 930 in the USA, check that your phone is supported by looking at tomtom.com/phones, forget the advance lane guidance, it’s not in the USA.

    I’m not too happy with mine because the features that made me spend the $500 for it are not as advertised.

    Steve Bukosky - August 6th, 2008
  70. Steve, I wanted to add some clarifications. As you said, users should check compatibility charts to make sure their phone is compatible with traffic services if they want to utilize it for that. People more commonly use the RDS TMC traffic receiver instead for that reason. I suspect you know that already however as someone with the same name has posted on that page.

    I’ve fond voice recognition to work 80-90% of the time, but not much (if any) of a time saver. But I certainly wouldn’t call it a gimmick. I know people rely on since the GPS is located too far away from them in their vehicle and they swear by it.

    I’m not sure why you would think changing speed limit data is a gimmick. There are few roads where the speed limit doesn’t make changes, and if they couldn’t let the user show where that segment starts and stops you wouldn’t have an accurate speed limit.

    If turn restrictions are entered properly, they work just fine.

    The bug about preferences not holding across usage with TomTom HOME’s ‘operate my GO’ feature has been around for awhile, is indeed annoying for those who use that feature, and I really wish TomTom would get around to fixing it.

    I think the 930 does work as advertised. Perhaps not to your expectations for your usage, but I don’t see anywhere that TomTom is being misleading about the product.

    Tim - August 6th, 2008
  71. Mark said on July 14 that his 930 turns itself on sometimes. The next day, I said that only happens to me when I could have accidentally pressed the power switch. But now I am sure that is not so. My 930 really does turn itself on, even if I do this, which I thought would be foolproof:

    Park the car and remove the ignition key. Turn the 930 off. Leave it on the dashboard mount.

    When the ignition switch is off, my cigarette lighter provides no power. If the unit turns itself on, the battery drains.

    My unit has this problem at least as often if I turn the 930 off before switching the ignition off, or if I remove the unit from the dashboard mount and store it in the case.

    Because I virtually never use the unit without a power source, this behavior is merely annoying. If I wanted to run it off battery more often, it would be a bigger problem that that. But I hear battery life is not so good anyway.

    Larry - August 6th, 2008
  72. Hi,

    I would like to add something about the post #267

    I called the TomTom and they told me that the RDS-TMC receiver from my TomTom 930T that I bought in Canada (I think it is the same as USA) will also work in Europe…but I have to admit I don’t try it yet in Europe :-) @Tim, could you comment why you mentionned that it won’t work in Europe vs what the TomTom guy told me over the phone?

    You are right when mentionning that the Europe Map for the TomTom930 T bought in Americas doesn’t have the ASR but if you upgrade the Europe map to version 805 with the latest Map Guaranty (so, it is free) then you will have the ASR for Europe…Of course, with both Europe and North America with ASR …you need an additional SD card because both with ASR don’t hold on the internal 4GB memory.


    Jules Boisvert - August 6th, 2008
  73. Well, I’ve always been told that it won’t work so I’m surprised to hear a TomTom CS rep to say otherwise. They carry two different part numbers, use different frequency hops, and requires a subscription in North America.

    You can also download the Europe ASR files if needed, we’ve linked to them in this thread.

    Tim - August 6th, 2008
  74. hi Tim,

    thanks for the answer….Do you know what is the part number for the Europe and the one for the USA?


    Jules Boisvert - August 6th, 2008
  75. I don’t know for sure, sorry. I think some start with 4v and some start with 9v but I don’t recall which is which.

    Tim - August 6th, 2008
  76. Hi Tim,


    I asked the question because my RDS-TMC receiver has the number 4V00.013 encrusted in the plastic of the oval part of the receiver…..but there is also a sticker around the cord which is written 4V00.083 weird…two different numbers!!!


    Jules Boisvert - August 6th, 2008
  77. Tim, my reference to gimmics are about features that are not what they are marketed to be. I haven’t spoken about the BS that the guy at the major electronics store told me about the 930. I’ll stick to what is on the box.

    Traffic Ready Compatible info Traffic – Not at all. Nothing mentioning that anything other than what’s in the box is needed. Having a Garmin also, I know it is not that simple but this is very, very misleading for someone trusting the box to be accurate in describing the features.

    Map Share Technology. – I call it a gimmic because it is poorly designed. As I said in my last review post, it is so difficult to narrow down a segment of a road to edit the speedlimit on the GPS that it is near a worthless feature. It is a bit easier on the computer with TomTom Home but it still requires numerous clicks to clear segments that you don’t want included in the new speed limit. Instead, they should have made it that NO segments are highlighted and you then click on those that you want included in the new speed limit. On one road I thought I have the mix of speed limits entered and sumitted correctly but I find that they are incorrect on the GPS afterward.

    Handsfree Calling – again, nothing mentioning that not all phones with bluetooth are compatible. My Motorola Q has bluetooth and unlimited data plan with Sprint. There is nothing saying it will not work, until you buy the box and open things up. This is not something that can be excused. It should be clear that not all phones with bluetooth and Sprint are able to be used to make advertised features work.

    Advanced Lane Guidance – Chicago isn’t a small town. Where is the ALG? I think I heard of it somewhere in San Francisco. Lots of it in Europe. the box should say limited availability in the USA.

    Voice activation – a gimmic. Limited value and its quicker to punch things in usually. From what I hear the Garmin 800’s have voice recognition that is far ahead of TomTom’s. Admittedly, for hundreds of dollars more.

    Add all of that to the bugs, occasional lock-ups requiring a reset and I’m sorry that I spent the money for it. For me, it is just an XL330 that cost 2.5 times as much.

    I thought that I spent my money well on the XL 330 and the GO 930 but I now believe that the 930 does not live up to it’s advertising on the box. If I’m the only one sour on the 930 because of all of this, so be it. About the only thing that would make me satisfied with it is if TomTom gave me a free traffic receiver to make up for the cell phone misrepresentation. As it is now, I use my Garmin 10X and cell phone to check for traffic and then have the 930 do a few alternates. Other than these few things (G), I actually like the navigation end of the 930.

    Steve Bukosky - August 8th, 2008
  78. Steve when something is described as “compatible” as in “PC compatible” or “mac compatible” or “traffic compatible” it usually means that the “other” piece like the PC, Mac, or traffic cable isn’t included.

    The method you describe of MapShare input wouldn’t allow sufficient granularity of editing speed limits. People wouldn’t be happy with that limitation.

    I don’t think any company would be able to provide an exhaustive list of all the devices they are not compatible with. New phones are released too fast and too many new models come out to keep a complete list of everything that isn’t compatible. There is a clear list on TomTom’s website showing which devices ARE compatible.

    So I disagree there is any misrepresentation. Misrepresentation would be saying that your phone IS compatible if it wasn’t… but they didn’t say that. You just assumed it would be compatible and unfortunately that wasn’t a safe assumption.

    Tim - August 9th, 2008
  79. Tim, currently debating between the 930 and the 730. There’s a possible trip to Europe in the future, but it’s only a possibility, and might not happen for a couple of years.

    So, a question: excluding the remote and Enhanced Positioning, are there any differences between the 930 and the 730 with European maps purchased separately? Put another way, do you get IQ routes and ALG for europe with the 930? Do you still get those same things if you add European maps to the 730?

    Thanks much.

    Matt - August 11th, 2008
  80. You’ve correctly identified most of the differences. Another difference is that the 700 models come with 2 GB of internal memory whereas the 900 models come with 4 GB of internal memory. So there wouldn’t be enough space on the 700 models to install both sets of maps in the internal memory at once. You could make a backup and swap the maps, then swap back when you are done, or load the extra maps on an SD card.

    Something else to consider is that if it will be a couple of years before you go– if you purchased a 900 series now it the maps will be a couple of years out of date when you get there.

    Tim - August 11th, 2008
  81. Tim, great articles and your commitment to answering follow up questions is impressive.

    I am one of those debating between TomTom and Garmin. Understandably, a recommendation is very subjective, so I’d like to ask for a brief comparison of features important to me.

    1) First and foremost, the feature that is by far the most important is accurate and “smart” routing. I live in Southern California (Orange County), and frequently run into traffic. I would love to have a GPS that could re-route me to always get the fastest route (within reason).

    2) I’m fairly tech-savvy and not afraid of a little complexity (so the “simple” interface of the Garmin is not a bonus), but I do want something that is efficient when it comes to entering to destinations on the fly and coming up with good POI’s (such as the nearest Gas Station).

    Jared - August 11th, 2008
  82. 1) You know your friend who doesn’t like to take many risks, doesn’t like to deviate from the norm, and likes to go the route that is the most “sure thing”? That is Garmin. You know your other friend who likes to be a bit more aggressive, likes seeks out shortcuts to maximize efficiency, and most of the time he is right and saves you time… but occasionally things can go quite wrong— that is TomTom.

    I think TomTom’s routes are “smarter” overall. However when TomTom “misses” it is usually a bit bigger of a mistake.

    2) I’d say that is probably a draw between the two. The Garmin might include a few more POIs out of the box but TomTom’s search interface is a little more friendly with spelling errors and similar names.

    Tim - August 11th, 2008
  83. Thanks Tim. You’ve hit the nail on the head with the comment about the maps being a couple of years out of date — that’s one of the main reasons I’m leaning toward the 730 over the 930. I just wanted to ensure that if I did purchase the European maps at a later date, that I wouldn’t be losing any functionality vs. the 930 (other than the remote and the advanced positioning). Sounds like that’s the case, which is very helpful information. Much appreciated.

    Matt - August 11th, 2008
  84. I’m just back from Chicago with my 930, and DID see the lane guidance on several occasions, all that I remember were around Interstate junctions, like along 294 & 55 & 80. Yes, major intersections, but they’re out there. And honestly, I don’t need much of it for typical highway or interstate driving. Up there, with lots of lanes, it did boost my turn confidence.

    Mike - August 11th, 2008
  85. Mike, I might be going down 294 tomorrow and will look for that. Did you take an exit from 294 to 80 or 55 or just see something while driving by those intersections?

    I was in Algonquin today and the 930 worked nicely. On the way home it did some unusual routing and took me on some minor road which nicely bypass some towns during the mid-afternoon. Also had occasion to hit the detour selection in construction. That worked well. I have to see if that can be put in the quick menu.

    I wrote TomTom about the phone compatability complaint of mine. I asked for a free antenna. Here’s their response; “Thank you for taking the time to contact TomTom Support regarding your phones not being compatible with the GO 930 for Traffic. We cannot send you a free RDS-TMC receiver because of this issue. The phone compatibility list for the GO 930 is readily available on our website through the GO 930 and TomTom Traffic pages.”

    My point is that a consumer walking up to a display and then looking over the box is not told that they need to check TomTom’s website to see if their phone and provider is compatible. The features say Traffic ready, Handsfree calling and on another side has a Bluetooth logo.

    People that are close and familiar with automobile GPS’s, TomTom included, need to step back and look at this from a consumer’s perspective. Should it not say right on the box that you need a compatible phone, provider and data service and provide the website to do so?

    Oops! I just saw some fine print on the bottom of the box. “For availability of features, map coverage, services, accessories and more information check http://www.tomtom.com . Well then, shame on me and the store sales person.

    On a similar note, while driving and listening to my favorite radio station, TomTom had a advertisement about gasoline prices. It implied it came with the GPS. While on TomTom Home last night they asked me to pay the $13 for the subscription. Too bad my phone isn’t compatible. But then, MSN Live is free via my phone so I get free traffic and gas prices anyway. I also find that the updated prices are fresher than what I get from my Garmin. I’d think that it comes from the same service. Perhaps not.

    Steve Bukosky - August 12th, 2008
  86. Does anyone have any idea why the NUVI 880 is not yet available at Circuit City when it seems to be available everywhere else?

    Robert - August 15th, 2008
  87. Ok, I was wrong about the Advance Guidance in Chicago. I found it a few times. First was southbound I94 at the I294 split. The second and most useful time was at an interchange where I’ll sometimes miss my ramp. That’s 290 west by the 294 interchange. There it gave me plenty of advance warning and flashed a nice green arrow in the lane that I should be in. Very nice.

    On a couple other occasions I didn’t get the picture rendering but did get the multiple lane arrows with the correct lane being highlighted.

    After driving for a few house towards home, it routes me around Milwaukee, avoiding rush hour traffic. (I have the traffic cable receiver now) While getting close to home, it tells me to take a side street which would add two stop signs and some distance to what is otherwise a normal traveling traffic main road. I avoided the detour and the ETA drops by three minutes when recalculated. Just when I was falling in love with it again!

    Steve Bukosky - August 18th, 2008
  88. First, I’d like to say that my TomTom 930 has been useful despite all the issues that I’ve mentioned in my earliers posts and despite the issues that I’m about to mention. Second, I agree with Steve Bukosky in that the map share makes it far too difficult to mark the desired segments for editing the posted speed limits but I disagree with his idea of having no segments selected and then selecting them manually as that is almost as difficult as deselecting the segments. I think it should be a matter of selecting segments between two points particularly if those points can be the points marked when you select mark map error while you drive (it would be nice if it could allow you to record a short description of the error being marked when you hit the mark error button while driving).

    My new beefs are that although the IQ routes is clearly a step ahead of everyone else, the entire routing concept is flawed with respect to taking traffic and statistical traffic profiles into account. The routes are planned with current traffic information only. Here a commute can easily take an hour so it may be a half hour before I reach a particular point on the map so the current reported traffic condition at that point shouldn’t be one that’s used but rather an estimated traffic condition based upon the current traffic condition of the segment and all segments that may affect that segment multiplied by a coefficient to project the traffic estimate a half hour into the future as well as a weighting of the projected condition from the historical IQ routes traffic profile. The effect of traffic incidents could also be projected in this fashion into the future and perhaps live RIS information from other TomTom users. The coefficients would be calculated offline based on information from which IQ routes is collected and from historical traffic information from the road sensors. If each segment was to be estimated from the past state of all segments (ideal case), time was in 5 minute steps and projections up to an hour in the future was desired, the number of coefficients would be the number of segments squared times 12 (number of 5 minute periods in an hour) which could be quite large. However this can be reduced greatly as the segments considered for each segment need not be all segments but only the segments that are within the traveling time from where the estimate is desired and after a certain amount of time, it would be better to just use the statistical IQ routes profile data instead of factoring in all historical data.

    As it is now, the 930 often tells me that I will have 226 minutes delay on the normal route whereas I know that if I just wait 30 minutes, it will just be a 35 minute trip. There has been times when it starts detouring me off the freeway and then 15 minutes into the trip it’s trying to get me back onto the freeway, sometimes to the same point that I left it from.

    If TomTom wishes to use my method, I’ll be happy to negotiate a royalty arrangemnt for such a “Future Routes” approach 😉

    Seriously, since the 930 is a Linux box. I may be able to work something like this out if I can get the SDK for the TT930.

    John - August 21st, 2008
  89. Yes, it’s me again, Mr. Negative. My TT930 does seem to reboot quite often still but I’ve noticed that it tends to be when there’s a high load on the system ie.: while calculating EPT positions when I’m circling around in the spiral ramp of a parking garage, when trying to calculate routes while the GPS position is jumping around due to the buildings downtown, or when an incoming hands free call comes in while I’m otherwise entering something into the system.

    All of this makes me wonder if they are using the default memory management algorithm from Linux. The default behaviour is to optimistically allow the OS to allocate more memory than it has based on an assumption that most won’t ever get used which if the computer’s main purpose is just people editing files and navigating the folders, this would be true but it would not be true with a dedicated purpose computer like the TomTom. The TomTom should have the setting “vm.overcommit_memory = 2″ set in it’s /etc/sysctl.conf file and perhaps some memory reservation (vm.min_free_kbytes and vm.lower_zone_protection) set there as well. I haven’t installed the bluetooth tty package to log into the TomTom manually but if someone has, could they just check to see if /etc/sysctl.conf has those settings there. If not, then I would expect it to crash often which is exactly what it’s doing…

    Not many people know about these tuning parameters so it’s quite possible that the TomTom developers never properly tuned their Open TomTom release of Linux. If so, this would be an easy fix for them.

    John - August 21st, 2008
  90. I just purchased a nuvi 880. I previoulsy owned a nuvi 660. The screen brightness does not seem to be as bright on the 880 as the 660. The 880 does not seem to be as loud as the 660. Is this the way these are manufactured or could the unit I purchased have a problem. Also it seems problematic on my car radio to find a free fm channel All the channels that are not getting an actual radio station are getting static. Any advice?

    Robert - August 24th, 2008
  91. Have been going back and forth about purchasing a GPS to use in Europe. DH and I oten have issuesd when it comes to routes, so this would take care of that problem. Those of you have used the TT930, is it really helpful for you? I need to get this soon as we leave in a couple weeks and will just be in Italy this trip.

    Thanks for your help!!

    Carol - August 25th, 2008
  92. Perhaps my needs are different than most when it comes to using the 930 in Europe.

    I too will be traveling to Europe in about a month, and I want the maps of Europe so that I can find my way to places – but I won’t be driving. I’ll either be walking, or taking buses, and I want to know where to walk, or when to get off the bus.

    1) I’ll mostly already know where I want to go, but probably will not have the address. Instead, I will generally need to be able to find what I want in the POI list (such as the Colosseum, the Eiffel Tower, etc), and then have it navigate a course to that POI that I can walk, or to follow while riding the bus (it will be interesting to see if the bus route follows the route that GPS will recommend, and to see it recalculate when the bus route differs).

    2) Other times I will want to find places that are nearby without knowing what those are before hand. For example, I’ll want to find a restaurant that is close by, or find some attraction that is nearby that I could go see.

    3) And finally, as I am walking to some place along the route that the GPS has plotted for me, I’ll want to be able to see if there are other interesting places along the way that I could stop at while en-route to the final destination.

    I currently have a Garmin 760, and am debating getting the Europe maps for it, or getting the TomTom 930. I know getting the Garmin maps will be the cheaper alternative, but that is not my primary concern right now – the suitability to my needs is the most important issue for me at this point.

    I suspect that how well a GPS does at these 3 items will depend on how good the POI database is. I’ll generally be interested in the well known and popular places this trip, rather than the lesser known places, so I suspect that these places should be in the POI database of pretty much any GPS.

    So I don’t think that #1 or #2 will be much of an issue with whatever GPS I get, but I’d like your thoughts on this.

    But #3 concerns me. I think what I need or what I want, is that as I am traveling along the route the GPS has planned for me (mostly by foot), that these other nearby POIs will show on the map, so that I can stop, see what it is (on the GPS), and then possibly take a short detour to that POI.

    I may or may not want the GPS to route me to this nearby POI – If I do, I suppose that I will have to cancel the current route, and then plot a route to this new nearby POI. But that is not the important issue. The important ability here is for the GPS to be able to show me that there are some nearby POIs, without me having to go to the menus every block or so, and manually searching for nearby POIs.

    Can I do this with the 930?

    I also have a TomTom One 3rd edition, and I’ve used both GPSes (Garmin 760 and TomTom One) on occasion on trips, and I don’t know that either one really shows me nearby POIs as I am traveling.

    Dan - August 25th, 2008
  93. The normal answer would be “Garmin’s don’t show on-screen poi’s, use a TomTom”. But in your case, your 760 would work just fine. Since you’ll be walking most of the time, I doubt you will want your map scale at more than 500′ and probably less. At that zoom level your 760 will diplay POPI icons. No need, IMO, to spend another $400+ for the 930 when a map for your 760 should do just fine. You might also check for a “TourGuide” SD card for your nuvi. Sounds like you plan to do your own exploring (not part of a group) and it may be just the thing to complete your visit. Historical and background info with built in POI alerts that trigger the spoken description. Just visit Garmin to see what might be available.

    Gatorguy - August 25th, 2008
  94. Yes, I’ll be doing my own tours, and plan to use my GPS as a tool to help me.

    So the visibility of POIs is not particularly a feature of the the TomTom vs the Garmin, but more related to the detail / zoom level?

    But when the zoom level is higher (lower?) such as when traveling at hiway speeds, you seemed to hint that the TomTom may display POIs, while the Garmin may not at that zoom level/speed?

    Since TomTom is/has been more of a European product, and Garmin a US product, does that imply that TomTom may have more detail in their European maps than Garmin might?

    I’ll check out the TourGuide idea at Garmin too – thanks for the tip.

    Dan Broadhead - August 25th, 2008
  95. Above 500′ scale (which is around a 3/4 mile radius) your nuvi won’t display on-screen poi icons. There may be a custom POI file available of tourist-oriented spots, which addresses the issue by announcing and/or alerting you that you are within a user-set proximity to one if using Garmin’s POILoader. As for Navteq maps (Garmin and others) vs. Teleatlas maps (TomTom and others) it’s pretty much the same in Europe as here in the States from the posts I read. Garmin will cover some areas that TomTom does not, and some places will be better mapped by TomTom/TeleAtlas. Both should be very good, but neither is perfect. IMO, I don’t think one is that much different from the other.

    Gatorguy - August 25th, 2008
  96. Leaving this question again. Does anyone find that the brightness of the Garmin 880 is diminished from the Garmon 660 or other models. Does anyone find that the volume of the 880 is not as loud as the 660 or other models.

    Also discovered that I can make hands free calls if initiated from my phone, but cannot initiate the call from the Garmin either with the voice activation or the touch screen. If you use the voice activation or touch screen, you hear the sound of the nuvi dialing, but then nothing happens. I have a TREO 700w. If I initiate the call from my phone, the call is made and complete. The nuvi 880 bleutooth function does not capture the information from my speed dial list whereas my nuvi 660 did.

    Any comments on these functions would be very helpful. I might want to return this unit and go for the Tom Tom 930TT

    Robert - August 26th, 2008
  97. Have now had the 930 for several weeks, mostly in the Toronto area but also including a trip to Frankfurt Germany. So far I like it a lot, and was well prepared for it based on this excellent site. Some observations/questions, in no particular order:
    1) I did see ALG in Frankfurt (intersection of highways 3 & 5) and it was very helpful.
    2) TomTom Home is a great idea but has lots of room for usability improvements. For example, it’s wonderful that you can create or share POI’s and see them with appropriate icons (e.g. logos). But why can you not select a group of POI’s to load at once rather than going into menu again and again? (Or did I miss it?)
    3) The manual says you can have the volume linked to ambient sound levels. This does not seem to appear in my “Volume Preferences” screen???
    4)The voice input has not trained me very well yet – lot’s of errors and frustration. 😉
    5) I would like to have more flexibility as to the tolerance before the speed warnings sound, i.e. 15% above limit, etc. Still useful for those of us wanting to minimize speeding tickets!

    Charles - August 29th, 2008
  98. Charles – (3) You should find it at Menu -> Change Preferences -> Volume Preferences -> “Link volume to noise level”.

    Tim - August 29th, 2008
  99. Tim – thanks. I was at right menu but was operating via TT Home (doing settings while not driving!). The option did not appear. When I disconnected and tried outside it was there. Ta-da! Thanks again for providing such a great site…

    Charles - August 29th, 2008
  100. I purchased a Garmin 880, but I returned it. I thought that I had checked the Garmin website for phone compatability and thought I read it correctly the the Palm Treo 700W was compatable. If you go to the 880 location on Garmin’s web site and slect bluetooth, a list comes up and you can select Palm Treo 700W. But you have to drill down further to actually find out the Treo is not compatable. [snip] wanted to charge me a restocking fee of $155.00 for something I had only four days, but they agreed to not charge me that fee. A good retailer and I will continue to shop at [snip]. I called Tom Tom to see if the 930T was compatable with my Treo phone and it is not. So, for the moment, there is no voice activated GPS that works with my $500.00 phone–not something I am easily ready to trade in order for a GPS unit that is bluetooth compatable with my phone. Just a caution for anyone that bluetooth is important to be sure to read down as far as the lists will take you to determine if a particular unit is compatable. From GPS-less and disappointed.

    Robert - August 29th, 2008

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