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Three TomTom iPhone App Quirks Explained


After having played with the TomTom App for iPhone over several days, there are a few quirks I’ve discovered– some with workarounds and some without. So here are a few tips based on what I’ve uncovered.

In my review I mentioned the difficulty I had with the audio and voice prompts. Here is what I’ve discovered.

  • Make sure you flip the vibrate switch to the non-vibrate position before starting the application!

Something strange happens if you startup the app with vibrate turned on– even if you turn vibrate off. While you can pick a voice prompt and hear audio, the actual voice prompts while navigating will still be “muted”. So always startup the app with vibrate turned off. If you forget, there is a way to wiggle out of the mute mode, but you must turn the vibrate switch off and adjust the volume with the hardware button at the same time as a voice prompt is coming through– which of course is tough because you can’t hear it to begin with so you must guess. So the bottom line is startup the app with vibrate mode turned off.

  • When creating a route to a contact, beware that it will almost always seem to fail to parse the address for you if the address of the contact is in a different state than your last destination.

Assuming you are in your “home” state right now, create a route to somewhere in your state… anywhere… your home for example. Now create a route to a contact in your state. Provided the address is properly formatted it should work.

Okay, now create a route to somewhere out of state… doesn’t matter where, an address, a POI, doesn’t matter. Now clear the route and create a route to the contact you used in the paragraph above. Even if it correctly parsed the contact’s address the last time (when the most recent destination was in the same state) this time the automatic parsing will probably fail and the app will typically ask for you to confirm the address.

So you can see depending if the most recent contact was in the same state or not, the automatic address parsing will sometimes work and sometimes not work for the same contact. There is no work-around I know of for this issue, just something to keep in mind.

  • The same rules and tips apply to the iPhone as most any other GPS device as far as satellite reception.

You will get a signal faster if you have an unobstructed sky view and you are stationary. If you are in an area with tall buildings nearby it will take longer to get a signal and the signal will be weaker. The same goes for driving off before your iPhone gets a GPS signal– it will take longer to get a signal and the signal can be temporarily weaker than if you had waited for a good signal before driving off. Don’t expect to get a good position if you startup the app cold, while driving, in an area with tall buildings. The upcoming Car Kit should help with that when it becomes available.

2 Responses

  1. The address routing workaround seems to be quite a flaw. I wonder how many people would know to do that, especially if this is their first GPS.

    patruns - August 20th, 2009
  2. It isn’t as though it completely fails… once you pick the state it will auto fill the city, street, and street number. But it is just one of those weird quirks.

    Tim - August 20th, 2009

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