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{REVIEW} SYGIC Mobile Maps 9

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stantheboss
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PostPosted: Thursday, 08.Apr.2010 10:47    Post subject: {REVIEW} SYGIC Mobile Maps 9   Reply with quote   

Hi people of the Maemo community Smile

I decided to write the below review of the recently released SYGIC Mobile Maps 9 for the Nokia N900. Just to sum up all the pros&cons of this great application. One-and-only so far and fully functional. Feel free to comment, lay out your own opinion, what needs to be improved, what you like and any kind of problems that you might be facing.


->Let's start with the installation process itself:



a) it's fully automated within the windows environment (EXE file), just follow the instructions
b) non-windows users, use ZIP file all the files to /home/user/MyDocs/

Some people here have had problems so if the app refuses to start upon the installation, make sure you do the following before posting the problem:


1. Uninstall the Maps software through app manager.
2. Remove Drive, Maps and Res folders and the DEB file from the N900.
3. Connect via USB in mass storage mode.
4. Run the assistant again and install it on the internal flash!
5. Disconnect.
6. Fire up the DEB file, again through app manager, not dpkg -i
7. Reboot.


It should work, if it won't contact Sygic Support at: support@sygic.com



->Tips&tweaks:

All the info (more menu options, full screen, lag on gps position) is here, posted by zehjotkah at talk.maemo.org forums:
http://talk.maemo.org/showthread.php?t=47801


->UI and options:

The UI is very easy to navigate, it's complexity is minimized and clear enough to get with all the available options familiar in just a few minutes.
It is comparable to Garmin Mobile XT and much more advanced than Nokia OVI Maps on symbian devices (won't mention maemo OVI Maps version, 'cause it is simply cant be compared), although the way how ovi maps display the map in browse mode is in my opinion slightly better.

Right after you launch the app it will ask you whether you want A-GPS turned on or not. It's your choice. Having it turned on, GPS will get a lock in just a couple of seconds, while without it'll be ready within a few minutes. Then you'll get a safety warning.




Tapping on the sat lock bars, you'll get a GPS info screen showing the strength of a signal, coordinates and satellites allocation.





Tapping on the map brings you to the main menu, see the screens below:

[1/2 section of main menu]: Here you've got a 'Navigate to...' option where you can set all details regarding navigation process (see Navigation process section for details where you can find some info regarding 'Route' button too). 'Browse map' allows you to go through the map while zooming in/out at the same time, search for an address, start navigation, show/hide POI, avoid selected place if the route is already calculated. So the UI as you can see is very user-friendly and flexible. 'Traffic' button is grayed out and it's now available right out of the box, besides service is not available in Poland so I'll skip it. From the main menu you can also select an 'Alternative route' icon and re-calculate the route and so on (see the screenshot below).



'Settings' icon is the place where all the customization can be done. Is has got 4 screens filled with the further options.



Almost all of them are self-explanatory so let's skip the description of those.
The first icon has 3 map view variants: 3D View, 2D (flat) view and 2d North Up.

In 'Planning preferences' you've got options shown below...



I am using Economic route calculation and it seems to be the right way for me. I did not tested the last two selections though, only in-car environment Smile
In the 'Signpost settings' one can set the number of direction signs displayed whether in all directions or just preferred one.

'Left/Right handed' option switches manipulation buttons due to your preferences. In 'GPS hardware' it is possible to manipulate the GPS unit settings, like port on which the app listens to and so on...that icon and GPS Logs are not available out of the box so if you are curious just unlock and check them for your own.

Last but not least is the 'Advanced settings' button, here's what you can set inside:



As you can see on the above screens, it's easy to customize all the info displayed while navigating. Lane assistant is a truly great thing and it actually shows you the remaining distance left to be driven on a selected line. Generally all those settings should be found in a decent navigation unit/app and they are here so Sygic made their work very well.


[2/2 section of main menu]: Here you can find the 'Itinerary', if you have added any points through 'Browse map' or 'Alternative route' buttons - this is the place where those points can be managed. You can see the starting and end points, waypoints. Moreover you can get those points marked as visited, make a point as a via point, start or end point and add a POI.
I like it a lot Smile The next one is 'Manage POI' icon, pretty much self-explanatory again - add/delete/manage POI's. Pressing 'GPS Status' button will get you to the very same screen as when tapping on the sat lock bars right after the app has been lunched.

From here you can also 'Memorize position' while in 'Extras' the one would find a word clock, calculator, unit converter and a country info.
The last one is very handy feature, tapping on a country gets you some useful info like currency, day light savings, driving side, number of inhabitants, phone code, time zone, units, whether car lights should be on or off, speed-limits in the city; on a highway etc...

It's like having a small guide and it's all inside your pocket - niceeee Sygic, very nice indeed Smile

'Exit' button - well, it does what it does and it does it well Very Happy





->Navigation process:

Remeber 'Navigate to...' and 'Route' buttons within the main menu? This is where all the magic happens Smile
Just select the most appropriate way for you to start and you're good to go.



Route can be calculated using using the 'Address' button, selecting a country->city->street->street number. Tapping on the 'ZIP Code' gets you there even faster.
I do like the 'City Center' option - very useful on a trip, when you don't know destination city at all. Another words, all mandatory functions have been bundled within the software.


Anyway, ones the route is calculated, we can see it on the screens below. The first one shows it on the map, distance, ETA of the trip, time left and selected method. Tapping on the Details gets you to the second slide, where you can select what you want to avoid, here it's been grayed out, simply because there was no such restrictions available on my route.



Then route can be managed through the 'Route' icon located on the first slide of main menu.




'Show route instructions' & ' Show route as images' well, the icons explain it all i guess.
The screenshots shown next have been obtained using the 'Route demonstration' function...




On those two screens you can see pretty much all the info you get while navigating, it is very readable, everything has it's own place. The orange arrow shows the direction to destination. Lane assistant, radar alerts work very good. The route is navigated fast enough, gps fix is also much faster then in ovi maps.

The only thing that annoys me the most it that position shown on map is 20-30 meters upfront, so when you pass a speed camera it still shows 20-30m in front of you. While in GPS info screen, the shown accuracy it exactly between 20-40m, so maybe it's the GPS hardware is not up to task.

Now, almost at the end of my review I realized that I have forgotten to show how the app behaves while in portrait mode, so here are some pics. It does it very well by the way.


->Some found issues:

-automatic night/day mode sometimes won't work as it suppose to, it lacks the option to set the specific hour when to switch modes.
-gps lags 20-30meters, gps issue or maybe app needs to be improved
-sometimes sygic re-routes while navigating through unpaved roads, but there is no such road to turn on.


->What to improve:

-auto-rotate function, based on accelerometer.
-full screen on/off should be included, without the need to edit ini files.
-lag issue should be fixed ASAP, OVI Maps app does not have this bug - so it is a software sided not hardware...


->Summing up:

I am very happy that Sygic made this app available for N900 users and it's been well done. Even if there still some things and bugs to be fixed, we can be sure that Sygic people would stand up to the task. Mobile Maps 10 should be even better, symbian users report so.


Thanks for reading Smile
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Michal Jerz
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PostPosted: Thursday, 08.Apr.2010 14:53    Post subject:   Reply with quote   

Great review! Thank you for writing it - that's what this site needs! I've just put a link to it on the home page.
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stantheboss
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PostPosted: Thursday, 08.Apr.2010 15:54    Post subject:   Reply with quote   

Thanks/Dzięki Michal
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Michal Jerz
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PostPosted: Friday, 09.Apr.2010 02:52    Post subject:   Reply with quote   

450 views and no single comment... I bet he won't write any further reviews. People on this site really know how to discourage you, I experienced it myself dozens of times....
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ceroberts75
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PostPosted: Friday, 09.Apr.2010 03:19    Post subject:   Reply with quote   

good job on the review.

thanks for the good links too!

Wink
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dannycamps
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PostPosted: Friday, 09.Apr.2010 03:37    Post subject:   Reply with quote   

I think stantheboss just convinced me to buy this software. What a great review!
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ceroberts75
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PostPosted: Friday, 09.Apr.2010 08:02    Post subject:   Reply with quote   

OMG. just looked at this while logged in! excelent review m8!

and just as a side note....because of you review, i was able to easily get rid of the annoying warning page when it loads in a matter of 2 minutes!

thanks again.
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stantheboss
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PostPosted: Friday, 09.Apr.2010 09:21    Post subject:   Reply with quote   

You got it guys, my pleasure Very Happy

The software will be updated and eventually upgraded to v10 @no additional cost, well at least that is what I have been told.
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pbit
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PostPosted: Friday, 09.Apr.2010 14:45    Post subject: Great program   Reply with quote   

Thanks for the review Surprised

Iv been using it for a while now and it works like a charm, out goes my garmin Laughing
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Casanunda
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PostPosted: Friday, 09.Apr.2010 17:46    Post subject:   Reply with quote   

great review!

looks like sygic might be worth spending some money on.
I disliked the idea of spending this much money without even really knowing what the app looks and feels like.

Best review I've read on it so far...


@michal:

guilty as charged Embarassed
I read the review yesterday night and forgot to reply and leave a thank you here...
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ceroberts75
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PostPosted: Friday, 09.Apr.2010 22:58    Post subject:   Reply with quote   

how about this?







Last edited by ceroberts75 on Sunday, 11.Apr.2010 18:30; edited 1 time in total
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Grzegorz Werszner
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PostPosted: Saturday, 10.Apr.2010 05:16    Post subject:   Reply with quote   

Michal Jerz wrote:
450 views and no single comment... I bet he won't write any further reviews. People on this site really know how to discourage you, I experienced it myself dozens of times....


Oh, come on, man, ffs! It is the quality of the posts here, that make us just
read and contemplate, instead of engaging into stupid flame wars, like on other sites. The 450 views and no single comment is a sign of approval.

This is quality, and silence is a sign of respect.

I, for example, am still trying to find a time to play with my N900.
Your website is for me a great resource, and I don't feel qualified to be very vocal about it, despite using Communicators for more then 10 years now.

P.S. Kudos to the OP, great review. You should just mention something about the prices. Some kind of a comparision to the Ovi Maps could also be useful.

Nie paranoizuj, Michas Wink
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Michal Jerz
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PostPosted: Saturday, 10.Apr.2010 15:17    Post subject:   Reply with quote   

I think it's pretty normal to expect any feedback to your work. And I am telling this based on my own experiences. When you put some effort into doing something, voluntarily, for the public, you really need to know if people appreciated your work, if they found it valuable and interesting, what could be improved, etc. That's the most important motivation (or lack of it) for further work.

The number of views indeed indicates how many people watched it, but it does not tell anything about whether they liked it, if it was helpful for them, if they read the entire article or just a small part of it, and so on. I'd even risk saying that if your article gets thousands of views but no comments, then you may assume that people did NOT find your work worth saying a word.

I think that to understand this you'd need to spend a day or two on writing a detailed review yourself, publish it somewhere and see how discouraging and disappointing it is if you do not get any feedback.

Besides, as you wrote, if the value of this forum comes from quality of posts, then these posts must come from someone. If 99% of forum users just restrict themselves to reading, we'll soon have NO POSTS for you to enjoy.

It really isn't normal if on a forum with 130.000 registered members there are only FIFTY or so active posters and all others just keep reading. Or, in other terms, tens of thousands of visits a day and 25 new posts a day. This puts a big quesiton mark on whether it is still a DISCUSSION forum.

No offence intended, but also your case, i.e. being such an old member of this forum (over SIX YEARS) and having posted just ONCE (and now for the second time only to tell me that expecting people's activity is an exaggeration) is really sad and hard to understand. The more that an overwhelming majority of members apparently share your attitude, which - as mentioned - only results in less and less new content. If this does not change then soon the only posters here will be spammers.
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Grzegorz Werszner
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PostPosted: Saturday, 10.Apr.2010 15:41    Post subject:   Reply with quote   

I'm sorry. It would be a pleasure to discuss this, but at the moment I'm in sort of a shock, and you know why. I'm replying only because I had this thread opened in Opera when I woke up, and it is a polite thing to do. Also, I respect what you've done and still do, very much.

Nothing more to say in a day like this, I just can't believe what happened Sad
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Michal Jerz
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PostPosted: Saturday, 10.Apr.2010 17:04    Post subject:   Reply with quote   

I am too deeply shocked and plunged in sadness, but life has to go on... Such tragic events usually mobilize me for harder work, even just not to allow the sorrow take control over me.

I actually don't think there's much left to talk about. A discussion forum is meant for discussions so if one posts something there then he naturally expects some sort of feedback. Nearly 1000 views, and comments from just two people is IMHO a *disaster*. And a direct reason why detailed reviews, once frequent on this site, are now a rare phenomenon.

A person doing something voluntarily for the public needs any sort of confirmation that his work is needed and welcome. It's actually VERY LITTLE to expect in the world where an overwhelming majority of people won't do anything that won't bring them a material profit.

I really do not want to complain. I am just deeply saddened with what's happening with this forum as it is simply dying. It's such a shame that nearly 11 years of its history will soon probably go to waste as it won't make sense to keep running it for 10-15 posts a day, even if there are thousands of MUTE visitors.

Well, that's all from me.
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