When Apple released there own map app and the criticisms started to pour in the blame fell on to TomTom who provided Apple with the majority of their mapping data. Cees van Dok, head of Tom Tom’s user experience design has continuously defended the company in the controversial debacle, saying that the downfall was completely down to the poor decisions made by Apple themselves and not TomTom. Cees’ argument was “It was primarily because they had so many different sources of data that they were trying to merge all in one application” and clearly it didn’t work out as they had hoped.
Even though the Apple incident many have put some people off of primarily using the maps app on their smartphones, also you can get pretty good fully fledged sat nav apps for an affordable price. Even though TomTom has paid mobile versions of their sat nav software on iOS and Android, they still think that there is still a place for a dedicated navigation device. Cees von Dok had this to say “I think the world we’re going into will be a multi-screen word, I think there will always be an appetite for personal navigation devices.”
A major argument against the mobile versions of navigation apps are that the quality just isn’t there and they aren’t as high of a quality of the standalone unit, Dok goes on to say ” It’s not necessarily navigation, I don’t think these guys are really focused on the driving. I think they’re much more into ‘How can I make a mapping app exploitable? How does it help my search experience, my advertisement model?’ I think that’s much more on the minds of smartphone mapmakers than it is about getting you in a car from A to B.”
TomTom is tackling their mapping competition on the sat nav front by making their in car devices the most user friendly and the most accurate product they make, they are also trying to add more functionality such as live which gives you real time traffic data. These new features could draw a more people to buying an actual device rather than just buying the watered down app that is missing all the functionality that they can get with a fully fledge sat nav device.
TomTom also say that they are trying to unify the experience across their product range. So as long as you have bought their iPhone app you will not be confused when you start to use a TomTom device; whereas the Google maps apps are different across the web and mobile but then again they are free to use an very accurate.
Source – TechRadar