The great iPhone turn-by-turn nav app showdown has ended.

After deliberating over which turn-by-turn app to get for the iPhone, and hearing from a lot of people that a dedicated nav unit was a better way to spend the money, I decided to get Navigon Mobile Navigator North America, which is currently $69.99 until August 31 (iTunes link). I spent way longer than I probably should have investigating the options, and decided based on a lot of reviews and opinions gathered from people. It’s a solid app, if in need of a few updates. I won’t go into exhaustive detail, since it’s already been covered by many blogs, with a great review up on The iPhone Blog.

I used it all weekend and I like it. It worked pretty well for me: re-routing occurred easily, voice prompts were very clear, and the lane assist function is nice, since it helps you when you need to be on one side of the road or another before making a turn or getting off/on a highway. Handling calls is a little weird, as you leave the app completely, and understandably a limit of the iPhone running background processes, but what I can’t understand is this: if the iPhone doesn’t allow 3rd party processes to run in the background, but will allow things like the iPod to play in other apps, why can’t I get a nav app that takes calls within the app and has basic call controls (as with the iPod pop-up window)? It should be supported, since Apple has no issues with their own apps running in the background, and would make the experience even more seamless. I’m holding out for an update with something like this, but I’m also not holding my breath.

Overall, not the cheapest app, nor the most expensive (for now), but very solid. If you want it, get it before the price goes up.

Author: Seth Clifford

I'm here for the open bar.