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ALK CoPilot Live 8 review

Jim Martin
20 Oct 2009
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
26
inc VAT

CoPilot is a good-value app, but it crashed so often in our tests, it's best avoided unless a future update fixes all the bugs.

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CoPilot Live 8 is less than half the price of TomTom's iPhone app and has an impressive list of features.

There's lane guidance for motorway exits, a fully customisable information bar, automatic switching between day and night mode, weather forecasts, customisable speed and point of interest (POI) alerts, custom routing profiles, a choice of six UK voices and more. By contrast, TomTom has none of these.

CoPilot's navigation view is better looking than TomTom's, with an AA road atlas-style colour scheme. You can set POIs to appear only when you're stopped, which declutters the screen. You can use the app in portrait or landscape mode. Road names are large and easy to read, and voice prompts are clear.

The initial account registration screen uses an annoying non-standard keyboard. There's also a bug that allows the registration process to complete only via WiFi. Once you've registered, you can access the app properly. A pop-up window with four buttons lets you enter a destination, choose from a list of recent places, change settings or select a different mode of transport. Again, entering an address is via CoPilot's own keyboard, and it's annoying that there's no option to switch to a Qwerty version. At least you can enter a full postcode, unlike Navigon's five-character limit.

We like the way you can minimise the information bar to see more of the map, and we also like the button to quickly access settings such as safety view, a turn-by-turn list and toggle between a 2D and 3D map. The Live Services menu is a slight disappointment, as the traffic icon is greyed out (this is promised in a future update) and Roadside Assistance merely gives you the phone number for the AA.

A bigger concern was that the app would often quit back to our iPhone 3G S's main screen, and we've read reports of other users suffering similar problems. Although CoPilot has the potential to be better value than both TomTom's and Navigon's apps, the number of bugs we found in our tests means that we can't fully recommend it yet. If the situation improves with an update, it could become our satnav app of choice.

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