The death knell for the standalone satnav, or just another neat application for the smartphone? GPS software for mobile phones has been a big talking point this year, with satnav hardware makers keen to ensure that if mobile apps are the next big thing in navigation, mobile versions of their own products are leading the way.

Apple's iPhone, with its high market share, has been the obvious first target for the likes of Navigon and Co Pilot. Navigon's MobileNavigator British Isles is available to iPhone users for £37.99 while ALK's Co-Pilot Live United Kingdom costs £25.99.

But the brand many people have been waiting for is TomTom. Arguably the UK leader in dedicated satnavs, TomTom launched its iPhone application in August, charging £59.99 for UK & Ireland maps and £79.99 for Western Europe.

TomTom iPhone navigate menu

Whether you're new to TomTom, or to satellite navigation in general, TomTom for iPhone is a breeze to use. Tested on an iPhone 3GS placed on the dashboard, the app loads within five seconds and setting up the first route is simple using the intuitive menu.

iPhone 3GS review

Everything is controlled via the touchscreen interface, which includes buttons large enough to ensure all but the biggest fingers will have no problem selecting the various options.

In our tests, GPS signals were established quickly (always less than ten seconds). However, the iPhone's GPS reception was a definite weak point - more on this later.

Integration with iPhone contacts works well, you can navigate to a contact in four clicks, provided their address is entered into your iPhone correctly. Anyone planning to make use of this feature regularly will have to pay extra attention to the format in which people's addresses are entered into the contacts book.


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