The TomTom Home 2.5 software allows you to manage the maps, media, POIs (points of interest), and map corrections loaded on any TomTom GPS you buy.

TomTom Home 2.5, which you can also download from the company's website (www.tomtom.com), also lets you purchase and share content, including custom voices (called NavTones in the program), which it will load on to your GPS via the included USB cable and dock.

If you've recorded a route you're particularly fond of, you can use the software to help you share it with other TomTom users. And if you spot an error or obsolete item on a TomTom map, TomTom Home 2.5's MapShare features will let you submit a correction, which others can use.

Unfortunately, TomTom GPS products don't include any real desktop trip-planning software, and TomTom Home 2.5 does not compete with such software. While it is possible to outline a trip plan using the GPS itself or by using the trip-planning features on TomTom's website or Google Maps, a more practical (and offline-friendly) approach would be to purchase RouteBuddy (www.RouteBuddy.com), a third-party mapping package that works with a number of TomTom GPS units.

See also: GPS/satnav device reviews

TomTom Home 2.5 puts you in charge of your GPs device's voice customisation. Thanks to TomTom's free desktop program, you can now get voice directions from Mr. T.

Where TomTom Home excels is in managing the vast assortment of content - Voices, maps, map corrections, routes, and points of interest - available via TomTom's website. This content is often user-generated, and with it, TomTom Home 2.5 puts a useful social twist on GPS-aided navigation.

TomTom Home 2.5: Specs

  • TomTom GO, ONE, XL, RIDER, NAVIGATOR 7: Windows 2000, XP of Vista (newest servicepacks required)
  • Pentium III or higher
  • 256MB RAM, 512 required
  • internet connection (broadband - DSL cable/LAN) for downloading updates, maps or services
  • 20MB download requiring 50MB of disk space when installed. NAVIGATOR 6: Windows XP, 2000 or Vista (latest service packs recommended)
  • 500MHz processor or better
  • 128MB RAM
  • internet connection (preferably broadband - DSL Cable/LAN) for downloading updates maps or services
  • internet Explorer version 5.0 or higher
  • TomTom GO, ONE, XL, RIDER, NAVIGATOR 7: Windows 2000, XP of Vista (newest servicepacks required)
  • Pentium III or higher
  • 256MB RAM, 512 required
  • internet connection (broadband - DSL cable/LAN) for downloading updates, maps or services
  • 20MB download requiring 50MB of disk space when installed. NAVIGATOR 6: Windows XP, 2000 or Vista (latest service packs recommended)
  • 500MHz processor or better
  • 128MB RAM
  • internet connection (preferably broadband - DSL Cable/LAN) for downloading updates maps or services
  • internet Explorer version 5.0 or higher

OUR VERDICT

TomTom Home 2.5.2, free software which ships with TomTom GPS devices, ably manages your maps, media, landmarks, and Voices, and if that's all you need, you will be satisfied. However, if you want true trip planning, you'll have to look elsewhere.

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