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G-Map Canada Turn-by-Turn GPS iPhone App Review

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iPhone users have been craving turn-by-turn GPS apps for the longest time. For jailbroken iPhone users, we all remember how excited we were to hear about the free turn-by-turn app, xGPS. We were all waiting eagerly for Apple to approve new turn-by-turn apps.

Well, eventually Apple got turn-by-turn apps approved and one of the biggest leaders that has emerged so far, way before TomTom is the company XRoad. Their model has been to release maps for each US state or region, to save money for the consumer. A while back they released G-Map Canada and that will be reviewed today.

G-Map Canada: A Reasonably Priced Turn-by-Turn GPS–Quick Review

G-Map Canada was released back in late July and is a 162MB download for your iPhone. One of the biggest highlights of this app and many other GPS apps is that since the maps are stored locally, you can still use the GPS without a data or WiFi connection.

This will make iPhone 3G/3GS owners happy, in particular the ones who don’t want a data plan but are looking forward to using a turn-by-turn GPS app. Let’s get a brief overview of some of the major features of G-Map Canada:

– voice-prompted real-time turn-by turn GPS for iPhone and iPod Touch
– no data plan or WiFi needed; maps stored locally on iPhone
– keyword search for finding locations or points of interest
– easy to use interface, very simple
– automatic re-routing of routes; reverse routing function
– Navteq Map Data covers the following parts of Canada:

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So How Does G-Map Canada Fare as a Turn by Turn GPS iPhone App?

Some GPS units out there can be quite confusing due to their complex menu interfaces. With G-Map Canada, there is simple interface to start out with that makes learning that much easier. Compared to another turn-by-turn iPhone GPS I’ve tried, Sygic, I would say the G-Map Canada layout is similar but easier to use.

What I did like with G-Map Canada over Sygic was the built in keyword search. It was much more effective in finding destinations nearby, such as a coffee shop or restaurant. Once the place was located you just click a “+” button and it will seamlessly call the number right from the iPhone–pretty neat. Also there is a route preview so you can plan your trip before going anywhere.

I used the G-Map Canada app to plot my way to Langley from Vancouver on a recent golfing excursion. I had never been to this course before so I figured, why not test out this app? The app was pretty good in notifying me when to turn and where to go. The screen has a nice interface that makes it very easy to see upcoming street names and when to turn just by taking a glimpse at the screen. The only downside is that sometimes the GPS can be a bit off; I had similar experiences with the Sygic GPS app too. Could it be the iPhone’s GPS?

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G-Map Canada is the Right Price for Canadians

G-Map Canada is priced for $19.99. That is a pretty good deal in my mind if you are looking for a Canadian only GPS. Sygic North America (USA/Canada) is priced at $99 so if you think about it, this app offers great value (or Sygic is overpriced!). Also, if you’re looking for a windshield mount, XRoad also sells them too on their website ($19.99). Check out the pictures below for more info!

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Once again, I did find that with the invisibleSHIELD installed, getting my iPhone into the mount was a bit difficult. So be warned!

Here’s a quick demo video of what G-Map is all about:

Anyone out there using G-Map Canada (iTunes link)? I think this would be an awesome app to take on a cross Canada road trip! It doesn’t use your data plan so if you really need directions, just use Google Maps to find the address then plug it into G-Map for turn-by-turn directions!

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  • William

    I used the Sygic NA map and the Garmain nuvi at the same time once and found the Sygic was about 5 seconds behind in announcing a turn, etc.,

  • I had some problems with the Sygic when I was using in in Washington State. It went crazy a few times on us…not good!

  • Dusty

    I have had my hands on many of the GPS apps and G-Map is nice and with the no data saved maps helps out for ppl that don't have data plans.
    I still would recommend checking out Navigon, Tom Tom, Sygic Mobile Maps. WARNING: Price does play a big part here as some GPS apps cost a lot more!

  • warpdrive

    I tried gmaps, but was not happy when I could not listen to music in the background. I then downloaded navigon (while it was on sale for 69 bucks) and have been more than happy with it. Music in the background can play, when a turn is coming the music softens so the voice can be heard, then returns to full volume. I read somewhere that navigon would have text to speach in their next update as well. Nice…

  • drew204

    does this app work with the 2g iphone?

  • warpdrive

    As I don't believe the 2g has a GPS receiver, I think it would be pointless.

  • No. The 2G does not have GPS unfortunately! 😉

  • I wonder if Backgrounder would allow you to play the iPod in the background while GMaps is running. Time to do some testing!

  • Luvgeek

    I have extensively tested g-map side-by-side with navigon and several stand- alone PNDs and found that g-map gives routes with random detours.

    If you value your time, it will add up to the price of navigon in just a few trips with 5-10 minute side jaunts.

  • djelimon

    A lot of warm praise and a lot of hysterical slagging off on the app store. I suspect there may be some paid agenda trolling on behalf of some $100 turn by turn gps software vendors.

  • I suspect the GPS oddities are because of the iPhone GPS not being that powerful. I'll be waiting till October when TomTom releases their GPS-enhanced iPhone mount. Then you'll find, I suspect, G-Map Canada will be more accurate.

  • I suspect the GPS oddities are because of the iPhone GPS not being that powerful. I'll be waiting till October when TomTom releases their GPS-enhanced iPhone mount. Then you'll find, I suspect, G-Map Canada will be more accurate.

  • Valeri Oparychev

    I purchased G-map Canada in 2009 and have been able to use it a couple
    of times ever since that time. This software is full of glitches and keeps
    freezing all the time. I’ve attempted to use this “GPS” again some days
    ago and it gets frozen right away. Don’t even consider purchasing G-map
    because it does NOT serve its purpose in a most literal sense. Most
    likely It will be a waste of your time and money… My experience with
    this app has nothing to do with being “much more conversant in local
    slang and geography” or “paid agenda trolling on behalf of some $100
    turn by turn gps software vendors”. I am just telling the truth about my
    experience with G-map GPS app.

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