Reviewer's note: this review is for version 1.0 of the app. A new version (1.1) has just been released, promising great GPS accuracy; we're currently trying to acquire a copy of this latest version for review.
At first blush, TomTom on the iPhone looks remarkably like TomTom on, well, TomTom. The somewhat blocky map, with its range of pastel colours, looks almost unchanged, while the status boxes underneath have been given the merest lick of paint, along with some smoothed out fonts for good measure. It flits between portrait and landscape modes quickly and attractively.
Tap the map to bring up the main menu, though, and it's apparent that you're now on Planet iPhone. The Dutch company has dumped its usual icon-based interface for Apple's suite of swipe to scroll menus and lists. To make it easier to use when Apple's fruity phone is stuck to the windscreen, menu items are double the normal height and feature big friendly icons.
There is a slight lag when scrolling through menus and lists, but that doesn't compare with the wait between keystrokes when keying in a destination. That's because TomTom, like other iPhone navigation apps, is exhausting the iPhone's processing power as it whittles down the list of possible streets or points of interest you'd like to visit. Our other gripe centres around the keyboard, which being the standard iPhone variety, is an incy wincy bit too small, even in landscape mode, when mounted on the windshield.
TomTom's nav app is integrated with a few of the iPhone's native features. Those who have fleshed out their contact lists with addresses and also suffer from bouts of directionlessness are rewarded with the ability to navigate straight to those addresses. Points of interest in the TomTom's database can also be dialled directly from the app.
So far, the TomTom app is the only one of its kind to offer warnings for speed and red light cameras. As you approach one of these revenue generators a loud audio warning is played. This is accompanied by a flashing icon in the top left corner letting you know your distance from it, its type and, potentially, the speed limit; it's rather too small and a large text warning would have been better.