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Route 66 Mobile 7: Use your mobile for satellite navigation

Don't drive down the motorway with the map on your lap, attempting to locate Little Bighampton at 80mph -- get a sat-nav system instead. Here's one that works with your mobile phone

Satellite navigation was formerly reserved for the technological elite, but now it's a readily available service almost everyone can afford. One of the easiest ways to get directions from the sky is to put sat-nav on to your smart phone. Route 66's Mobile 7 kit includes all the necessary equipment and can be fitted in a car or used when you're walking around on the street.

The box contains a Bluetooth-enabled GPS receiver, a CD with software for your computer, a card reader, a memory card with the Route 66 software preloaded, an in-car charger for the receiver, a lanyard and a holding arm to mount your phone on your car's windscreen. Note that there isn't a standard wall charger for the GPS receiver, so if you don't have a car, you might have a problem.

Once you've put the memory card in and made a Bluetooth connection between the receiver and your phone, it's easy to get going. The interface is intuitive and supports fuzzy searches, so you don't have to know the entire name of a road. The directions are easy to follow and all the key information is displayed clearly.

However, some problems drove Crave slightly crazy. The first was battery life. Mobile phones aren't designed to be sat-navs and our battery only lasted two to three hours, so be prepared to buy an in-car charger for your phone before setting out on a road trip.

We also stumbled over a Bluetooth problem with early Nokia N70 handsets. Sources from Route 66 say there is a problem with the first version of the firmware that may cause connection problems. However this isn't a widespread issue and won't affect you if you're using the software with a more recent N70 or one of the other Series 60 smart phones, such as the 3230, 6630 or 6680. -AL