Navigator App Review3,274
It takes a bit of courage to give your product such a generic name. Usually, it happens the other way: the proper name of a significant product becomes common (like it was with Google, Xerox and others). Yet Navigation developers decided on such a name for its app and service. In fact, it’s just one of a whole bunch developed by Navigation, which also includes “GPS Map,” “Offline Maps & Navigation” and other apps with similar names.
Does it work? Yes, when you just search Google Play for “Navigator,” this app appears in the top 5. Although its popularity is not that astonishing (5 to 10 million downloads is nothing outstanding for today), the app must have its attractive sides.
But first of all, we must warn you before you download Navigator: it’s not a self-sufficient standalone app, it’s rather an add-on to popular map services that makes them more comfortable for navigation when you’re driving. Maybe that’s what you lacked in your Google Maps?
The first thing you are asked about when you start the app is what navigation engine you’d prefer to use. The choice is narrowed to Google or Sygic. You have an option of remembering your choice. Yes, we must emphasize that it requires Google or Sygic maps installed on your phone. It may seem that Google Maps is preinstalled on any Android device, but let’s not forget about Chinese manufacturers making their devices for home market Google-free (as local authorities insist).
As the app loads the maps, it starts looking like Navigator app is just a launcher for maps service. Not does the app only load Google Maps; it also lets it connect to your account and your bookmarks and search history. To build a route, you also address to external service. For example, it’s Google Maps that lets you select your starting point, your destination, and transport. But it shows itself when you have built your route.
The map gets embraced with the app’s interface obviously designed for drivers.
While the maps are Google’s or Sygic’s, the rest is Navigator’s own. It can guide you with voice instructions (the voice is to be selected from app’s settings).
To cut the long road short: all this app does is directing you while you’re making your way. It does it both in video (on the screen) and in audio mode (with voice instructions).
Does it require an Internet connection? It depends on the basic service you’re using. Google Maps will, of course, require a constant connection. Thus, you always get the freshest info on your routes, POIs and situation on the road. Sygic, on the contrary, will work offline, but it won’t guarantee that its data is actual.
The app looks like an addon to the map service you have selected. The interface elements are large and clean, for a driver to make them out at a glance.
Your route is easy to scale. You can use pinch-and-zoom with two fingers or use a special button in the right lower corner to fit all your route on the screen.
Visual instructions are located on the top of the screen. It works both in portrait and in landscape mode.
Some may be disappointed with the app’s loud fonts and screaming backgrounds, but good readability prepares Navigator for driving. Anyway, screen mostly belongs to the maps app Navigator uses, so even if you don’t like its design, it’s no tragedy.
In the app’s options, you can set up the app for car mode. You can get voice instructions even when you’re speaking on the phone, play them via Bluetooth audio, even get the app activated via “OK Google” command.
Routing options are simple; you can tick the box to avoid ferries, that’s all.
We must also notice that the app’s developers are obviously not native English speakers. The description on the app’s page in Google Play staggers and stumbles, let alone Spanish, Russian and other languages after translating tortures. So it is with the answers from Navigation’s support on its page.
Yet, it doesn’t affect the app itself. The instructions appearing on the screen are grammatically correct, so are the spoken ones.The app works correctly with smartwatches based on Tizen and Android Wear. Your instructions appear on your watch screen simultaneously. This feature, of course, is more useful for walkers.
Cross-platform use 5/10
This app is for Android only. Yet, there is some surprise: Android versions compatible with this Navigator app start with 2.3.3. Yes, we mean Gingerbread! So if you have an old Android phone or a tablet with no updates available, you can use it as a dedicated navigation device with this app.
If you intend to use Navigator with Google Maps, you need to check whether Google Apps is installed on your device at all. Otherwise, you’d have to install these apps separately.
None at all. There are Navigation’s apps with paid options, but the developers have made Navigator free. In fact, there’s nothing to pay for; the app features no ads to remove and no premium features to activate.
The idea of the Navigator launcher for map services seems so easy that we should have expected more apps like this. The only thing this Navigator does is presenting Google or Sygic maps navigation-ready. It adds some features (voice navigation, better visualization) that original services lack from behind the wheel.
The Navigator launcher offers little by itself, but if you use Sygic or Google Maps for driving, it can completely change and enhance your experience.
Pros : Easy interface;
Good readability from behind the wheel;
Voice instructions along with visual commands;
Cons : Almost no functions but directing you while following your route;
Internet connection is always required unless you use offline Sygic app;
The design seems a bit tasteless.
Cross-platform use 2.5