back to article TomTom MyDrive brings satnav syncing to PCs and mobiles

In Amsterdam yesterday, TomTom finally joined the dots on its consumer navigation portfolio with the launch of MyDrive. With the rise of smartphone navigation or journey planning on the desktop, TomTom’s new service combines these methods with its own Go series of satnavs, enabling synchronisation between devices. TomTom …

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    1. John Robson Silver badge

      Google maps does all this already...

      was exactly my thought as well - although I don't need to transfer it between devices of course.

      If the comms is two way and mobile then I can see a use case for fleet operation, but I can't see why this would be better than an appropriate android/iOS app...

      1. Jim 59

        Re: Google maps does all this already...

        Built in satnav is the way ahead. Nearly all cars will have it before long. If the market is going to shrink for standalone devices, it will shrink for smartphone satnav too.

        Personally I think all 3 have their merits, and will continue for some time.

        1. John Robson Silver badge

          Re: Google maps does all this already...

          It'll be a long while before built in is actually in most cars - is it even in "most cars sold today"?

          I genuinely don't know the answer to that - it wouldn't be on my list of things to look for (whereas a decent shelf for a tablet would be - unless of course someone gets me a Tesla Model S, in which case I'll use that fantastic screen)

          Cars live for a long while on the roads - the *average* age of a car on the road is 11-12 years in the US, and 8 in the UK.

          For that to be the average, given the stability of the total numbers (both the average age and total number are creeping upwards, but relatively slowly) cars must leave the road at an average age of 16 years.

          To get "most" cars to have any technology takes a reasonably long time.

          The biggest benefit of the in car system is the availability of power, the biggest issue is the usual lack of updates (here things like the Tesla win hands down - I don't know how many other manufacturers do the same?)

          1. Fred Flintstone Gold badge

            Re: Google maps does all this already...

            The biggest benefit of the in car system is the availability of power, the biggest issue is the usual lack of updates

            In-car systems also tend to have access to wheel motion detectors. That in combination with a magnetic compass allows an in-car nav system to continue guidance in, for instance, long tunnels. The TomTom kit like the app in my phone tends to sort of make things up for a while :).

            What I really like of the phone version is that it checks the route for traffic jams and tries to reroute me if possible, but I suspect it's not hard to add that to modern car media systems (especially since they may have to dial 112 in the future, so the electronics will already be available).

            1. Jim 59

              Re: Google maps does all this already...

              What I really like of the phone version is that it checks the route for traffic jams and tries to reroute me if possible

              Built in satnavs commonly do that now.

              I guess built in satnav will be like electric windows. Once rare and expensive but now the norm. Soonish it will be everywhere except in the cheapest cars (and nothing wrong with that). My main problem with phone/tablet nav is having to install it for every journey, and having to operate a touch screen while driving. On the other hand, built in maps tend to get annoyingly out of date.

            2. John Robson Silver badge

              Re: Google maps does all this already...

              Wheel sensors are a good point - haw many built in systems use them - again I just don't know...

              Then again navigation in a tunnel tends to pretty easy ;)

          2. launcap Silver badge

            Re: Google maps does all this already...

            > It'll be a long while before built in is actually in most cars - is it even in "most cars sold today"?

            I know one car it won't be in for the forseeable future - my wifes 1966 Morris Minor 1000. It barely has electrics, let alone electronics..

            1. AndrueC Silver badge
              Joke

              Re: Google maps does all this already...

              I know one car it won't be in for the forseeable future - my wifes 1966 Morris Minor 1000. It barely has electrics, let alone electronics..

              It won't be in any of the later British Leyland vehicles either - but then again so few of them are still capable of being driven any significant distance(*) that it probably doesn't matter.

              (*)Not much of a change there really :)

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    TomTom can go

    fuck themselves. Every iteration of their PNDs have come bundled with useless features or half finished features.

    Crap like blocking 3rd party POIs, Bluetooth (which is a standard is it not) working with a handful of devices. Unable to install UK maps on a USA bought device.. 3rd party speed cam databases blocked in favour of Tomtoms own, inaccurate and frequently flaky subscription based service.

    Knackers to Tomtom.

    That's why I swapped to garmin and nokia here/drive.

    Both of which trounce Tomtom.

    *Tomtoms demise started when bean counters became involved....

    1. Fred Flintstone Gold badge

      Re: TomTom can go

      I'm generally OK with it. The only issue I find is that part of the route mapping seems to have been outsourced to politicians - in some places you get lots of U-turns :).

    2. TomTom Community Manager

      Re: TomTom can go

      Hi cornz 1, thanks for your comment. I am sorry to read that you have decided to stop using your TomTom navigation device. For the sake of other customers who might be reading this, I would like to address some of the points you mentioned. First, with the introduction of MyDrive, GO users can import 3rd party POI. Users can read more about MyDrive here: http://bit.ly/1EgYJGj. Second, regarding Bluetooth connection, Smartphone Connected TomTom navigation devices can connect to the iPhone 3GS or higher with iOS6 and up, Android smartphones which use version 2.3.3 and up, as well as Windows 8.1, version 8.10.14219.341 or above. Third, it is possible to install the map of the UK on a TomTom device, once it's purchased. Depending on the device, our Customer Care Department will be able to assist with this or any other question. Anyone can get in touch with one of my colleagues in Customer Care in the UK on 02079 490 132 or at this link http://bit.ly/1FqWAZ6. We would be happy to help. Concerning the TomTom Lifetime Services, if users would like more information on their quality and what they offer, then please visit this page: www.tomtom.com/lifetime.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Yes But, No But

    Appalling Customer service

    Pathetic OSX support

    Shame as the gadget is not too bad,

    PS is it me or has the Phantom Down Voter for no apparent reason reappered?

    1. Blitheringeejit
      FAIL

      "Pathetic OSX support"

      You think you got problems....

      https://en.discussions.tomtom.com/map-installation-43/tomtom-home-linux-version-92435/index1.html

    2. This post has been deleted by its author

    3. SMabille

      Re: Yes But, No But

      Appalling customer service? That's a big progress I believed they didn't had any...

      Lots of bugs, travelling via not working (ignoring the via about 50% of the time). Each new release removing functionalities from the previous one...

      Where TomTom is really good is the Traffic data (thanks to Vodafone data), far better than RDS and competitors but I suspect that lead will quickly disappear with the amount of data Google is picking up from their devices.

      Fully agree that they had a great product but poor management.

      1. TomTom Community Manager

        Re: Yes But, No But

        Hi SMabille, thanks for your comment. I am sorry to read about the issue you mentioned about traveling via a point towards your destination. What you are describing should not be happening. Could you please get in touch with one of my colleagues in Customer Care on 02079 490 132 or at this link http://bit.ly/1FqWAZ6? In this way we will be able to see which specific device you are using and assist you. Thank you.

  4. Gordon861

    TomTom Go Mobile

    I bought the TomTom Western Europe lifetime with free lifetime updates on my Android phone a while back.

    The other night an offer came through to 'upgrade' to the new Go Mobile App with free cameras/traffic for a very good price, so I took up the offer. What I didn't find out until the App had been installed is that you get 50 miles free navigation per month.

    What the hell use is 50 miles a month and you can hardly call that an upgrade from what I already had, also if I only use my free 50 miles I'm hardly making proper use of the features anyways.

    Applied for a refund 15mins after buying it, two working days, later no response.

    1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

      Re: TomTom Go Mobile

      That is why I use Sygic. Same map database, same traffic sources (except some of the Eastern European countries), none of the gimmic idiocies.

      And most importantly - it works.

      I have clocked 20k miles around Europe and some reasonable mileage around USA with it so far. My only wishlist is that they stop being stupid about limited MIrrorLink availability. They have it now working for a fixed set of maps and a fixed config which is only available as a bundle. If you want to add it as a feature to an existing purchase it is a no go. Based on what they have done so far, my guess is that it is only a matter of time until they fix it.

    2. Gordon861

      Re: TomTom Go Mobile

      Just emailed Google Support for a refund and they replied 15mins later.

      Upon further investigation, existing users are supposed to get unlimited miles, but that isn't what the App told me. There is also a note that the Western Europe TomTom I bought the other year with lifetime maps will expire in October 2015. The wording implies not that there will be no more updates, instead it says that I can use it until then, and then I can't.

      I could understand a stance of it's outside its lifetime and therefore not being updated, but how can they have the right to remove it from my hardware?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: TomTom Go Mobile

        Hi

        just to clarify, is it a Via model? which if it is like mine promised lifetime updates, as part of the purchase contract?

        As for removing stuff, amazon did that on the Kindle, and they got bad press as they deleted some

        guys college notes on his legit copy of a book.

        1. Gordon861

          Re: TomTom Go Mobile

          After a couple of false starts I did get a proper email from TomTom that answered the questions I asked them, see below for my email and their response:

          My Email: --------------------------------------------------------------------

          I feel that six months notice of the removal of this service is not enough and feel that customers with a 'lifetime' App should instead be given 2-3 years notice, in the same way that Microsoft had to give decent notice that WindowsXP was going to be finally dropped in April.

          I would also like clarification on what 'no longer supported' actually means:

          1. Will the app be automatically removed from my device by TomTom?

          2. Will the app still work until such time as I change to a newer incompatible version of Android?

          3. Will I still be able to install this older app onto a new device, at my own risk?

          4. If the app will no longer be able to be installed can you provide me an APK file so that I can install it manually?

          I see that you have now released a replacement for this app (which some would argue is really an update to the existing one) that appears to now charge you per mile of route guidance/traffic. Perhaps you could also answer some questions on this too:

          1. It states that you have 50 free miles of guidance/traffic per month, what is the charge after the 50 miles have been used?

          2. Is the 50 mile limit on just the traffic or is it routing as well?

          3. If it's routing as well as traffic how will this work on a unit with no mobile data allowance?

          4. I see you have released a cheap upgrade offer for existing users but I cannot see any mention of what this full version is going to cost after the three years are up, what are these prices?

          Response: --------------------------------------------------------------------

          I appreciate your feeling on the timeframes involved. I can only state that our announcement period coincides with the Google Play store requirements, and as this is a singular app, vs an operating system of computer systems and servers used by billions worldwide there are some scale differences, that I am sure were consdidered when determine how long the announcement period would be.

          For clarifications on the concerns you've raised ( I'll enumerate the answers the same )

          Q1: The app will not be removed from your device by TomTom ( we not have have this capacity at all ).

          Q2: The app will continue to work as is on your current version of Android

          Q3: You can continue to install the app from your Google Library provided that the phone is compatible.

          Q4: We are not able / will not be furnishing APKs for manual installation

          For the questions you've raised about the new app ( again I'll use the same numbers to try and keep everything together )

          Q1: After the 50 free miles per month, the only option is to upgrade to the unlimted unlock or wait until the month rolls over. There is no monthly 'short term upgrade option' The upgrade option is available in 1 year or 3 year terms.

          Q2: The 50 miles is on 'routing' Traffic & Camera information is included in routing natively. It is no longer a separate service.

          Q3: If there is no data allowance at all with which to verify the licensee then the app will revert to the 'free' version and will show the remaining allowance of the 50/per month.

          Q4: For UK Customers the full version is 14.99 / 1 year 34.99/3 year after the initial 3 year term for existing users, or for new buyers.

  5. romanempire

    Tom Tom are s*#t

    Dumbass routing! Travelling back from York to Midlands it always tries (very insistently) to send me down the A1M and M18 and doesn't shut up til I'm way past Barnsley! Granted its about 6 miles longer via the M1 but come on! 3 lane motorway vs 2 lane A road with truck sand self-appointed coppers in the outside lane. Duh!

    Useless live traffic! Just renewed the service (only because it was on special offer) because I'm in and out of Brum 3 times a week. It still tries to send me down the A38 Aston "Expressway" even though it takes over an hour to get to the M6. Ring-road around to the A45 is 9 times out of 10 better. I thought it was supposed to get real-time info from speed and density traffic sensors. S*#t S*#t S*#t

    Anything better?

    1. TomTom Community Manager

      Re: Tom Tom are s*#t

      Hi romanempire, I am sorry to read that TomTom Traffic has not met your expectations. I would like to help by providing some background information on our LIVE Services. TomTom Traffic calculates routes using accurate real-time information, which takes into account the live conditions of traffic on the route your vehicle is taking. For example, traffic jams might appear on your route while you're already driving. When this happens the device will take that into account to find the fastest route that might or might not be the original route you were taking. The alternative route might take you through secondary roads as this is the fastest route at that time. TomTom Traffic knows that because it detects traffic on all mapped roads in real time and sends the information to your device every two minutes. For more information on TomTom Traffic, you can check out this link: http://bit.ly/1QsRmDz. Thanks and I will pass your comment on to the team internally.

      1. Gordon861

        Re: Tom Tom are s*#t

        Hey TomTom Community Manager

        Can I just point out that your system managed to totally fail to spot that the M4 heading out of London was closed at the junction with the M25 on Thursday night until I was right of top of it. After being up since 5:30am for the election the extra delay on finally getting home was not appreciated.

  6. JustNiz

    Isn't this the one where you can put Clarkson's voice on it?

    For me thats the only good reason to own one, since my phone completely replaces it otherwise.

    1. Sandtitz Silver badge
      WTF?

      What?!

      You can have anything from Homer Simpson to John Cleese or even Brian Blessed reliving his Prince Vultan role. And you'd pick Clarkson? See icon -->

  7. JeffyPoooh
    Pint

    Tom Tom

    My coworkers with standalone Tom Tom brand GPS devices report that they appear to require periodic internet updates to prevent the GPS receiver from become very slow to find the satellites. They didn't initially realize that other brands 'just work' without such bi-weekly visits to the PC.

    I wonder if there's some silly patent in their way. Such as storing the almanac data as received from the satellites, thus they might need to download it from the 'net. I dunno, but it's weird.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Real world

    I travel lots for my job. I'm middle aged with wife and two kids and am more 'business' than tech these days. I also rarely comment on here which puts me into the probable silent real-world majority of their target market. I even bought my SatNav by going into a Halfords store. <gasp>

    Possibly not your normal poster on here. :-)

    I have a plush car with built-in TMS SatNav. I have a suitable smartphone. Two in fact.

    And yet I still use stand-alone TomTom because I have found it to work far better at the built-in SatNav - especially at getting around real-life traffic problems. The 'Live' features of TomTom are far better than built-in.

    Yes, my phone could probably do the same/similar, but I prefer having a dedicated screen for my SatNav which allows me to call/txt/email (when passenger, of course) without reaching up to the mount.

    I've also used Garmin et al, but my preference is for TomTom.

    So I guess what I'm saying is that I'm really happy with this new announcement...! I'll be able to sort the route on my phone while getting the kids ready for school and not have to try and enter today's destination while driving and telling little Johnny to stop teasing his sister and avoiding the neighbour's cat and putting on the Frozen music. Again.

    I think TomTom's business plan is intact despite the other derisory comments above. :-)

    P

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Real world

      Hello Mr T Tom!

  9. Keir Snelling

    Not all "Go" devices can be upgraded apparently.

    I have what was once a top of the range Go1005. Predictably, this is not able to receive the upgrade.

  10. David Roberts Silver badge

    All GO devices?

    Well, I am looking forward to the update for my GO 930 which doesn't have any data connection apart from a USB cradle which is used to update maps from my PC.

    I would welcome the ability to plan routes on the PC or tablet, including setting way points, then loading it onto the GO prior to the journey.

    It would be nice to be able to route round known incidents before I set off.

    However I suspect that support for legacy devices will be notable by its absence.

  11. Tweetiepooh

    My SatNav used to work like this (sort of).

    Plan your journey and points of interest on Google and send the points to the SatNav. Then you just join it together on the satnav. It has a built in phone chip so remained in the car.

    Then it all started to fall apart : on board search changed from Google to Here, petrol prices withdrawn, Send to GPS removed on Google maps. It still has some features I like, checks for parking, has a tracker system (I can send an invite to someone and they can see why I am late).

    I don't have a smart phone nor want one but the newer units don't have much of this unless you pair with a smart phone.

    If TomTom have now started to provide some of this it may get my custom next.

  12. Yugguy

    MASSIVE PROBLEMS WITH THIS

    Just take a look on the TT forums:

    https://en.discussions.tomtom.com/go-and-start-40-50-60-series-go-400-500-600-5000-6000-mydrive-176

    I'm currently burdened with a GO6000. When it expires TT will be last on my list.

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