TomTom, the satnav giant, has a long history of reliable and popular GPS/satnav solutions for the everyday consumer. In the old days, it usually required a dedicated navigation unit to use, but more recently it has been toying with porting their software to platforms like Android and iOS to bring their satnav solutions to even more costumers without requiring a dedicated device. Well, TomTom has now released a brand new app to replace the previous one, and it offers a new payment model and user experience, making the app free to use, with a few caveats. Let’s take a look.
One of the big changes with this new app is, obviously, the new pricing model. While the classic app required a purchase, being exclusively a paid app, this time around TomTom is giving the free model a try by giving you the app itself as free, for a limited number of miles each month. After that mile budget runs out, the app will ask you for a subscription to continue to use it in exchange for a small fee, at which point it will work as usual.
The name of the new app is TomTom Go Mobile, and as we mentioned, it is absolutely free. You can get it by heading over to this Play Store link and installing it as usual. Once you open the app, it will right away offer you a simple intro screen that introduces some of the features of the new model and user interface:
One thing to note is that the maps, traffic warnings and navigation all work the same whether you have a subscription or not. The only real difference is the limited number of miles – the app does not lock any features behind a paywall and treats all users the same in terms of features and support:
After the app is done introducing itself, it will ask you to download the maps that you’re interested in. Of course, one of the major features of the app is the offline navigation and map information, which is still present in this app and works the same way. You download the maps you want beforehand and you can then use navigation and all the usual features even without a data connection.
The app itself works great, although it’s fair to say that the usefulness of these kinds of apps is getting harder and harder to justify in a world where solutions like Google Maps and Waze exist. Still, it does have some killer features that you won’t be able to find anywhere else, and if the plan is to use it offline, you really can’t find much better than this. It does turn your phone into a dedicated GPS device, and the map quality and services are hard to beat.
TomTom Go Mobile is a brand new effort to both upgrade the existing app and offer the service to a whole new range of users that are now free to try the app and see if they find it useful, instead of having to gamble on a dedicated, expensive app that they’re not even sure if they like. There is also a special promotion for existing costumers that makes the new app free to use without any limits for 3 years in exchange for a small fee, guaranteeing an upgrade path that does not leave any of the users of the previous app in the dust. Overall, this is a great effort from TomTom to try and make their service more appealing, accessible and easy to use for everyone.