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Navigon GPS US version: Bad review

Discussion in 'Android Applications' started by DroidDoctor, May 26, 2011.

  1. DroidDoctor
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    DroidDoctor New Member

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    New poster, but I've been reading a while and benefiting from the info on this site. So now is my time to share- learn from my mistake ;)

    Here's a heads up to anyone looking at Navigon for Android in the US.

    I purchased the full version. Spent nearly an hour (via wifi) downloading the maps. Answered the questions, verified the settings, walked outside to get a good GPS signal, disabled my security (just in case), and...

    Was SEVERELY DISAPPOINTED!!!

    Here's the lowdown.

    1. 2D maps look like circa 1990's line drawings

    2. Very few street names are displayed. Even though the route shows the name of the road, you can scroll through several pages of the map and never see that road labeled.

    3. No way to increase the level of detail on a map (ie add street names)

    4. TINY little squares approx 1/4" are used to toggle options when in navigation mode (useless!)

    5. No touch for street, location or other info

    6. Pinch zoom erratic and nearly impossible to accurately zoom a location. It does some sort of jumpy screen refresh when zooming

    7. When attempting to view a map for a destination, it uses nearly 1/2 the screen to PERMANENTLY display your destination and reduces your map to a very small portion of the screen. This makes it pretty much useless to use the map section.

    8. Some weird, unauthorized camera activation when closing the application, too? I don't know what their "reality check" option is, but I'm guessing it takes pics of your route and does...(I don't know what) with it?


    Marketplace defaults to a "refund within 15 minutes" policy, but it takes nearly an hour to download! So I've sent emails to the company via google checkout and their website. There is NO PHONE NUMBER for the company.

    Bottom line? Skip this program.

    I don't mind paying for a quality application. I really want an offline GPS application, as we lose cellular in the mountains here quite often.

    I don't know how the European version of this software is, but this US version isn't something I'd keep, even if it were FREE! I don't need to speed more time being distracted by ineffective GPS software.

    I'm going to try CoPilot, maybe it's better?

    - DD

    PS- I posted this on the end of an old thread, but didn't want anyone to miss it, so started a new thread.
    Last edited: May 26, 2011
  2. DroidDoctor
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    DroidDoctor New Member

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    Follow-up, confirms Stealth camera activation

    Here is a reply from Navigon about the problems with their software and the Stealth camera activation.


    Notice they do not address any of the issues, don't really care, and suggest instead of a refund (which they are attempting to refuse) they suggest I reinstall their defective software.


    They also explain the Stealth camera activation- it "Scans" for POIs when you hold the phone vertically? WTF? So it was scanning my house when I was testing this software? Talk about invasion of privacy!


    Run away from this app as fast as you can!


    I have installed CoPilot Live and so far it is exactly what I was expecting. And it was $5.



    If you'll excuse me now, I have to go fight to get my $$$ back from Navigon.... :(


    - DD
  3. jb_alphamale
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    jb_alphamale New Member

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    Man I'm so happy you posted this. I was very very close to buy Navigon.Off with it.:)
  4. Dugall12
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    Dugall12 New Member

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    Thanks for the heads up, I was about to pull the trigger on the Navigon app. I'm glad I saw your post. I too was looking for offline GPS. Google maps is good for the most part but sometimes acts wonky, for example when I was in Florida traveling to my hotel from the airport it just through me into a loop. Litteraly I told me to get off the highway make a couple of rights and get back on the very same highway!
  5. DroidDoctor
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    DroidDoctor New Member

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    Thanks for the feedback. Glad it will save you the same trouble I am having.

    I figured less than $50 vs buying a standalone GPS. A bit pricey for an android app, but thought it would be worth it.

    It is substantially different from what they advertise and their screenshots.

    I am considering contacting a news agency for a spot on the latest method to defraud android users via the marketplace- require a download after installation that pushes the user outside the "15 min refund policy" window.

    Hmmmm.... there's an idea. Advertise an app that triples the speed of your android device and doubles the battery life. Require a 1 hr download of a "special file" after purchase, then make it non-refundable after the first 15 mins. Hey, for $50 it must be worth it, right? :wacko:

    [Please, nobody do this. Although Marketplace has ZERO protection in place against it, it's just an example to illustrate my point of what Navigon is doing. Yes, it's fraud, but that takes legal action to fix]

    - DD
  6. DroidDoctor
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    DroidDoctor New Member

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    Haha! My SIL just had a similar issue last weekend. Google maps is great, except when you lose cell signal.

    I wanted an offline gps so I could store my own POIs and destinations. So far CoPilot Live USA is doing just that. (I didn't get the $20 North America, I don't go to Canada often. If I do, I'll gladly upgrade it- I don't mind paying for something that WORKS!)

    Also- I am hoping this app will allow me to use my phone to make/receive calls while the gps is running. Haven't tried it yet, though. If anyone tries CoPilot Live USA and is able to make and receive calls, please post it up.

    I've reported this app to google marketplace. Hopefully they will address it soon.

    - DD
  7. takeshi
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    takeshi New Member

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    I'm surprised that Navigon has a 3.5 star average based on 297 reviews given this review. Always use multiple reviews when researching and learn to read between the lines when looking at reviews.

    In another thread you said that the app didn't match the screenshots. Do the 2D maps not look like the screenshot on this page?
    https://market.android.com/details?id=com.navigon.navigator_checkout_us&feature=search_result

    Can you post screenshots from the app for people to compare?

    You should, at the very least, understand what you're criticizing. From the Navigon site:
    Of course this feature uses your camera. Perform your due diligence before making a purchase.

    I can understand the frustration but Navigon has no control over the Marketplace's policies nor the speed of your connection. A lot of devs on the Market (including Google) do not have phone numbers for support.

    How, exactly, do you propose that developers handle a situation where a large download is necessary? Again, you need to take this issue up with Google. It's a Market policy, not Navigon's. Every app is subject to the 15 minute refund window.
    Last edited: May 27, 2011
  8. Jizzylax
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    Jizzylax New Member

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    Just buy a Garmin or TomTom, or use Google Maps. I tried Navigon as well and it was garbage.
  9. DroidDoctor
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    DroidDoctor New Member

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    No, it doesn't match those or the ones on the droid marketplace app.

    How do you take screenshots on a droid? I've uninstalled the s/w already, but picture a flat, white map with line drawings for streets. Zoom in or out, it's the same.

    Uhm...yeah... that was tongue in cheek (maybe there's an emoticon for that?). My point is why is it randomly (meaning without user request, interraction, or authorization) just taking pics of your environment?

    I understand what it is *supposedly* doing, but are users aware it does this because the camera is held in the vertical position (per Navigon's email)?

    Yes, you can dig into the settings and turn it off- I did. But it should at a minimum be an opt IN, not on by default. I strongly question its effectiveness anyways, unless it is to build their own image database (?). In any case, it's a bad idea and generates a WTF moment when you hear your camera click (hoping you have the camera click sound enabled)!

    Nice. Thanks for the slap in the face.

    If you reread my posts, you will see the app is substantially different than what is advertised and doesn't function as promised. (BTW, that specific language is intentional and is part of consumer protection laws)

    There aren't many non-marketing related reviews of this software, including on this site. That's specifically why I posted this review and indicated it is a BAD review.

    First, this download is over wifi. My wifi is over 8MB/s on average. The download is reportedly 1.2 GIG, up to 2.0 GIG (I didn't check it after download, got bogged down in trying to get a refund)

    Secondly, this is not a dev, it's a company. A company who supposedly makes a number of products. A bit...unprofessional...at the least. Or a sign of a company who wants a separation from its users (because of bad products or relations?) That's quite different from Joe the Plumber who is writing one or two small helper applications.

    On a personal note, it's a shame you chose to go on the offensive instead of looking into the info.

    If you want to be so dismissive and questioning the accuracy of my comments, I suggest you purchase the software, download and install it yourself, and then you can make your own accurate assessment of the software. Until then you are basing your opinion soley upon the marketing (inaccurate) materials.

    BTW, there is a real difference between asking for or providing more information to be helpful and challenging one's accuracy and honesty.

    Oh, and don't feel bad. I made the same mistake and believed the marketing hype. Only difference is I took the step to purchase it and try it out. I think that gives my opinion a bit more credibility than someone quoting the vendor's marketing info.

    - DD
  10. DroidDoctor
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    DroidDoctor New Member

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    Good question. Maybe give 24 hrs? In any case, that's not my responsibility. I've raised the warning flag on this application, the company's response, and warned about the huge opportunity for fraud on google marketplace.

    Perhaps if you have some influence with google marketplace you can alert them to it and make a suggestion? I have reported it to them. That may not get much attention, but maybe the news report will?

    And, if they don't pay attention and take action, perhaps Joe the Plumber will see the report and also make a complaint, too. Then maybe we will see a more consumer-friendly policy.

    After all, we all want GOOD apps and GOOD value for our money. Create an environment where good products survive, bad ones are weeded out, and fraudulent ones are banned.

    If you have a suggestion how to do that, I'm all ears. But let's start a new thread, this is supposed to be a review thread ;)
  11. DroidDoctor
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    DroidDoctor New Member

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    Update

    An update on my refund request: After several back and forth with Google Marketplace and Navigon, I finally received notice of a refund less than an hour ago. Someone from the support team at Navigon started quoting me German consumer laws, attempting to categorize the download as akin to unlocking a sealed container and being non-returnable. But if one reads that law carefully, it is actually written to protect the consumer, including returns and defects. I believe they were acting in violation of that law as well as US consumer protection laws. Here is an excerpt from their email, without divulging any confidential or private information:
    I was preparing my application for filing a local suit this week. I had also planned to bring it up in my meeting with our Congressman on Friday. They are quick to grab a headline, and Google always makes headlines. This particular Rep really dislikes consumer fraud ;) I gave Navigon notice of a final 24 hrs to make the refund before filing legal complaints and summarized how I had already satisfied each requirement. An interesting note about Marketplace transactions. According to the emails I received from Marketplace (MP), google will refund transactions within the 15 min window. The vendor is responsible for refunds after that initial 15 mins. The vendor instructed me to seek a refund from MP, MP told me to contact the vendor for refund. Maybe this could be made more clear? Many people seem to think they have no recourse after 15 mins and are stuck with a non-refundable product. In reality, MP is finished with the transaction after the initial 15 mins and it is up to the vendor to make things right after that. At least that's how I am interpreting the situation from the emails. And hats off to MP for 1) Answering my emails (certainly not a guarantee in today's world) and 2) Providing assistance in this situation. Although they didn't say, I think it is more than likely they put some pressure on the vendor, since the vendor was exploiting consumers via MP. I hope MP takes a close look at the vulnerabilities in their purchase/refund policies and finds a good way to prevent this kind of exploitation in the future. Bear in mind the Navigon s/w is substantially DIFFERENT than what they advertise, both in appearance and function. You may not get the same results if a product looks and performs as advertised. YMMV. Bottom line? Don't let companies steal your money with exaggerated or misleading advertisement claims. Use the law if you have to, it's there to protect the consumer. Oh, and avoid the the Navigon Droid GPS software, MobileNavigator USA. I now have CoPilot USA and am initially satisfied with it. It's a real bonus at only $5, but as previously mentioned, price was not the issue. Hope this helps others avoid the several days of hassle I've had with Navigon. Good companies make mistakes, too. But unfortunately, there are bad companies out there with bad policies, too. -DD PS- Any ideas why my paragraphs and line breaks are being removed from my posts?
  12. iRenegade
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    iRenegade New Member

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    I was looking for an off-line gps app, and after doing a lot of research, settled on Co-Pilot Live. And that was before reading this review! So far so good!
  13. mrbi11
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    mrbi11 New Member

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    Ok, I too have bought the "navigon" product. And the original poster is QUITE CORRECT
    regarding his criticism of the feature you are explaining to us, the "reality" scanner which uses the camera.

    There is NO way to open the reality scannner from any menu.

    It pops up at random, most often right after i click "show map" button.
    The only option in the system is for it to pop up automatically,
    or not at all. There is no explanation of what makes it pop up, how
    to get it to pop up if you wanted to use it. Since you cant make it pop up when you want it to, its pointless to try and learn how to use it.

    This is what happens when you let a teenager design a human interface.
    They like to make it gimmicky, instead of simple. They make it automatic,
    based on whatever literally hand-waving thing they think every other human being does when they want their map to morph into something completely different. As a veteran software professional myself, the trend in
    software is to try and produce things that look clever and magical,
    whether or not they are usable. The picture with text labels magically floating in the air looks very clever and magical, and is totally useless, because
    you cant make it appear when you want it to, and it appears at random times you dont want it to. I for one ALWAYS want to see a map, when i press a button that says show map.

    Having said all that, I bought this after trying several other GPS products, all disappointing, I wanted a feature, speed alert, to help me stay at or under the speed limit. Navigon advertises this feature, and one can customize when the alert is supposed to sound, like 5 or 10 miles over the limit.
    Having set this up, I noticed the alert shows on the screen but NEVER sounds. I contacted customer support, and got no response to the simplest of questions.

    After giving up on it, one day I heard it sound the word "caution", when I was
    using it to navigate somewhere. So the sound alert does work, but only if you are navigating. If you are just driving around, even with the map showing, even with the display showing both speed and speed limit, even with the caution icon showing, no sound alert, just silence. So its useless as a helper
    to stay inside the speed limit, even though they advertise this feature.

    Last, regarding POI's usually, I am interested in finding POI's on my route, if I am navigating somewhere. There is NO WAY to do this. It will let you
    pick 3 broad categories of POIs to flag on your route, like resturants and gas stations, but if you want to find a hotel in the next town, its useless.
    You can get a list view of the flagges categories, but you can NOT get a list of only hotels. You can NOT find anything by name, or restrict the list to say italian resturants.

    Some things worked well, one can pick a contact from your regular phone address book, and navigate there, nice integration on that.

    But by and large, it does random things to your map scale to insure that you never have a clue whether you are looking at a mile of road or 20 miles of road, if you wait a few seconds it will change anyway. The map display is almost useless because of the constantly changing scale.

    Someday a REALLY clever company will realize that what customers want
    is to get software that does what the customers asks it to, not what some teenage programmer who thinks mystery behavior and lots of motion make a neat display.
  14. ConqSoft
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    ConqSoft New Member

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    I'm just waiting on Google Maps (Offline) app. ;)
  15. DroidDoctor
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    DroidDoctor New Member

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    I see you, too, were annoyed so much you registered to post your opinion on this software ;)

    FYI. I had a massive week-long fight to get a refund from the company, even though I requested the refund within the hour, just shortly after I downloaded their complete program.

    They tried playing some legal crap about no refunds to intimidate me. Of course, the consumer protection laws are strong in Germany, too- which they were quoting, yet violating.

    I was in the process of filing complaints with the appropriate organizations in the US and their local German counterparts- and with Google Marketplace (who were eventually quite helpful) when they finally refunded my money.

    It took a much more than reasonable effort to deal with Navigon, one I think most users wouldn't do- and perhaps the reason Navigon employs such bullying tactics. They get to take and keep money under what I consider misleading advertising and promises.

    After such an experience, I raised the flag here hoping to spare others the...experience.

    Folks can choose to buy it or not, but they've been warned.
  16. DroidDoctor
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    DroidDoctor New Member

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    No problem, just install it on your new phone- it only takes 87298345 Gig :icon_eek:
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