Android Central
 
The CoPilot Live GPS navigation app has been recently updated with a whole bunch of new features. High on the list is the replacement of Bing with Google search, and some deeper digging into the native Android experience, such as being able to launch directly into a navigation query from an address in an e-mail. The full changelog for CoPilot Live 9.3 reads: 
  • Free map update – the latest NAVTEQ street maps
  • Google search – CoPilot’s Local Search is now powered by Google
  • Android integration – allowing tasks such as navigating to an address in an email
  • New info display – including Current Road
  • Themes – four new free colour schemes are available*
  • Drive for a cause – a paid-for pink theme in support of Breast Cancer Awareness (all proceeds go to charity)*
  • Numerous user interface enhancements

The uber-expensive European versions have been updated, as well as the bare-bones free version, though the South Africa, New Zealand, and Australian versions are still a bit behind. We've got a full review of t CoPilot Live here, and will have a Q&A with the devs going up sometime this week. 

Anybody using CoPilot regularly? How does it fare compared to the core Google Maps experience? Is there any room for third-party GPS apps when Android provides a fairly robust one out of the box? 

 

Reader comments

CoPilot Live switches to Google search, adds additional Android integration

24 Comments

A little OT:
I recently bought a new Sonata, I hate the navigation on that thing. Is there anyway I can just use the USB port or bluetooth to just route google maps from my phone to the 7" screen in the dash?

If it has a video in option then you stand a chance, your phone would also need to be able to put out video.

hmm alright. I have a GNex right now but probably buying the Note II on Thursday. Something tells me the car doesn't have a video in, despite the USB port. I'll have to do some digging

It would have to have bluetooth connectivity and sync somehow, I have to use and hmi ti hdmi cable and hd cable just to mirror my gnex to an hdtv.

"Is there any room for third-party GPS apps when Android provides a fairly robust one out of the box?"

If you are lucky enough to only ever go where there is wifi or fast mobile data coverage then no, but for the rest of us offline mapping and navigation is important.

exactly!
i use Ndrive, and i've tested a bunch of other navigation apps. For me it is the best.

Well said.

A week of driving around upstate New York, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine (not exactly unpopulated areas) has taught me that navigation with Google alone is a recipe for getting lost. Far too many no signal areas.

Maybe city folk who never leave the freeway (an therefore don't need GPS in the first place) can use only Google Maps, but in the real world, it still doesn't cut it.

I won't be retiring my Garmin any time soon.
And I won't be buying an on-phone navigation package either.

Used CoPilot on my old Windows mobile device and it was once of the first apps I bought when I switched to Android.
I use it in place of Google all the time as I never have to worry about losing a signal. I drive cross country a few times a year and it was worth the price just for that reason alone.

I use CoPilot on my Nexus 7 as kind of an uber screen GPS in my car. The experience seems less polished than a Google map navigation, as well as little clunker to use but it does the trick specially for a wifi only device like the Nexus 7. Once feature I would like is settings to set to 2D only instead of it always trying to start in 3D. I hate 3D navigation, I prefer to see the roads ahead clearly not at some fake reality angle. If they ever add full offline navigation to Google maps I will switch back to it though. Hopefully the new Mountek mount coming soon will complete my tablet setup for my Dodge Charger. Hard to use a window mount in that car with a 7" tablet.

The advantage CO-PILOT has over Google's maps is the offline maps stored on your device. I was recently on Holiday in an area with poor coverage and data coverage was non-existent. If I was relying on Google I would have had an issue, but as co-pilots data was on my device all was good. Also has the advantage if you are on a limited data plan.

There is always a place for third party apps like this as they approach things differently and. quite often their solution suits some users better

Does anyone speculate that Google might announce full on offline maps at their android event or just wishful thinking? I have been wanting an offline GPS solution for a while but I think I'll personally wait until after the nexus event.

I am a co-pilot user for more than 6 months and I prefer co-pilot than google navigation.
never had trouble using co-pilot :)

I recently got back from Hawaii and found Copilot handled situations while actually driving much better. By that I mean it was much easier to find a detour or the closest gas station than with Google Nav. Google Nav is fine if all you need is to set a destination and go. But when navigating a new area Copilot has little touches like lane indicators which help immensely.

I was pleasantly surprised that AT&T has pretty good service across Oahu now as well. I was never without 4G signal all over the island and even had LTE on the North Shore!

I've been using CoPilot almost since it was released for Android. It used to be terrible (I still paid to upgrade to the newer as it was cheap), but the last few updates have been really great. As others have said, the interface is easy, the lane guidance is appreciated, and adding POI categories (attractions, gas stations, rest stops) onto the navigation map is useful.

My only complaint at this point is that, even with power saving on, the screen off, and/or the activity running in the background, it will max out our CPU and prevent sleep. This is great if you are charging from your car, but terrible if you happen to using battery.

Also, the walking navigation is not quite as good as Google Maps.

For the price (in the U.S., at least), it's an easy decision to buy.

I use it when Out of data area or when I visit Canada and have data turned off. Since the maps are all stored on the device all it needs is GPS. Works well. Of course in those areas where data is off,no traffic info, weather or gas prices, etc. The interface has some features I like better than google maps. However, when I have data, google maps is the preferred method.

I use my smartphone as a GPS on my motorcycle. Have it clipped to the handlebar. CoPilot allows you to set the style of roads you want to travel on easier then Google. I can easily set it is prefer scenic roads over boring highways.
Then of course, all of the data is on the phone, so it still works when I'm off in the mountains somewhere.
You can set different map colors, making it more useable in direct sunlight.
But I typically don't us routing, I simply want a detailed map to look at for interesting side roads. From Google, that requires a constant data connection and the data useage is so heavy that the phone gets very hot. With CoPilot. no data, and the phone doesn't get as hot.
The CoPilot interface has a few things that I don't care for, but in general, I works fine.

I really like the Google Maps / Navigation for ease of use on my Maxx. But the Google Mpas is good but not quite as full featured as stand alone navs. Having the ability to navigate without signal was also a consideration. So I had $10 burning a hole in my pocket and dropped it on the CoPilot Premium app. Looks to be quite nice. Integrating with the Google Search was what sold me to drop the 10 spot.

Big believer in Co-Pilot, for all the reasons that others have pointed out. The "real sell" for me was offline maps, and no need for WiFi or 4G, no matter how remote I get out here in the boonies of Arizona. Easily as accurate as my Garmins, though not quite as simple to use. The number of options you've got with Co-Pilot greatly exceeds the standalone GPS's as well in my experience. Granted, this thing does use a bit of storage space (180 MB for my and 3 neighboring states, or about 1.5 Gb for all of U.S. and Canada). But that's less than a lot of games take, and since I'm not a gamer, I'm good to go. Have it on my Nexus 7, my Asus Infinity, and my Gnex, works great on all of 'em. Just about tailor made for the Nexus 7 imhop.

I use both daily to supplement a standalone gps (google nav/copilot against a tomtom) and they both have their ups and downs. Copilot has a more familiar entry system, I like the way I can dig through cross streets on it (it will list the available cross streets for a given street which helps as sometimes you get a West this or South that or hwy 171 first street etc which can dumbfound google or my tomtom at times). Aside from that, lane guidance indicators similar to standalones are nice. If google added height restrictions for short underpasses and lane guidance for complex interchanges I'd almost ditch copilot save for the fact that I prefer a lot of the routes it chooses ahead of the google routes.

Traffic cams/speed cams. Google Maps Navigation still doesn't warn or flag where they are - CoPilot, TomTom etc. do. That alone can be enough to make them worthwhile.

I do a lot of international travel and have found Co Pilot GPS to be great worldwide. You pay once for the maps and you are good. Beats the price of using roaming data by far. I have been in areas inside and outside the USA where you have no cell coverage including Atlanta and it has saved my butt from getting lost in the mountains. Offline maps are great. Although I still use google maps because it is great in its own way when I have online access. Co pilot is something I can always count on reliably.

I've been using Copilot for about a year and a half...maybe a little longer...I had been previously using iGo and tomtom on the SGT Tab 7...but found those lacking and plenty of error issues...poor updates and map accuracy...I then tried a pirated version of Copilot, found it extremely useful and bought the license within days...simply because I wanted more up to date maps and some of the other benefits...

It does have a few errors...telling me to make a left turn on a cloverleaf where I have to turn right as an example...noted this a few times...so if you do not know the basics of where you are going, this could land you in some serious trouble...or inconvenienced as you would be forced to backtrack...

But like many others have already stated, I use it primarily to avoid data use...while it is a small amount of data, it can add up pretty quick if you do a lot of driving, which I most certainly do.

About the only time I use Google Nav is when an address cannot be found in Copilot...if the trip is long, I will use Copilot to get me to the area and GN to finish the trip...