TomTom for Android has been an awfully long time coming. Having been available on iOS now for a number of years, the global satellite navigation giant has been somewhat tardy in bringing it to Android. But, it's officially official now, we're getting it on Android in October. The biggest question still remains the same though -- why buy this on an OS that comes with a perfectly good satellite navigation system built in for free? We went hands on at IFA 2012 in Berlin to see if maybe we could answer that.
First things first, TomTom is a really nice looking application. The interface is well designed -- and by that we mean it's designed as if this were a stand alone TomTom device. One of the not so great points about Google Maps Navigation is that the in app menus are still designed like a smartphone app. TomTom has some really large, bold icons that make for simple use in the car.
All the necessary information is present too, speed, distance to destination, arrival time as you would expect from an app such as this. Also available is HD traffic, which during the demonstration showed just how bad an idea driving in Berlin in the afternoon can be. Speed camera locations are also available in TomTom -- not that anyone at AC speeds anywhere, ever -- and the locations are community built. For example, if you drive past a location not registered and you come across a mobile speed camera, by tapping the relevant icon you can report this information back for inclusion in the database.
The demo unit also shows the universal TomTom docking system in action. This is perfect for use with an Android smartphone, as it has adjustable arms to suit the differing sizes of devices. It also has a microUSB charging facility so there's still only need to have one device plugged into the cigarette lighter socker.
We're going to have to wait until October though to really get to grips with TomTom for Android. No matter how good it may look on a show floor, real world performance is what matters here. There are definitely features in TomTom which is going to make it justifiable for regular drivers over something like Google Maps Navigation, but price is going to play a big part in that decision.
And as yet, we still don't know that price. TomTom informed us that the pricing information will be announced at launch, but that it will be available in Google Play in markets around the world sometime in October. It does feel like a full on TomTom navigation system though, and with an application available for a smartphone, it makes you wonder how long the stand alone systems will continue to sell. You can find our hands on video after the break.