Review: TomTom GO LIVE Services Update

In-car GPS software that adds a social dimension

NameIn-car GPS software: TomTom GO LIVE Services Update
At a glance:Integration with Twitter, Expedia and Trip Advisor,Bird’s eye view over alternative routes,Automatic start up and switch off
Summary:An in-car navigation device for those who can’t make their mind up about dinner until it’s actually dinner time.
RRP:Free for existing Go Live Services subscribers.

TomTom GPS owners with a Go Live services subscription can now tweet their location and ETA from their devices, as part of a range of new software features the GPS manufacturer recently rolled out. We were sent a Go Live 820 with which to review the new social features.

Tweet and drive

At first, I didn’t really get the point of having Twitter on your in-car navigation device. And then, well, I still didn’t get the point. But I also don’t use Foursquare or Gowalla or any of the other geolocation apps out there, so I realise I’m not the target market for this new feature.

I tried updating my Twitter status with my location, but a repeated error saved me from telling my boss that I was still sitting on the motorway entrance near home when I really should have been arriving at work.

In the end, I gave up on Twitter. A nice option for those location-sharing fiends but something that doesn’t work for me. My paranoid mentality means that, more than broadcasting where I am, I think about how I’m broadcasting where I am not. At home, that is, where all my worldly possessions are.

Keep in mind that this feature is entirely optional and can be switched off at any time. Options are cool, right?

Travel apps

This latest software update also includes a couple of handy additions such as the integration with Trip Advisor and Expedia.

As someone who has been on weeks-long road trips without any sort of hotel booking until a couple of hours before check-in each day, I can see how these two options can be useful. Being able to find food and shelter in an unknown location, complete with reviews from those who have been there, is never a bad thing.

The proliferation of smartphones, however, makes me wonder about the genuine need for these updates. I would have to pull over to read a restaurant review on Trip Advisor before getting my GPS device to route me there so, if I pull over, why not just use my smartphone?

Traffic and maps

In addition to the social features, the software update includes a number of other enhancements, including the ability to have a bird’s eye view of alternative routes, which I found particularly useful when trying to navigate rush-hour traffic in Auckland.

TomTom has also made a number of improvements to its Safety Cameras service, including new icons, and made it easier to share content. If the GPS model you’re using has a memory card slot, you can now install maps on a memory card. Drivers can also install multiple POI files or categories using a ZIP file.

This particular model, compared to previous TomTom models I’ve used, runs faster, especially when it comes to startup times. The update also means that TomTom devices automatically start up and switch off when connected to the charging cable in the car, as soon as you turn the key in the ignition.

The update is available on TomTom Go Live 820, Go Live 1000 and 1050, Go Live 2050 and 2050 World devices. Owners of these can download the update from the TomTom website and use it with their valid Live subscription.

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Tags twittertomtomExpediatripadvisorlive services

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Vera Alves

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