Popular navigation app works with Apple CarPlay.
Nearly 10 years ago, I had the privilege of reviewing Sygic, a GPS location tracking system that, at the time, was a solid alternative to external GPS units. I would use the map system to get around everywhere I drove. It worked almost flawlessly and the best part about the app was that it was incorporated with my iPhone. So, I didn’t have to use a separate device for GPS location. A few years ago, I was able to upgrade my car stereo to one that was compatible with Apple CarPlay. This past year, I replaced that first CarPlay stereo for a newer one and I honestly don’t know how I would travel without the system in place.
It’s so convenient to be able to plug my phone into the stereo so that I can answer calls and text messages, listen to Podcasts, and even use the built-in navigation system on the iPhone. As great as CarPlay has been when I travel, I’ve really missed being able to use Sygic Mobile Maps. A few months ago (in September), Sygic made the announcement at Mobile World Congress that they were releasing an updated version of the app that was compatible with Apple Car Play. I didn’t waste any time in acquiring it.
Sygic Car Navigation is labeled as the ‘world’s most advanced navigation app’. It features 3D maps that are stored offline and are easy to use within the app interface. Offline maps of all the countries in the world are provided by TomTom and other providers. Free map updates are available throughout the year and voice-voice-guided car connected navigation is available with precise directions and spoken street names. There are millions of places of interest stored in Sygic’s database and pedestrian navigation and walking directions including tourist attractions are also available.
Sygic also provides accurate, real-time traffic information collected from user information. Sygic also has several different types of safety features available like:
- Advanced safety features make driving in unfamiliar territories easier
- Speed limit warnings show you the current speed limit and the upcoming speed limit changes
- Dynamic Lane Assistant guides you into the correct lane
- Head-up Display (HUD) projects navigation onto the windshield of your car, making driving at night safer**
- Dashcam records the road ahead and automatically saves a video in case of an accident**
- Real View Navigation is an augmented reality feature for even better and safer driving experience**
- Real-time route sharing lets you share your estimated time of arrival & current position on a map*
*Please note that this feature requires the internet connection.
**This is an add-on feature
Sygic Car Navigation is currently on version 17.4.6. The app is free to download, but has many in-app purchases including map packs like “N. America + Traffic Premium”.
Even though I had previously had Sygic downloaded to my phone, I took this opportunity to reinstall it as a fresh app onto my iPhone XS Max. The app is 86.7MB in size. I recommend investing in a lifetime subscription. At the time of publishing this review, Sygic is offering a discount on map packs – region connected pack and world connected pack are both 50% off their regular price.
After the app is downloaded, you can start using it straight away. The interface is very similar to a standard GPS device interface. This is actually the only ‘real’ complaint I have — the interface in comparison to other iOS apps seems to be a bit clunky. When I tried Sygic out in 2009, I thought it was revolutionary but it hasn’t changed a lot since then and navigation apps like Apple Maps seem more polished. That said, the settings are much more vast within Sygic than in a simple navigation app like Apple Maps. This is another area of improvement that I hope Sygic updates within future updates. Even though there are lots of navigation options within the mobile app, these features aren’t all accessible in the Apple CarPlay interface. It would be nice to be able to access things like places of interest from the CarPlay menu, but you currently cannot. As of right now, you have to pull up the mobile interface on your iPhone to access the advanced menus. I really hope they update this in the future.
Sygic Car Navigation has an easy to use interface and many options to choose from. At first, I had some issues with the audio prompts but since I’ve had the app installed, there have been a few updates that seem to have fixed the issues I was experiencing. That’s something I really appreciate about Sygic — they update their app frequently.
Sygic Car Navigation is a great option for advanced navigation for CarPlay. I think it has a lot of room for improvement though. The navigation system that Sygic is built on is solid and well worth the investment, but I think some updates should be made for it to be ‘perfect’ for CarPlay.