Google Maps versus TomTom Go

Find out who comes out on top for mobile sat nav...
by
Google Maps versus TomTom Go

The mobile sat nav showdown

As of 4 December 2017, learner drivers will be required to know how to operate a sat nav, and must be able to be guided by it for 20 minutes as part of their test. Which begs the question, which system is the best?

In lieu of a dedicated dash-mounted sat nav, two of the biggest mobile offerings available at the moment are Google Maps and TomTom’s Go app. So, let’s take a look at how they compare.

TomTom Go

It’s hard to remember a time that relied on glove box-essential, the A-Z Road Map. But the digital age has well and truly banished the paper manual, making room for the now almost universal, satellite navigation. And TomTom has been at the forefront of the revolution for a while.

TomTom really shines in the real-time traffic department. In the UK, the system tracks every iPhone and Vodafone customer that has their GPS setting enabled, and updates its traffic system based on movement every 60 seconds. Because of this, you’re constantly fed the quickest routes available, letting you skirt around traffic jams and road works with ease.

The interface offers a lot of information, including your speed, the road’s speed limit, speed camera locations, and the likelihood of unavoidable delays. And you can also plan routes before you get in the car using the MyDrive website, which can then be shared with both the mobile app and the full sat nav system.

One of the key differences between the two mobile apps is that TomTom is a premium service. When you sign up, you’re allocated 50 free miles before having to put a hand in your pocket, whereas Google Maps is always free.

Google Maps

Unlike the above, Google doesn’t let you know where speed cameras are, nor does it receive updates on traffic jams as frequently as TomTom does. It’s also no good if you wind up somewhere without access to the internet, if you haven’t previously downloaded that area for offline use.

TomTom on the other hand lets you download entire countries (and continents) before you get started, so you’ll never be left without a map.

Google Maps is very good at voice recognition, something TomTom has only recently introduced. You can say something along the lines of “Okay, Google - show me supermarkets on my route” and it’ll bring up a list for you to choose from. TomTom has similar functionality, but through our testing, it doesn’t work quite as well.

Another thing we love about Google Maps is its Street View. This obviously isn’t so useful when you’re actually driving, but if you need to find out exactly what the address looks like before you set off, it’s a service TomTom can’t compete with.

Please note: In the UK it’s illegal to interact with your mobile phone when driving, and is only permitted if you have hands-free access. The offence can carry a 6-point penalty on your licence and a £200 fine.

The law still applies if you’re stopped a traffic lights, in queued traffic, or supervising a learner driver. You’re only allowed to use a mobile phone if you’re safely parked, or if you need to call 999 or 112 in an emergency and its unsafe to stop. Learn more on Gov.uk.

What’s your go-to sat nav system? Drop us a comment below.

What are your thoughts? Join the conversation here…

comments powered by Disqus

16 October, 2018
We’re at ExCel London, where Huawei has just unveiled its new Mate 20 Pro. And we’re...
11 October, 2018
Google unveiled the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL this week. And it's one of the best camera...
11 October, 2018
Samsung has just unveiled the world's first quad camera phone. It has an incredible...
10 October, 2018
Samsung has been showing off its new Galaxy range at an event in London. Here's a...
10 October, 2018
The Google Pixel 3 has arrived. We were luck enough to get our hands on it recently,...

11 October, 2018
Google unveiled the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL this week. And it's one of the best camera...
8 October, 2018
The Sony Xperia XZ3 has just launched. With an amazing screen and fantastic photography...
2 October, 2018
It's been 10 years since the first Android phone was released, we take a look at...
2 October, 2018
We've compiled our list of the top five accessories you need for your new iPhone...
2 October, 2018
The incredible new iPhone Xs and Xs Max are available in 64GB, 256GB and 512GB storage...
28 September, 2018
Dream of doing two things at once on your Android phone? Well, it's about to become...
27 September, 2018
Apple has just unveiled two amazing new phones in the shape of iPhone Xs and iPhone...
26 September, 2018
The new Apple iOS 12 update is here to give your iPhone lots of new features. You...
24 September, 2018
From the new iPhone Xs Max to the Samsung Galaxy Note9 - big phones just keep getting...
20 September, 2018
The iPhone Xs and Xs Max have a new dual-camera system packed with awesome features....
19 September, 2018
How Apple has just unveiled its new flagship, the iPhone Xs. How does it compare...
18 September, 2018
With the announcement of the Apple iPhone Xs, Xs Max and iPhone XR, we take a look...