Evesham integrated GPS PocketPC

Mitac Mio + CoPilot Live 4

Navigation services

The Mio's GPS hardware is redundant without software tools to make use of it, and Evesham has chosen ALK's Pocket CoPilot Live. ALK has been in the business of journey planning and fleet management tools for a quarter of a century now, and was one of the first to offer a PC-based route planner app. These days it's focusing on the mobile GPS market, and its software, now at version 4, shows some refinements.

The software offers four modes: planning, walking, navigating and guidance, though the last three are essentially variations on a single theme. Walking mode essentially ignores vehicle-centric features, such as one-way streets, when it's calculating the route.

ALK CoPilot Live 4 Walker Mode

Planning is about building up your route. Journeys are defined in the expected way: by adding a series of stops, the last of which is your destination. Stops are added by entering an address, either directly or from the host PDA's contacts database - a nice touch I've not seen on other navigation packages.

ALK CoPilot Live 4 Outlook Integration   ALK CoPilot Live 4 Outlook Integration

CoPilot also provides the usual database of places of interest - anything from tourist sites to gas stations to public amenities, plus speed cameras and London's Congestion Charge zone - and you can store two addresses ('home' and 'office') as regular departures and destinations. The software remembers the ten most recent addresses you've entered, allowing you to quickly recall any of them should you, say, inadvertently replace your start point with your destination, which is rather easy to do. It will even alert you when you're coming toward a point of interest - particularly useful for speed camera watchers, this.

ALK CoPilot Live 4 Outlook Integration   ALK CoPilot Live 4 Speed Cam Alerts

CoPilot will calculate your journey there and then, allowing you to review the trip before taking it. That's a feature missing from other navigation tools, such as Navman's SmartST Pro, which will only show you the route on a map when you go into guidance mode. Since you're not always going to do your planning when in satellite line of sight, it's good to be able to check the details of your journey - perhaps you want to avoid a particular route you know to be bad - before you start out.

Next page: Back on track

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