Telmap supplies the maps and navigation information for many of the services offered by network operators, including, such as Orange Maps and Vodafone’s Find and Go.
We took to the streets with the latest version of Telmap to see what it was like using an HTC Hero NB: We tried out a native version of Telmap, all the features available on both Orange and Vodafone versions, although exact features vary with the package and the colour scheme and icons may be slightly different.
Using an HTC Hero, the signal locks on fairly quickly – in rural and urban areas. Although in London on a couple of occasions our GPS location was out by a few meters – nothing too problematic, but it certainly could be confusing if you are in a strange city.
Route calculation is very quick, instead of pre-installing all the maps on your smartphone (like the TomTom app) Telmap pulls down the maps from the cloud as you need it. In order to avoid being charged download rates, we suggest downloading them over your home WiFi before embarking on your journey.
When you use GPS on your handset you are continually pulling in data, which obviously contributes to your monthly allowance, so its worth checking with individual networks. Vodafone estimates that 3-mile journey uses, 60KB; 30-mile journey uses 150KB; 100-mile journey uses 300KB and 200-mile journey uses 400KB
Telmap has are two different map views. The conventional 3D view for driving (right) is easy too follow and (like many modern sat nav systems) replicates street signs. A particularly useful feature is the gauge along the side of the screen that shows how far into the journey you are. Nightmode (where the maps changes colours) is effective too. Instructions are relayed in good time and it re-routing is fairly quick.
Telmap includes a pedestrian mode option, which calculates your route based on works on foot, which is useful if you are visiting a new town or just need directions. Here the map view changes and you follow the arrow and the handset vibrates when you need to change direction.
Telmap includes some other neat features: Near By searches your current location for services. There’s a good selection of fast food choices too including: Starbucks, McDonalds and Pizza Hut. However, despite our central London location, we couldn’t find anything near us suggesting the database needs to be updated.
Elsewhere you can search for Tweets nearby and update your location to Facebook to share with friend..
Occasionally Telmap wasn’t as smooth as we would have liked, the Settings icon on the bottom right of the screen is a bit small, which meant frequent jabbing didn’t respond and the touchscreen was often sluggish and zooming tricky. However that’s more to do with the hardware – the HTC Hero is looking a bit aged now.
Overall, we liked using Telmap, navigation is smooth and there are good selection of features, including some nice extras.
Orange Maps: £5 a month/free for iPhone
Orange Maps Professional: £7.50 extra/£2.50 extra for iPhone: this includes live traffic, auto rerouting and safety camera alerts. Both include map downloads as part of the subscription, although this doesn’t apply in Europe. Find out more
Vodafone Find&Go: £5 a month although using the maps comes from your data allowance, although this is free if you’ve got a mobile internet package. Find out more