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Review: iGuidance 4.0
Marvin Hlavac
iGuidance 4.0 by iNav Corporation is based on Intellinav software by Netropa. The same software powers several dedicated all-in-one GPS navigation products on the market today. iGuidance has been my favorite since I first tried it several years ago when it was at version 1.1. It is software which I would not hesitate to recommend to be used in emergency vehicles by police, medical, and fire departments. Anyone who needs to equip their fleet of cars or service trucks with a very easy-to-use, yet powerful navigation program running on Windows XP or Windows Vista, should have a better look at this program. It has the shortest learning curve of all navigation solutions I have tried – the training cost will be minimal. Map data comes from Navteq, the leader in the industry. Destination can be quickly entered by address, by intersection, or even just by clicking on the map.


USA/Canada coverage

iGuidance 4.0 comes with street-level map coverage of USA (including Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands) and Canada (all provinces and all territories). It takes (only) 1.3GB of hard drive space to install it all on a computer. Earlier iGuidance versions required much more space (2.2GB), even though the map coverage area was smaller. The reduced data (from 2.2GB in pre-v4 versions down to 1.3GB in v4) itself is not due to "compression" but a revamp of the program code itself.

3 versions on one DVD

iGuidance 4.0 ships on a DVD. The disk contains three versions: Laptop, UMPC/CarPC, and a PocketPC version. All three are functionally identical (99%). To new users I’d suggest to install both the UMPC and also the Laptop version to see which one suits you the best. The only deference between the two is the size of buttons on the screen, map font size, and the size of the Trip Status box (ETA, remaining time, distance to destination, and speed).

User interface

iGuidance looks very 'clean', void of any unnecessary elements obstructing the map, yet it contains all the needed items users/drivers may require:


iGuidance has been designed to be used in conjunction with a touch-screen, but it is just as easily (or even easier) used with a keyboard. The program has many built-in keyboard shortcuts, and many more can be added with freeware iGkeys downloadable here at Laptop GPS World. iGkeys automates most frequently used features, saving time by allowing the user to achieve with a single keystroke what otherwise would require several keystrokes or even mouse-clicks. iGkeys is a must for prefesional iGuidance users for whom every second counts when it comes to entering destination addresses, and performing any other navigation-related tasks.

Menu

Access the Main Menu by either tapping on the iGuidance Menu button on your touch-screen, or click on it, or simply hit the Enter-key on your keyboard.

Destination can be entered by Address, Intersection, Point of Interest, Favorites, Recent, or City Center. You may also set destination(s) by clicking or tapping anywhere on the map.

Shortcuts allows quick access to the Home button and a handful of other potentially useful buttons like ATM, Restaurant, Gas, etc.

Itinerary feature can be used for trip planning. It lists destinations you wish to visit.

Settings include (among others) Route Options and Display Options. Route Options allow for toll road avoidance, Quickest/Shortest/Major/Local road preference, and a few other settings. I recommend keeping the default 'Quickest' setting, as I trust it, and I haven't had good experience with the Shortest/Major/Local settings. I've actually always wished for the two (Major/Local) settings to be replaced with a less confusing and more useful option which would allow users to include or exclude highways (Highways - include/exclude), just like the existing: Toll Roads - include/exclude option. Display Options allow selecting your favorite color scheme, changing from night to day mode manually, or keeping the pre-set automatic switching at sunrise and sunset. Map orientation can be switched between facing north and facing the direction of travel. You may switch from 2D to 3D (keyboard users can do this more conveniently by hitting a single key instead of navigating the menu).

POIs (Points of Interest)

Version 4 increased the number of POIs in the program from just over 1 million to 6 million. New iGuidance now includes more categories and sub-categories:
  • Automotive: Select All, Auto Club, Auto Dealer, Auto Parts, Auto Service, Car Wash, Gas, Motorcycle Dealer, Rental Service, Road Assistance, Truck Stop
  • Community: Select All, Church, City Hall, Civic Center, Court House, Funeral Home, Government Office, Library, Police Service, Police Station, Post Office, Retirement Home, Synagogue
  • Education:Select All, Higher Education, School
  • Entertainment: Select All, Amusement Park, Casino, Cinema, Convention Center, Museum, Nightlife, Performing Arts, Tourist Attraction, Video & Game Rental, Winery
  • Food & Dining: Select All, Banquet Hall, Bar & Pub, Convenience Store, Grocery Store, Restaurant (v3 had 36 restaurant sub-categories, v4 now has 57 of them!), Speciality Food Store, Wine & Liquor
  • Health & Medicine: Select All, Dentist, Hospital, Medical Service, Optical, Physician, Veterinarian
  • Home & Garden: Select All, Floor & Carpet, Furniture, Garden Center, Glass & Window, Home Center, Home Speciality, Other House & Garden, Paint, Realtor, Repair Service
  • Legal & Financial: Select All, ATM, Attorney, Bank, Check Cashing, Money Transfer, Tax Service
  • Other Prof Services: Select All, Business, Mover, Photography, Storage, Telecom
  • Personal Care: Select All, Cleaning & Laundry, Hair & Beauty, Tailor & Alteration
  • Recreation & Sports: Select All, Boating, Bowling, Camping, Golf Course, Golf Practice, Health Club, Ice Skating, Marina, Park & Recreation, Race Track, Recreation Center, RV Park, Ski Resort, Sports Activities, Sports Complex
  • Retail: Select All, Clothing, Computer Software, Department Store, Electronics, General Merchandise, Gifts & Arts & Antiques, Shoes, Shopping Center, Specialty, Sporting goods
  • Travel & Transport: Select All, Airport, Border Crossing, Bus Station, Ferry Terminal, Hotel, Local Transit, Park & Ride, Parking, Rest Area, Train Station, Travel Agent & Ticketing
* Some of the categories / sub-categories have no Canadian content.

Users don't have to navigate all the way down to the correct subcategory to perform the search (e.g. Retail > Electronics). It is possible to simply search the whole category (e.g. Retail > Select All). Perhaps in a future version global search across all categories could be added to further simplify POI searches.

Routing quality

I've travelled over a quarter of a million kilometers with various versions of iGuidance over the past few years. On a scale from 1 to 10 the routing quality in my humble opinion is 9+. I use the default "Quickest" setting. If you wish to experiment with "Local" or "Major", please do so with caution. Zoom out briefly before you start driving to see the whole route.

Voice prompts

I was used to the pre-recorded pleasant female voice of earlier versions. It was short and sweet - always to the point. No unnecessary talk (that's quite important if you drive hours each day). The new version adds "text-to-speech" feature, which reads street names, too. This is a feature many users have been requesting for a while. Many (perhaps most) users now like it. I may be old fashioned, but I really missed the simple voice prompts of older iG versions so I added the option to toggle the new style and old style into iGkeys, and now I'm happy again .

When you arrive to your destination, iGuidance announces "Destination on your left". The side-of-street announcement is a very useful feature some competing programs don't have.

Wish list

If you were asked to name one single feature to add or improve in future iGuidance versions, what would you ask for? I think I would ask for the on-screen keyboard to go back to being Qwerty instead of the current Abc. Earlier versions did use Qwerty, but the developer likely wanted to make the buttons larger for the PDA and PND versions so they switched to the Abc style. However, the PC version never suffered from any lack of screen space Qwerty would fit nicely . I personally am not affected by this issue at all since I use a USB keyboard in my setup, but many users who do rely on the OSK did strongly express their desire for Qwerty.

iNav & Laptop GPS World

iNav iGuidance forum at Laptop GPS World is being monitored by the developer, iNav Corporation. They will not be able to give personal reply in most cases, but it doesn't mean they haven't read your message. It is our hope that this forum can be a place where all users can come to get questions answered by others in the community (and/or by iNav Corp.), and where the product development team can come for direct feedback.

iNav will provide product related info such as advance notice re: bug list, updates, upg, new features, etc.


Thanks to Roberto for letting me use the above photo from his website. It shows a laptop running iGuidance 4 set to one of the night-mode colors. The vehicle is being used for providing emergency roadside assistence. Roberto's company uses Microsoft Streets & Trips 2008 in the dispatch center, and iGuidance 4 for GPS navigation.


Other reviews

Review of iGuidance 2009


Questions? / Comments?
bob santero
I love iGuidance 4. On my previous Dell laptop it worked great, as well as Microsoft Streets & Trips 2008 Connected.

But I bought a new laptop Toshiba Vista, MS Streets & Trips 2008 Connected detects the GPS fine, using Pharos GPS-500, but iGuidance 4 can't find GPS, like it did with my Dell laptop.

I've downloaded the Pharos GPS-500 USB-to-serial bridge driver, but that didn't work. I give up. I don't know how to get iGuidance 4 to work like it does on MS Streets & Trips 2008 Connected.

I know how to go to tools > GPS options > auto detect and rescan, again and again, nothing happens. Please help!
Marvin Hlavac
Bob,

If Tools > GPS Options > Auto Detect doesn't work, then just set it manually via Tools > GPS Options > COM Port

EDIT: The MSN Direct FM receiver may be an issue in your particular case. To get it working remove your GPS-500 receiver from the Microsoft "Connected Services" unit (the grey box), and then use the short piece of cable (which was included in your S&T 08 w/Connected Services package) to connect your GPS-500 with the 5 foot long USB cable. The GPS receiver alone will work with any program, but the GPS receiver, while inside the MSN Direct unit, will only work with S&T 2008 w/Connected Services.
bob santero
Marvin, last week I was using my old Laptop a Dell Inspiron and MS XP, and I was running MS S&T 08 (separately) and IG4 using the new GPS-500 receiver in the MSN case. But, Vista, is new to me. I am going to try again to connect with IG4 with the new Toshiba laptop and VISTA.

Wish me luck. I still need traffic info because I am a courier and require all the info I can get. I do have broadband in the car which does seem more effective than MSN traffic and MS S&T conn 08, so far.

thanks,
Bob
Marvin Hlavac
Let us know how it goes, Bob. If I recall correctly when I used the MSN unit I was only able to use the GPS function with S&T 08 "Connected Services" version. Not even other S&T version would work, nor other progams like iG4, or anything else. But I may need to re-test it, if you confirm it works for you.
nialag
Hello

I am a user of S & T for many years, 2003 or 04 I don’t remember exactly… The 2008 version is really a great improvement if we compare with the first edition…

iGuidance 4 is supposed to be very different in his operating way ? I would like to try it !

Regards


Alain
Marvin Hlavac
Hey Alain (a.k.a. nialag), it's good to see you here! Go join the contest for a chance to win iGuidance 4! The contest ends in a few days.
cmags
Hi Marvin! Found you on yet another GPS site lol. I'm curious if iNav put keyboard navigation of the menu screens back into iG with version 4. For example, in iG2, after hitting <enter> to bring up the main menu, you could use the arrow keys to select your intended operation, hit <enter> again, and so on. Since the following menu was introduced in iG3, that functionality was removed, causing me to not be able to upgrade due to lack of touchscreen:



I assume that since it looks the same, it's going to function the same. Any updates for iGkeys to support that functionality for iG3 or iG4?
Marvin Hlavac
Hi cmags, and welcome to Laptop GPS World forums ! Yes, I think many of us would love to see that feature come back! iGuidance version 3 is the same as iGuidance version 4 in this respect. Being able to use arrow keys to navigate within various menus was very intuitive, and I think all laptop users miss it - at least those who used iGuidance version 2 .

iGkeys helps in most situations (at least for me), but it doesn't fix the main issue .
mccd7618
Which is a better unit the iGuidance 4.0 or the Garmin Mobile PC. Can't decide
Marvin Hlavac
...and I can't decide either. Garmin Mobile PC can do a few things iGuidance cannot do, and iGuidance can do a few things Garmin Mobile PC cannot do. I love them both. They both use Navteq map data, and I haven't yet seen a bad Navteq-based GPS navigation program.
mccd7618
Thanks Marvin, will purchase the iNav iGuidance 4.0.

Can someone tell me if the GPS reciever USGlobalSat GPS BU353 USB Mouse Receiver for iGuidance 4.0 is compatible with Microsoft Street and Trips 2008
Marvin Hlavac
Yes, absolutely, BU-353 will work very well not just with iGuidance 4, but also with Microsoft Streets and Trips 2008, and many (most) other GPS navigation programs. It's an excellent USB GPS receiver, too.
mccd7618
Thanks Marvin.
d111
I give up!

Tried to install iGuidance 4.0 on my new Gateway/Acer XP netbook.

The software activate fine on my W7 17" desktop.

However, no matter what I tried, here are the errors:

Installed from SD card:

-inav directory copied to C: drive

It Refuses to activate via internet

Napoleon is in the startup... and ast whatever loads fine.

Tried to format a SD card to transfer license from another machine that is activated.. didn't work.

Got a new filechk file from iNav.. didn't work.

Comes back "previously activated on another machine error"

or

It just hangs / does nothing when I tried to initialize SD card to move license

or

In one instance, it came back with a memory error on SD card initialize


Is it a problem with Truecrypt? New to my machine...

What gives?
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