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CoPilot Live on Windows Phone 8.x
Ken in Regina
I've been playing with a Windows Phone for the past couple of weeks (BLu Win HD). I'm sending it back because of a defect but I've had the chance to play with CoPilot Live on it.

The phone had the latest version of Windows Phone (ver. 8.1) installed.

It's nearly identical to CoPilot on Android. I wasn't able to find any differences in the user interface except one minor one.

When you select the Main Menu it does not have a "power off" button at the top left like the Android version does. I guess that's because Windows Phone doesn't really have true multitasking and will shut down CoPilot automatically shortly after you switch to another app or the home screen.

This (lack of true background multitasking) has an annoying side effect. When you are downloading maps in CoPilot you must force yourself to start the download and place the phone aside with it still on the download page until the download is done. If you do anything with the phone while the maps are downloading you will be switching away from the download page, causing the download to pause until you switch back to the download page and manually resume it. And it won't necessarily restart the download where it left off. It took me a couple of times to figure this out. Both times it restarted the download without incident but it restarted well short of where it had advanced to before I started messing with the phone.

This is a shortcoming of Windows Phone, not CoPilot. And it's only an issue once, while you're getting your maps loaded onto the phone.

When you first run CoPilot and log in to your ALK account using the same userid as for the Android version it will restore your settings but not your license. So I had to repurchase my Canada-USA maps. It was cheap enough that I didn't mind.

Although I had to repurchase the maps, the 3D navigation feature - which is also an extra cost item - is shareable. While I was trying out the Windows Phone I decided to purchase the 3D Nav feature for my Android phone. When I next launched CoPilot on the Windows Phone I checked the Features list. The 3D nav feature was checked as activated. So it appears that everything but the maps are shareable/transferable across mobile platforms. Nice!

The major issue for me, and one that will probably keep me away from Windows Phone permanently is that you cannot access the full file system. Whether you use the supplied Files app, a 3rd party file manager from the app store or connect the phone to your PC, you cannot see anything except the Documents, Downloads, Music, Pictures, Ringtones, and Videos folders. This applies to the internal memory of the phone and also the SD card if you have one installed.

One problem with this is that I was not able to add my Favorites to CoPilot as I can on my Android phone because I could not access the necessary folder.

I have done a bit more exploring and have discovered that it may still be possible to add my Favorites (as custom POIs, described in another thread here). I had set the Storage Sense setting on the phone to allow apps to install to the SD card. When I boxed the phone back up I removed my SD card from it and put it aside.

Just as I was typing this I decided to see what would happen if I put the SD card into the card reader on my PC. Now I can see the rest of the file system. It's in a folder named WPSystem. When it's installed in the phone and the phone is connected, the phone appears to hide it. But it's accessible when the SD card is installed in a card reader on my PC.

I was able to find the folder I would normally place the custom POI file in for loading my Favorites on my Android phone. Just for the record, in case I reuse the card for something else and erase that stuff, the path is:

H:\WPSystem\AppData\{EC860657-F89D-4740-866B-97C44B49A20C}\Local\NA\save

The "H:" happens to be the next available drive letter when I plugged in the card.

The "...\Local\NA\save" is because I'm using North America maps. Europe maps would probably be "...\EU\..." or something similar.

So it's reasonable to assume that CoPilot would load them in the same way when it sees the file. Unfortunately it's too late to test this theory.

Overall, I wouldn't hesitate to recommend CoPilot Live on a Windows Phone if you want to have the ability to navigate without having to use your data connection for the map data.

...ken...
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