Go 500 ready for prime time?

Discussion in 'Which TomTom Should I Buy?' started by Harry6, May 24, 2015.

  1. Harry6

    Harry6

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    Location:
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    TomTom Model(s):
    XXL 540 TM, TT Go Android
    I'm wondering: Has the software on the Go 500 been improved since its introduction to make this device one you'd now recommend?

    If not, what would you recommend? Like me, the driver has an old xxl540 at present.

    A friend is asking about purchasing a Tomtom.

    * Are custom poi's now working?

    * Is the RDS-TMC feature that was originally only enabled in the German market now enabled?

    * Are lifetime speedcams included?

    * can the user add local speedcams like we do on our old xxl540?

    * what is the impact on the supporting smartphone's battery life when using HD traffic? In other words, does the TT app keep the phone continuously on, draining the battery through both the app and through bluetooth interaction? Any actual experience on this impact?



    As a side note, what is the pricing for the Tomtom Android app? The price isn't listed on the google play store, or on the TT web site, beyond the free trial.



    Thanks so much as always for all your insights here!

    H
     
    Last edited: May 24, 2015
    Harry6, May 24, 2015
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  2. Harry6

    canderson Moderator

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    Yes, custom POI files are working!
    Have not seen RDS-TMC here in North America. Rather, they're using iOS or Android phone connection for even more precise (Live) data. Tethering plan NOT required with carrier (nice).
    Traffic is free with purchase of the unit.
    TomTom speed cams are still by subscription. Quality varies by area. In Colorado, they're covered quite well.
    Since custom POI can be loaded (see line 1), yes, but so far, we do not have audible alerts for custom POI, so requires some attention by the driver.
    App runs in background obtaining periodic traffic data. Battery and data volume hit isn't too bad, but I recommend leaving the phone on a car charger so you don't lose any battery at all.

    Depends upon where you look on the play store. See https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.tomtom.usa2gb for $33 and change.
     
    canderson, May 24, 2015
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  3. Harry6

    Harry6

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    Location:
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    TomTom Model(s):
    XXL 540 TM, TT Go Android
    Hi Canderson and thank you responding!


    * RE custom Pois- So glad this is now working. I actually was told the opposite when I called TT customer support this morning. Was told I would have to use "favorites." So can be Tyre be used with the Go500 without a bunch of workarounds? If I'm going on a trip could I save a group of places in a file and upload them to a Go 500?

    * Re RDS-TMC - I understand that the Go 500 's sold here in the N American market have RDS-TMC disabled so that they can only use HD data. While I realize HD data is superior when available, it is frustrating that TT disablies the RDS system. A phone is not always available, data is not always available, it is nice to have a system that is not dependent on TT's servers. Most of all, it is inconvenient, and a tangle of clutter, to have to have both the phone and the satnav plugged in. and charging. I normally keep bluetooth off on my phone to save battery power. So I wonder how much it runs down the phones battery when using a go 500. Bluetooth 4 has battery saving features, but it is a question of whether TT has implemented them on the Go 500. Earlier bluetooth sucked energy from the phones battery.

    * Too bad TT still requires ongoing payments for speedcams. And aren't they included in the Android app. Makes me want to keep my old xxl.


    I see the TT Go Android app price of $33 is for a three year subscription.

    So what do you use / what would you buy for your own use?


    PS: love the No WD40 thing.... makes me laugh... so many people use that stuff thinking it is a lubricant and god knows what else
     
    Harry6, May 24, 2015
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  4. Harry6

    canderson Moderator

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    Well, that about figures. Custom POI support HAS been released to production along with the new MyDrive program that supports it. It's a bit different than the way you grew accustomed to loading them with the 540, though the *.ov2 files as produced by Tyre are still the format being used.

    The RDS system in the U.S. is a problem (though it is in many places). The system is based upon a very limited 'almanac' of possible pieces of road that can be covered, so total coverage and precision of coverage is very much limited by that. Frankly, having experienced Live, I don't miss it. The difference is huge, and they aren't charging for it.
    Most commuters have smart phones these days. Understand that TomTom used to sell units with built-in Live (like the GO 740 and GO 1535), but I think they tired of the U.S. cellular situation when AT&T announced they were going to cut 2G service. Unlike Europe, where it's all a pretty straightforward GSM market, we're pretty fractured here. The thinking was that no matter what the cell companies do here, a person is likely to have a phone that can get a connection in their area of service.
    Whether the cell phone needs to be plugged in depends upon your drive. You certainly don't need it for normal commuting purposes, but if you were going to make a run down the eastern seaboard of the U.S., that's a lot of hours.
    When I was commuting 50 minutes, it wasn't an issue. It depends upon your use model and your phone's battery usage and capacity whether it really matters.
    I'd be interested in what you mean by that. What are the 4 'battery saving features'? Apart from the device being able to shift output power from Class I down to Class 2 down to Class 3 (if your phone can actually do that), it pretty much is what it is.
    What I showed you before was the previous generation app. They do have a newer app now with a different fully subscription based business model. See here >>> https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.tomtom.gplay.navapp
    The idea, though, was to be able to update from the older app for 99 cents.

    Regardless of that -- if you're worried about battery use, you really WILL want to keep your phone plugged in if you go to an Android based GPS app. Screen use alone will eat you up, not to mention GPS use. Using your phone as a data link sucks down a mere fraction of the power.
    I'm not a fan of the appearance of either the new or old app due to font sizes. Much depends upon how well your eyeballs can manage the information at dashboard distance in 2 point phonebook type. For that reason, I prefer the larger screen stand-alone units like the 600. At present, it's one of the units that is always in my vehicle. I have the TomTom app on my phone strictly for 'emergency use only'.
     
    canderson, May 25, 2015
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  5. Harry6

    Harry6

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    Thank you again Canderson for your extremely thoughtful and detailed reply.

    Too bad about the misunderstanding from TT customer service on the ability to now use custom POI's... I would likely have popped for a Go500 that was on a great sale. Ah well, sales come and go and come again....

    RE Bluetooth 4, power saving: I'm not familiar with Bluetooth 4's energy saving features, but here are two links. If I understand, the class I, II, III designations refer to transmit power. Within MY VERY LIMITED UNDERSTANDING, I think BT 4 was designed, apart from these transmit power categories, to greatly reduce power consumption in any range.

    http://www.bluetooth.com/Pages/low-energy-tech-info.aspx

    http://rtcmagazine.com/articles/view/102266

    If I understand, Bluetooth 4 can reduce battery consumption in a smartphone to near zero when no data is being transmitted and when the phone is not scanning for devices to link with.


    Thanks again Canderson!

    Regards,
    H
     
    Harry6, May 26, 2015
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  6. Harry6

    canderson Moderator

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    When no data is being transmitted and no discovery is happening, there's no need to transmit, and receive mode can be very low power.
     
    canderson, May 27, 2015
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