As a reviewer and user of GPS devices and apps, the toughest question for me has always been which one is the best? Whether to settle for a free app, paid app or a PND (Personal Navigation Device) and once you have decided that you need to answer a few more questions like:

  • Which company to go for? Whether to follow the herd and go for a Garmin or Tom Tom, without knowing what it offers
  • What screen size is enough for me (in case of PND)
  • What all features are important to me
  • What is live traffic update and do I really need it?
  • Free map updates
That said, every decent PND manufactured in the past several years has text-to-speech conversion to speak street names, 3D map views, comprehensive points of interest (POI) databases, and automatic re-routing. Some lower-end models lack multipoint routing and Bluetooth cell phone connectivity features for hands-free, in-car calls. 

Moving up a bit, high-end GPS devices features like capacitive touch screens, high-res displays, faster frame rates, live traffic and terrain mapping. 

So what should a buyer look for when zeroing down on a PND or a navigation app for his smartphone?

The most popular options are (PND & Apps in Italics):

Google Maps
NNG (Nav N Go) – Ayana Navigation Solutions (ANS)
MapMyIndia – Sygic
Route 66
Nokia Maps
Navfree GPS
Waze Social GPS
CoPilot GPS
iWay GPS
ANS Navigator
iGO by NNG (Nav N Go)

In the case of PND’s, most would go for the names that are most heard – TomTom and Garmin. Or in my case, would be forced to use either of the two. I bought the VW Vento that game along with Garmin nüvi® 2460LMT. After using Garmin Nuvi for the first time, I realised that it wasn’t what I would use for my navigation needs. 

But I didn’t give up easily, I tried it over and over again, sometimes to the extent of searching latitude and longitude on google to enter it on the garmin PND, as it simply faltered to find the POI. And even if it did found the POI, it took the most lame routes no matter what the route settings were. After a month of using Garmin Nuvi PND and getting lost each time, it was evident that it was just another Apple Maps in a PND form. Garmin must be great in the west but in India it just didn’t match what I had been using – Sygic MapMyIndia app on my iPhone or the free Google Maps once it got the turn-by-turn voice navigation.

Until recently, Sygic was the most comprehensive sat nav app I had used in India, with some exceptions for which I relied on Google Maps. There were times, I was using all the 3 – Garmin, Sygic and Google Maps to reach a destination and none of them offered live traffic. Google Maps gave fair idea by marking the lanes green (no traffic) or red (heavy traffic) but it could not be called ‘Live Traffic’ that I was used on TomTom whilst in the UK.

Also, Sygic came at a hefty price tag (available for free now) so most of the people didn’t bother purchasing it. And as I always prefer a PND over the sat nav apps for obvious reasons. I was really dumbstruck, juggling the sat nav apps and PND trying to master ways around the city. Quiet a few times the battery died on my smartphone in the middle of the routing to a destination and the Garmin PND just didn’t capture the location. 

Sometime ago, I was introduced to NNG ANS iGo and their PND’s. We at The Unbiased Blog were lucky enough to receive the ANS Navigator app for iPhone and the PND (soon) for review. You can watch the video below on how to setup the iPhone app and how it compares to the Garmin PND.

As you must have noticed in the video, these are the things that sets apart ANS Navigator from others:

  • Live Traffic Updates
  • Integration with iOS contacts, the app lets you access contact address
  • Google local search – very handy to search local businesses
Though all this comes at a price of Rs.1650/- with LifeTime free updates.

Few days back on Diwali, I bought a new car and decided to test in on the Greater Noida Expressway. It was me, my wife and my brothers in the car and we left home at around 4 in the evening. As it was too late to go to Agra and come back in the same day, we decided to head to Mathura. As I prefer using a PND to conserve my phone’s battery, I fed Bankey Bihari Temple in the Garmin Nuvi PND and nothing showed up. Alternatively, I tried putting in Isckon Temple, Vrindavan but the result was same. Finally I put in Mathura and it kept showing Mathura Road and POI’s on Mathura Road. 

I gave up and started my search from scratch by putting in the state (UP), City (Mathura), Place (Bankey Bihari Temple) and it didn’t show me anything after Mathura. Hence, I decided to head to Mathura first and then put the ANS Navigator from there to the temple. But to my horror, the only route the Garmin Nuvi PND showed was the Delhi-Mathura NH2, whereas the sole purpose of my trip was to drive on the Greater Noida Expressway. 

As the Garmin Nuvi wasn’t showing me the way from Greater Noida Expressway, I reluctantly decided to put in Bankey Bihari Temple on the ANS Navigator on my iPhone and it was on the screen instantly showing me the distance to the destination.

Once, I had it put, there was no looking back for the next two hours and I was outside the temple’s lane.

It was the same, when I had to head back to Delhi. But there were few things that I wish I could change:


  • Upgrade my Garmin Nuvi PND with the NNG ANS PND or buy a car stand and charger for my iPhone to use the ANS Navigator app seamlessly
  • One area where the ANS Navigator lacked was the UI and UX, it felt archaic and reminded me of the Route 66 navigation on the light years old Nokia Symbian device. It’s really a challenge to type in the search field due to its cramped layout and extremely slow input speed. I hope its updated soon to a fresh iOS 7 look and feel with fluid typing experience.
We will update this post with more videos and soon review the NNG ANS PND so stay tuned!
Social Media Evangelist | Gadget Guru | Model | Photographer | Ex- BlackBerry Boy - Now iOS | WP8 | Droid. Founder and Chief at ‘The Unbiased Blog’. I breathe in WiFi zone, prefer LTE over LIT. Ex MSFT, MCP, A+ and coder. I like news to be served to me on twitter.