For all the talk about Apple’s cutting-edge Maps in iOS 6 with fantastic Flyover three-dimensional view, many people – yours truly included – are dissapointed over the absence of street-level photography in iOS 6 Maps (prior iOS Maps versions had Street View, courtesy of Google). Enter Navigon’s premium turn-by-turn GPS app that just got updated with Google Street View, plus a couple other nice features…

Street View, of course, uses Google’s back-end to help you visualize your destination, including full 360-degree freedom like in Apple’s Maps app prior to iOS 6. It’s also clever enough to automatically display your destination shortly before arriving at the destination.

You can also block certain sections to force the app to calculate an alternative route. This feature is available in both route planning mode and during navigation.

Cockpit, an in-app purchase valued at six bucks, is another nice feature addition that taps your device’s sensors to figure out your roll and tilt angles while moving, as well as g-force readings. This information is rendered in real-time, using a cool-looking dashboard akin to a cockpit.

Street-level imagery combined with Cockpit mode enables you to better visualize your driving directions and plan your trips before you hit the road.

I’m a pretty big fan of outdoor activities, often biking early in the mornings along the shoreline so anything that helps me optimize my daily route is Godsent. I was also sold on an off-road screen that sports compass and altitude information.

What’s best, the Navigon app support my iPad natively and it really takes advantage of that 9.7-inch canvas and Retina graphics by cramming up more details, which really becomes indispensable when trying to orient myself in 3D and Street View modes.

It will also cache data for offline use. All told, this is arguably the best turn-by-turn solution for your iPhone the money can buy.

A couple other features, from iTunes release notes.

– Simple, intuitive user interface 

– Can be used in portrait and landscape format

- Precise spoken announcements

- Intelligent address entry 

– Lane Assistant Pro

- Real Road Sign 

– Speed Assistant with adjustable audio-visual warning

- NAVIGON MyRoutes

- Day and night modes for map display (automatic switching)

– 2D and 3D map display (bird’s-eye view) 

– Route planning function

– Text-to-Speech (voice playback of street names)

– Extended Pedestrian Navigation using the iPhone’s internal compass

- Google Local Search

- Reality Scanner for POI searches with Augmented Reality

– Coordinate entry

– SOS Emergency Help


A premium mapping solution costs money.

In the case of Navigon, the app will set you back twenty bucks for the United States coverage (CentralEast or West  coast) or forty bucks for the combined USA and Canada version. Other markets are also supported in regional editions such as Europe, Mexico, New Zealand, Italy, Russia, to name a few.

These are discounted summer prices valid until July 16 so if you’re in the market for a comprehensive turn-by-turn GPS solution, you’ll want to act now.

What’s your favorite mobile navigation app?