All-new versions of CoPilot Live are coming for the iPhone and iPad very soon. These will not be upgrades to the existing CoPilot Live Apps which are currently available in the App Store, but rather all-new apps that offer a better and more user-friendly experience. From an all new menu system and a boatload of new features these new CoPilot Offerings appear to be very worth successors to ALK Technologies previous budget-friendly yet feature rich GPS offering.

This new generation of CoPilot Live GPS navigation apps for iPhone, iPad will initially consist of two flavors: CoPilot Live Premium and CoPilot Live Standard.

“With our new collection of CoPilot Live apps, we’ve created a unique navigation experience, combining innovative and exciting features such as drag routing, with a social dimension that makes it easy to share your journey with friends,” says Michael Kornhauser, Managing Director of CoPilot Business Unit. “Personalization is key to our approach. We want to empower drivers to choose or create their ideal route to any destination. Taking personalization a step further, we’ve also introduced the concept of users creating an app designed specifically for them.”

For the user who wants an advanced navigation experience, our CoPilot Live Premium app offers unlimited use of our full set of features. For users who may not need all the features CoPilot Live has to offer, we’re introducing a cost-effective approach that allows them to select and purchase only the features they need. The CoPilot Live Standard app includes full turn-by-turn navigation and route calculation along with the ability to add as many advanced features as the user needs via in-app purchase, to completely customize their app to their personal liking.

I’ve to play around a little with a pre-release build of the new CoPilot Live Premium iPhone app. While I haven’t completely put it through it’s paces just yet, those of you who read my iOS GPS Showdown may remember that one of my biggest complaints with the current CoPilot Live USA app is the convoluted menu system. I’m happy to say that this has been replaced with a much more intuitive and efficient structure. Navigating the new CoPilot Live’s menus is a breeze and the means for finding POIs are all nicely collected in a single location. The graphics have gotten an overhaul as well, crisp and clear with a snazzy new user-definable HUD at the bottom of the screen. Traffic alerts have been improved and we even get a cool little speed limit icon. ALK has also made navigation a bit more interactive, allowing drivers to drag their route to adjust it and “tap anywhere on the map to go there or discover useful location-specific information”. This really does feel like a completely new app and so far I have been really impressed with the work that has been done by the the ALK Technologies team.

Here is a complete list of the new features and descriptions from the official press release:
  • Personal Routes™: CoPilot Live helps you find your best way to any destination with a choice of up to three alternate routes, displaying journey time and mileage for each. Fine-tuning the route is easy: simply drag the route or a destination to a preferred street you wish to take or location to navigate to.
  • Intuitive User Interface: CoPilot Live puts all the navigation and driving features you need right at your fingertips, when you need them. Simply tap anywhere on the map to add it as a destination, discover location-specific information or share it with friends.
  • Social Navigation: Share your journey details and check ins with in-app Facebook and Twitter updates. Fully integrated Bing™ local Internet search and Wikipedia make it easy to find all the nearby businesses, services and local attractions you need.
  • Speed Limit Displays: CoPilot Live displays the speed limits on major roads and informs you with on-screen and audible alerts if you accidentally exceed it.
  • Superior Guidance In-car or On Foot: The sleek new dashboard-style guidance display provides clear, non-distracting directions with a choice of 3D, 2D and Directions-only navigation views. Lane Assist arrows, real signpost information and realistic ClearTurn™ display provide enhanced guidance at complex interchanges. An all new walking mode with digital compass support* makes it easy to find the way around a city on foot.
What else can you expect?
  • On-board Maps with Free Map Updates for 1 year: maps are stored on-board your device so you can navigate offline without using your data plan
  • Text-to-Speech (TTS) voice directions with full street names
  • Take Me to My Car: to save the exact location of your car and easily find it later
  • Door-to-Door Trip Planning: enter up to 50 stops and optimize the itinerary
  • Photo Navigation: drive to a geotagged picture taken by your smartphone
  • Copy/Paste a destination into the address entry screen
  • Detour Feature: to avoid unexpected delays or specific sections of your route
  • Millions of Points of Interest (POIs) with in-app dialing
  • ActiveTraffic™: (optional service) use real-time traffic information to calculate the fastest route to your destination and get accurate ETAs
  • Live Weather information at your location or destination
  • Live Fuel Prices: (optional service) to find the cheapest gas station nearby
  • In-app news and updates to keep you informed about improvements and updates available to you
What will it cost?

The original CoPilot Live USA app was an insane bargain at just $4.99 (+ $2.99 for Text-to-Speech and $9.99 for traffic/fuel)! This new app will fetch a bit of a higher price, but that’s not too surprising as I always felt that CoPilot Live has been way under priced for its value.

While the folks at ALK Technologies would have loved to upgrade owners of the existing CoPilot Live apps to the new app for free, given the way the App Store works, there was just no way to do it. The Android versions of these new apps were just released a few days ago and ALK is offering them at a HUGELY discounted promotional price for launch week. I’ve been told that a similar promotion will be held for the iOS versions once they have been approved by Apple.


And I suspect that they will be, then you can expect the apps to be prices as follows:

  • CoPilot Live Premium USA will cost $29.99 and includes unlimited use of the full set of navigation features.
  • CoPilot Live Standard USA will cost $4.99 and includes basic turn-by-turn navigation and route calculation with the option to add unlimited use of advanced navigation features via in-app purchase.
  • Use of the ActiveTraffic™ service for 12 months will be $9.99 and 12 months use of the Live Fuel Prices service will be $4.99, both of which can be obtained via in-app purchase.
  • For 7 days from launch, CoPilot Live Premium and CoPilot Live Standard will be available at an introductory price of $9.99 and $2.99 respectively.

That means if you take advantage of the launch price you could pick up CoPilot Live + $9.99 traffic + $4.99 fuel for just under $25, or skip the fuel and it’s still under $20! That seem like a great GPS bargain to me, even if (like me) you already own the current version of CoPilot Live. I’m not sure of the pricing for CoPilot Live Premium HD USA for iPad 3G.

UPDATE (July 5th, 2011): According to a recent blog post on CoPilot’s website, it appears that current CoPilot Live v8 users will be able to transfer their Active Traffic subscriptions to the new product, making the deal even sweeter!

UPDATE (July 6th, 2011): It is worth noting that as of October 15, 2011, v8 owners will NO LONGER be receiving any additional map updates, so you will NEED to upgrade if you want to continue to have current maps data. To be fair CoPilot does state in the v8 app description “Our exclusive MapSure™ service provides free monthly map improvement downloads and free quarterly full map updates through the life of your product version”, so they are well within their rights to no longer update the maps on the older v8 release, when the new app launches. However, as one of our UK readers pointed out, for those people living outside of the US, whose release of CoPilot Live v8 cost them considerably more than $5, this is a bit of a blow, considering had they purchased an alternate GPS app, they’d still be getting free map updates. Also the new version of the app ONLY comes with ONE YEAR of free map updates, meaning that you will probably now need to buy a new version each year, or pay some sort of fee for map updates in a year. Just some things to consider.

Some comparison photos are available below and you can see a full gallery of images of the new CoPilot Live here.

New CoPilot Live
Current CoPilot Live