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Telmap Navigator – you won’t be lost/late again…

Even after a recent clean out, I have more that 50 apps downloaded on (each of my) smartphones. If you’d asked me to guess before I did the actual count, I would have said it was around 20. At a stretch. Yes, yes, I hear you. I don’t use most of them but I am soooo grateful to have Tetris to turn to once a year when I’m standing in *that* post office queue (someone please help them develop an app so I don’t have to?!).

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 The Telmap homepage

Once in a blue moon I stumble across an app, download and use it non-stop. It’s been 2 months and so far Telmap has made my GPS device (which is rather dated at 5 years old & it doesn’t help that I’ve just never bothered to do a software update) obsolete. Ditto for Google maps (previously my back up when my GPS let me down).

Telmap is an Intel company who at just 2 years old have over 12 million users worldwide, with a local presence in Germany, the UK, France, Italy, Spain, the US, Romania and South Africa.

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    Day time navigation screen

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 Night time navigation screen, note the traffic update.

So what’s the fuss? Here’s what I lusted, loved and loathed about Telmap…

Lust

  • First things first. Powered by TomTom, in terms of the navigation itself (i.e. the basics of getting me from point A to B) for me, the hit rate so far has been around 99%. For some reason there was one address/place it just couldn’t pick up in Soweto one day but that’s never happened again since…
  • But Telmap is more than a navigation app, they’ve partnered with key local and international providers to enrich the app with integrated value-added services. That’s a mouthful, let me explain. For example ones that I like are BP (my preferred petrol station because of the savings offered on Vitality) and Pick n Pay (again, Vitality savings).  Being able to find my closest branch of these saves me time and money while I’m on the go.
  • But it’s also quite a bit more than “find your closest branch of X”. In conjunction with the likes of Eat Out & you can search and find restaurants by categories, see ratings, contact numbers and business hours. Another nifty one is Always On, a newish free Wi-Fi service (they partnered with Samsung recently) – so that you can  stay connected on the go.

 

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The Eat Out section of the app

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Love

  •  The app is free! You can download it on all platforms: Blackberry, Android and IOS.
  • If you do want the premium version for 9.99$ (R99) once off you’ll also get speed camera & danger zone alerts (you get a free automatic 14 day trial on download).
  • There’s room for personalization like saving locations under “My Places” on the homepage; choosing route preferences (e.g. avoiding toll roads/highways) & your choice of navigation voice (Kim Cattrall will set you back 1.99$) – everything you’d expect from a store bought GPS device.

Loathe

  • The updates to the app don’t happen often but when they do happen it always seems to be when I’m in a rush to get somewhere. They take literally 2-3 minutes but it does feel like ages when I’m rushing.
  • I’m not really phased by the advertising banner at all but some people could mind this. You’re not able to opt out of advertising with the upgraded/premium app either.

Need to know

  • For safety & ease of use I highly recommend investing in a car kit (that attaches to the windscreen/dashboard) for your phone if you plan to use it as a GPS. Also if you don’t and keep it on your lap or the centre console, you’ll regularly lose signal.

If I ran the brand

  • I’d find a way to be telling more people about the app!

Telmap has over 800 000 users in SA today with around 65 00 signing on every month. For me it’s a no brainer.

W

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