Navigating with TomTom
This page contains information on TomTom's Satellite Navigation products, including TomTom Go, TomTom One, Navigator, TomTom iPhone, TomTom Mobile and CityMaps.
TomTom started life some years back as Palmtop BV in the 1990s, a small Dutch firm creating mapping products for the Psion range of handheld computers. Since then, they've grown into a hugely-respected handheld mapping solutions provider, with a range of products designed to make mobile navigation easier.
This page contains details of TomTom's satellite navigation products, and links to some pages of interest. If you have any questions or suggestions, please ask in our navigation forum.
Navigating with the TomTom Go 720
If you've heard good things about TomTom, and want to get one of their products to help your navigation... here are the types of products to chose from
- Stand-alone - The one-box solution is certainly the most elegant - In the range is the TomTom Go and the newer TomTom One. These are stand-alone units that sticks to your windscreen, have a built-in GPS receiver, and come pre-loaded with the required software and maps
- PDA - If you have a PDA (such as an iPAQ Pocket PC, Windows Mobile or a Palm), you may be able to add TomTom Navigator functionality. You'll need a way of connecting a GPS receiver to your PDA (either by cable, Bluetooth or a via a card slot). You'll then need to install TomTom's software and maps
- Mobile Phone - If you have a suitable smartphone, such as a Nokia, then TomTom Mobile may be the answer, as the navigation software can be plugged into a selected number of handsets.
PODCAST FEATURE: We reviewed the TomTom Go 1000 in Show 57
Listen to our podcast team's review online, or download it to your MP3 player.
Listen to Show 57 | What is FrequencyCast? | Add us to iTunes
The TomTom One is TomTom's basic entry-level satnav unit, and an excellent buy. The TomTom One has a built-in rechargeable battery, Bluetooth (for live travel information from your mobile phone), a USB socket for connecting to your PC (for map and software updates), and of course a built-in GPS receiver.
This rather neat unit first became available in November 2005 in the UK, and several updated models have since appeared. For more details, see our TomTom One page.
|The TomTom One is available online from:|
The TomTom GO range offer more features than the more basic TomTom One and TomTom Start range. Features vary between models, but the Go range include speech recognition, spoken instructions with road names, MP3 playback, Bluetooth hands-free, real-time traffic info, plus the ability to connect wirelessly to your car's sound system.
They fit easily into the included car mounting kit, which is simply mounted on your car windshield or dashboard. Just turn it on, and you've got access to the map data. The Go units have a touch-screen for route selection, and a built-in GPS receiver for spotting your location and plotting your real-time position as you drive. The Go units provide voice-guided instructions in a language of your choice, with other voices available.
TomTom offers the latest street-level map of your chosen country, down to street level. Apart from the first GO unit, the GO range are is ready for TomTom PLUS services through a suitable Bluetooth-enabled mobile phone. TomTom PLUS is a bundle of services that provide real time information on traffic congestions, weather conditions and extra downloads such as detailed city maps, additional voices, points of interest and much more.
- Complete car navigation solution in one box including car mount
- Smart and easy, door-to-door navigation
- Satellite Navigation system
- Highly portable - easy to fit and remove in seconds
- Simple touch-screen operation
- Crystal clear 3-D view
The TomTom Go range:
|TomTom Go||The basic Go unit, with a built-in rechargeable battery, touch screen and an SD card containing map data|
TomTom Go 300
|The features of the original Go, with full UK postcode support and built-in Bluetooth. Includes a map for your country / region|
|TomTom Go 500||Includes maps for your country or region, plus the major roads in 17 European countries. Supports hands-free voice calling via your Bluetooth mobile phone|
|TomTom Go 510||With door-to-door route planning across Western Europe and hands-free voice calling via your Bluetooth mobile phone. Has a wider screen than the Go 500 and uses the more accurate and faster SiRF Star 3 GPS chipset. Released in April 2006|
|TomTom Go 540 Live||
Built-in SIM card for TomTom's HD Traffic service. Also supports IQ routes, speed cameras, fuel prices, jukebox and voice command.
|TomTom Go 700||
With door-to-door route planning across Europe and hands-free voice calling via your Bluetooth mobile phone. This model supports USB 2.0, while the others support 1.1
|TomTom Go 710||With door-to-door route planning across Western Europe and hands-free voice calling via your Bluetooth mobile phone. Has a wider screen than the 700 and uses the more accurate and faster SiRF Star 3 GPS chipset. Released in April 2006|
|TomTom Go 720||Speech recognition - speak an address to navigate somewhere. Also reads out street names with the directions. MP3 player and FM transmitter onboard. Hands-free voice calling via your Bluetooth mobile phone. Released in 2007. TomTom 720 Review|
|TomTom Go 730||Speech recognition, reads out street names with the directions. MP3 player and FM transmitter onboard. Hands-free voice calling via your Bluetooth mobile phone. Maps of Europe|
|TomTom Go 740 Live||
Built-in SIM card for TomTom's HD Traffic service. Also supports IQ routes, speed cameras, fuel prices, jukebox and voice command.
|TomTom Go 910||
Top-of-the-range Go released in April 2006 - the same standard Go features, plus widescreen, an MP3 player and text-to-speech, so it reads out road names and text messages.
|TomTom Go 940 Live||
High-end Go with built-in SIM card for TomTom's HD Traffic service. Also has an FM transmitter, IQ routes, speed cameras, fuel prices, jukebox and voice command. Map of Europe and the US.
|TomTom Go 1000 Live||
Top-of-the-range Go with live Traffic HD and Google Live Search. IQ routes, Lane Guidance and voice command, plus the new Fluid touch screen. TomTom Go 1000 Review
|The range of TomTom Go devices are available from:|
TomTom for Apple iPhone
TomTom released an iPhone application in August 2009. See our TomTom iPhone review
TomTom 2D Map
TomTom Live Travel Information
Navigator is a full navigation product designed for use with a Pocket PC, Windows Mobile, Windows Smartphone or Palm handheld computer. If you already have a handheld PDA, then you'll find you can get up-and-running with handheld navigation for less than you think. You'll need a GPS unit (either Bluetooth, wired cable, or CF card, depending on your PDAs's capabilities), and of course, the TomTom Navigator software.
Navigator is normally supplied as a bundle including a Bluetooth GPS receiver , an in-car mount, and the actual mapping software. Considerably cheaper than a dedicated in-car unit, and just as powerful, this is a superb solution. If you already have a Bluetooth GPS receiver and a Windows Mobile device you'll be pleased to know that you can buy the software only.
Features of TomTom Navigator include:
- Fast and reliable route planning on highly detailed, up-to-date maps
- Automatic, one-second recalculation when you move off the route
- Automatic positioning, zooming, and guidance by GPS
- Guidance by means of clear and timely verbal instructions, symbolic arrows, and maps
- Extensive lists of useful or interesting locations
- Destination selection by means of: Favourites, Point of Interest, Clicking on map, Entering address
- Realtime travel information via a GPRS mobile
The Navigator software is supplied on a CD, and when you install it, you install the core application, the GPS software, and you make a choice about the type of map data to install.
Navigator is a fully interactive co-driver. You plan a route based on your current position, obtained from the GPS receiver, and then enter a destination. You can do this by pointing to a location on the map, by entering the postal address (as well as street address, Navigator support house numbers and UK postcodes) that you want to go to, by picking a landmark or a saved location, or from the phone/PDA Contacts application list view. This makes selection of an address incredibly easy although searching for an address can be a little slow sometimes (not surprising really... there's a lot of streets in the UK, and to get a position for any UK address down to within a few feet, demonstrates the power of this application...)
For more on Navigator for the Pocket PC and Windows Mobile, see our TomTom Navigator page
Navigator 6 for the Pocket PC is available from:
Note that from 2007, TomTom Navigator is TomTom's standard mobile phone and PDA product, and TomTom Mobile 5 no longer appears to be in their current lineup. Some of the following may therefore may become out-of-date.
If you have a suitable mobile phone, you can get the TomTom experience on your mobile. The TomTom Mobile kit includes the maps and software on a memory card, and a Bluetooth GPS receiver. It comes with the required bits to allow this to be used in-car, or you can use the software when strolling around if making use of a handheld CF card GPS unit, or a Bluetooth GPS receiver.
TomTom Mobile 5 is currently compatible with the following phones:
- Symbian OS Nokia phones: 6260 , 6600 , 6630 , 6670 , 7610 , 7710 , 9300 , 9500
- Orange SPV C500 , SPV E200
- Imate Sp3
- Motorola MPX 220 (Selected countries only, includes UK)
- Sony Ericsson P910i
- Qtek 8010 , 8020 , 8060 , 8080
Note that TomTom Navigator 7 is the newest version of TomTom for mobile devices - And TomTom Mobile is an older product. TomTom Mobile 5 may still be is available from:
Traffic information is downloaded to stand-alone TomTom units that are paired to a mobile phone using Bluetooth.
Using the mobile phone network, you can connect to the TomTom service over the Internet, and download information about traffic problems straight onto your device. There is a subscription charge for using this service. In practice, the service works rather well, although the quality of the real-time traffic data sometimes lets it down. Some Go models, such as the TomTom Go 720, can make use of a free travel news service that uses FM radio, known as RDS-TMC. For more on real-time road information, see our Travel page
For more on getting traffic information on your TomTom, see our TomTom Traffic page
Older TomTom Products:
TomTom CityMaps: This started life as Streetmaps from Palmtop BV for the Psion range of machines, later becoming available for the Pocket PC. This is a cheaper option than using the more powerful Navigator program, and sadly it's no longer available - although copies still appear now and then. Using the software is simple - Assuming your GPS is enabled and working, the first step is to start up Citymaps, and press the GPS button (top right) to get the map to move to your current location.
You can then set this as your 'Departure point". You then
type in the name of the street you want to get to, and get the software
to plan the route. You can select the quickest route (using major roads
where possible), or a more direct (but sometimes slower) route. Once planned,
head out, and follow the on-screen instructions. The route planning takes
one-way streets into account, supports "go via" and can store
your favourite places. .
Other older products include:
- Street Planner / Street Planner Millennium - Released for the Psion range of PDAs
- Route Planner / Route Planner Millennium - Released for the Psion range of PDAs
- En Route - Released for the early Psion range of PDAs
Mapping software on a Psion Series 5
It's possible to buy other maps for your TomTom product. These typically come on an SD card, and are for a number of different countries and regions, such as: Western Europe, Italy / Spain, Portugal, Andorra / France / Great Britain / Belgium, The Netherlands & Luxembourg / Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Poland & Czech Republic / Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Norway / USA / Australia
These can be purchased from retailers such as Partmaster Direct
TomTom products allow you to use different voice files to switch from the standard voice, to something a little more fun. The TomTom CD comes with a number of different voice files, but there are a couple of other places to pick up some new voices to heighten your driving pleasure.
There's a small selection of voices that can be purchased TomTom's site, including an excellent John Cleese.
As well as TomTom's own site, we recommend Sat Nav Voices as a top place to pick up a new voice for your TomTom - their range includes White Van Man, The Voice of God, a Geeza, Manuel from Barcelona, and the rather bizarre Cat Nav, plus a whole lot more. Our favourite? Sexy Sabrina... for those long boring journeys... "would you mind just turning to the left for me, sweetie?"
Once downloaded, voices need to be installed into a folder called '\voices\ at the root of the drive that contains your TomTom software.
|Speed Cameras and TomTom||
One of TomTom's extra subscription services, is access to a database of UK safety cameras... however, there's a cheaper (and better?) alternative that can be used on most TomTom products... the UK Safety Camera Database. Here are some useful links:
Latest - We now have a page dedicated to installing safety cameras - See our TomTom Cameras page
|Using TomTom without defining a route||
We've been asked a couple of times how to make use of a TomTom Go or One for general driving around (with no specific route). TomTom is really designed as a navigator, but there are a couple of options if you just want to use it as an electronic map:
A range of accessories are available for TomTom products, including additional maps, carry cases, car mount kits, power adapters, car chargers, an external antenna and a selection of cables. Try the following online retailers:
If you've got yourself a TomTom unit - you should keep a safe record of your Product Code and Activation Code, as you may need these again if you have to reinstall TomTom software. Product activation is handled online at www.ttcode.com
Your TomTom hardware also has a device code, which you may prompted for by TomTom at some point. You can get this by tapping on the main navigation screen, down on the bottom right (by the GPS status bars). Then tap on 'Version'.
|Manual||TomTom manuals are available for download as a PDF file from TomTom's site. They can be found at www.tomtom.com/downloads|
Here is some information on how to get in touch with TomTom.
To send an email / online message, you need to log in to TomTom's site. See TomTom Support for information on how to send an online message
Phoning TomTom: We have found the following telephone numbers:
To report a problem with map data, use the Report a Map Problem form
The head office address is: TomTom N.V., Rembrandtplein 35 , 1017 CT Amsterdam , The Netherlands
|Connecting to GPS||
TomTom Navigator is supplied with GPS software as standard. This should support most Bluetooth or cable GPS receivers.
If using Bluetooth, you need to 'pair' the GPS receiver with your PDA.
Got a question, or need help? Ask in our TomTom Sat Nav forum