It’s hard to argue with free, especially when it comes to Google’s Navigation app for Android. The built in maps functionality will just about get the job done on iOS too, but CoPilot is throwing the gauntlet down with its latest news. CoPilot GPS will be made available for free on both iOS and Android, competing directly against Google, and sending a warning shot in TomTom’s general direction.
What’s the rub? ALK, the company behind CoPilot, is taking the freemium approach. The initial download is free, and you’ll be able to download one country’s maps gratis. While you’ll be able to map out journeys, live traffic updates and turn-by-turn navigation will cost you £9.99 (~$16) and £19.99 (~$32) respectively.
It might not be a crucial blow against Google, who provides all of the above for absolutely nothing, but it’s an interesting proposition for iPhone users. TomTom offers its mapping service for iOS, but the costs are expensive. The UK version costs £49.99 (~$80.51), with Europe, US, and other maps adding even more on top. TomTom don’t seem to offer a proper app for Android either.
ALK’s gambit could potentially pay off. It’s the same approach that games use after all, enticing you with free gameplay then charging you in-app for extra items or upgrades. Having said that, we are talking about maps and navigation, not quite as excited or offering the same appeal. Only time will tell if this model will work out for the mapping company.