CoPilot Live HD Is First Turn-By-Turn Navigation App For iPad

Apple's iPad has many uses, and for anyone looking to "wow" someone right away, all you need to do is pull up "Maps." Zooming, pinching, and sliding across the globe on the iPad is a really marvelous experience, but there's just one main problem: no true iPad turn-by-turn navigation apps exist. Well, that was the case, but that changed today with the shipping of Apple's iPad 3G + Wi-Fi.

The new iPad, which includes a Micro-SIM from AT&T, also includes an integrated A-GPS module, which the Wi-Fi iPad lacks. This helps it to remain locked onto GPS satellites while on the move, and generally makes it more suitable for navigation considering that a 3G connection can be maintained from the road, while a Wi-Fi hotspot generally stays put in one place (Novatel's MiFi notwithstanding). ALK Technologies looks to be first on the scene with a dedicated iPad GPS application, as their CoPilot Live HD was recently submitted for approval at the App Store.

It's a turn-by-turn GPS navigation and trip planning app designed specifically for 3G models of Apple's iPad, and considering that the street maps are stored on the device, you won't need to ping any map servers via Wi-Fi or 3G in order to find the next page of routes. In an effort to better utilize the iPad's larger screen (compared to the iPhone), there's a split-screen 3D/2D map, and it can also auto-switch between portrait and landscape. It, of course, offers pinch-zoom functionality and offers access to iPod music controls from within the app. nitially launched in North America to coincide with the U.S. release of GPS-enabled iPad 3G models, detailed street-level maps of the U.S. and Canada are stored directly on the iPad. Customers do not need to download maps for each trip or worry about being left stranded without maps in mobile dead spots. Apps for additional regions will be launched as the iPad 3G becomes available worldwide in coming months.

The app should be approved for use in early Map, and will cost the same as the iPhone version: $29.99. That includes unlimited use, with no ongoing fees or subscriptions and includes free full quarterly map updates through the MapSure service through 2010. Not a bad deal at all, particularly considering that an iPad Car Kit mount is just around the corner...