CoPilot Live 6 GPS Review

Review CoPilot Live 6 GPS

October 11, 2006
Ratings: 4.5 of 5
By: Kevin Muller

ALK Technologies recently released a Treo 700w edition of their popular CoPilot Live GPS product. We took it on the road with the Palm Treo 700w to see how it performed.

CoPilot Live 6 700w edition

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You already know that carrying a Treo 700w will put you at the top of the cell phone food chain, but how can it get any better? Simple: add GPS functionality to your shiny new smartphone! GPS is the new in technology, and users from around the world are flocking to get their hands on the latest and greatest GPS units. So ALK Technologies has released CoPilot Live 6 (Treo 700w Edition), which can now turn your Treo into a complete GPS navigational system.

Now thats cool!

User Interface

Home ScreenThe home screen of CoPilot Live is neatly laid out with large buttons, making it easy to select the appropriate option by simply tapping the screen. It appears ALK has taken its time developing the CoPilot Live software , making it easy to navigate at a quick glance. Heres how:

  • Bookmarks for commonly used locations make it a snap to find your way back from wherever your adventures take you.
  • If youre new to the area, you can select Address from the main screen and type in a location based on a mailing address.Although this will require the use of the keyboard, CoPilot Live remembers information you havealready entered (like city, state, and streets) so many times the majority of the information can be gathered with just a few screen taps.
CoPilot Live 6 Home Screen
CoPilot Live 6 Home Screen

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Trip Planning If youre ready to head out on the road there are two ways to plan a trip with the CoPilot Live software. If youre just heading a short distance, most likely youll want to enter the address and start driving. On the other hand, if youre looking to go on a longer journey, you may want to explore some of the features the software has to offer. Cant stand paying tolls? By visiting the Trip Settings, you can have the software keep you off the toll roads (and saving money!). Need to remember to take a break while youre driving? Need to cross the border? Need to avoid propane-restricted tunnels (youre probably driving an RV if this applies to you)? Not a problem. With just a few taps, CoPilot Live will remind you when its time for a break, tell you where you can cross a border, route you around restricted tunnels, and even take you on a scenic route if you so desire.

Maps, Maps, Maps What map mode is best for you? Well, youll have a few great options to choose from. First, theres the classic GPS 3D display. This shows your exact current location in 3D and includes names of roads andstreets youre passing along with the distance away from specific locations. This mode is definitely the most fun when youre showing off CoPilot to your friends, and its also very useful when you need to compare the screen to the road ahead at complex intersections.

CoPilot Live 6 Maps
CoPilot Live 6 3D Mode

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Next is the standard 2D map option. This option will progressively zoom in as you approach your turn or destination. The 2D map is a great option for getting a birds-eye view of your location.

CoPilot Map 2D option
CoPilot 2D option

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Finally theres a mode that ALK refers to as Driver Safety mode. This option displays your next turn, turn direction, and distance, until your next maneuver in a large easy to read fashion making it the easiest to read at-a-glance.

Driver Safety Mode
Driver Safety Mode

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As one more handy feature, if youre driving at night, is CoPilots Night Mode. Night Mode shows the maps in a darker color, thus reducing eye strain and making it easier to read in a dark vehicle.

CoPilot Live 6 Night view
Night view

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Modes With just a tap of the menu button, you can toggle between three different modes for the software. Guidance mode provides spoken and on-screen driving directions and information. Planning mode lets you plan trips in advance or when your GPS receiver isnt turned on. It also allows you to view the itinerary and maps for the trip. Walking mode will maintain a straight line to your entered destination and will tell you the distance to it.

Live Communications With CoPilot Lives real-time communication tools you can turn your Treo into a real-time location tracking device. CoPilot Live uses your phones data connection to send your exact location back to ALKs website so other people (whom you invite) can see exactly where youre at! The Live settings can be adjusted to be broadcasted to the website at your selected interval from every five seconds to every hour. But beware: The more you send your location out, the quicker youll see your battery drain,so we recommend using at least a five-minute interval even though the five-second option is pretty cool Invites to your location can quickly and easily be sent out right from your device by clicking the Live option from the main menu and choosing Invitations. Just enter in the persons e-mail address and a password for them, and your Treo will use Messaging to seamlessly send the e-mail. Users receiving the invite simply follow the link in the e-mail and enter the login details provided, and they will be greeted with a map pin-pointing your current location!

CoPilot Live Desktop Software Along with having the power of trip planning on your Treo, the CoPilot Live package comes with a desktop application that allows you to plan trips, print routes, and browse maps. The application does an excellent job of formatting printable directions and maps for even the most complex routes. The desktop companion includes all the same options available on the Treo CoPilot software, and also incorporates a handy tool that will calculate the estimated gas cost of a given trip just enter in the average price of gas and your approximated MPG. This is quite handy especially these days when the price of gas seems to be all over the charts.

CoPilot Live 6 Desktop

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CoPilot Live 6 Desktop

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CoPilot Live 6 Desktop

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Our Tests / Usability

Getting started was a breeze, as ALK does a very nice job walking you through the step-by-step process of installing the software, registering your device/software, and pairing the GPS receiver with your phone. Within 10 minutes of having the sealed package in hand we were up and running with the GPS receiver paired to our phone and tracking our location.

Being that the EverythingTreo staff travels quite a bit, it wasnt difficult to find several opportunities to give this software a test run! CoPilot Live successfully tracked down nine out of our 10 test locations without any difficulty. The 10th address couldnt be located exactly, but we were able to track it down by using the nearest cross roads we knew (in all fairness, the address didnt show up on MapQuest, Yahoo! Maps, or Google Local, either).

Our first trip took us out to the country in northern Wisconsin. CoPilot Live did a fantastic job of tracking even small county roads you might not expect to be included with such a package. As our second trip took us back into the concrete jungle of Chicago, where we had a chance to test the extent of the road data included in ALKs package. As we drove around, admiring downtown Chicagos skyline, CoPilot didnt miss a single cross street and kept our location with amazing accuracy.

The actual trip routing proved to be more than acceptable in all our tests. There are times when the software will take you on a slightly slower route, but it always got us there. And each time we reached our destination on the screen, we were within a hundred feet of our actual intended target not bad at all!

Points of Interest

While on the road, we also got to test CoPilots Points of Interest database and see just how many of the local attractions were listed and that list was amazing. In Northern Wisconsin, several parks, gas stations, motels, and restaurants were listed within just a few miles of our location. This feature is handy when youre in an unfamiliar area and need to get gas or grab a bite to eat.

The POI search includes the following categories:

  • Major Airports
  • Automobile Maintenance
  • Dining
  • Educational Institutes
  • Emergency and Medical Facilities
  • Facilities and Buildings
  • Gas Stations
  • Government
  • Lodging
  • Nature Attractions
  • Parks and Recreation
  • Retail Outlets
  • RV Service
  • Sports and Recreation
  • Travel and Transportation
  • Truck Fuel and Service
  • Visitor Attractions

Issues and Notes

We did not experience any major problems, crashes, lags, or unexpected responses during our testing process.

Make sure you dont inadvertently throw away your quickstart guide, as it has the installation key code needed to install and register your software on the back!

The desktop edition of CoPilot Live requires the following:

  • Windows 2000, ME, XP
  • 400 MHz processor or better
  • 128 MB RAM
  • 16X CD-ROM
  • 225 MB available hard disc space
  • Note: The Desktop Trip Planner is NOT necessary for the software to work on your Treo.


    Theres no doubt that GPS is an amazing technology that can change how we travel. Beyond the wow factor, having the ability to find a hospital or gas station at your fingertips while youre in unfamiliar areas can prove to be priceless. With CoPilot Live 6 (Treo 700w Edition), ALK delivers a well conceived package that far surpassed our expectations. The application ran smoothly on our testing device and didnt once crash or cause any major lags in functionality. It also accurately reported our current traveling speed with amazing accuracy. The Treo 700w is already an amazingly powerful device but now thanks to ALK, it just got a power boost!

    The CoPilot Live 6 GPS bundle retails for $299.95.

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