New navigation program skobbler from Navigon promises many things: free text and voice navigation, intuitive operation, easy searching, easy installation. It also comes with a built-in hotel booking service to make money for skobbler.
But the beta test version doesn't live up to its promise. Instead, skobbler does a good job of annoying the hell out of you.
Trouble starts with the installation process. Instead of letting you download an installer, skobbler insists on installing on the fly from an SMS or web link. Of course there's a way around that: download the .jad file for your phone model, open it in a text editor like Notepad, and look for the URL of the corresponding .jar file.
But no matter how you choose to install skobbler (SMS link, browser, downloaded .jar/.jad files), you'll be prompted to download and install additional files through your mobile web browser before the program gets going. It also wants you to register with your email address, or else it will stop working after the two-week trial runs out. Skobbler may be free, but it comes as a time limited trial anyway.
Finding an address didn't work when I tried to look for streets in Frankfurt, Lisbon, and Oxford. When I entered an english zip code, skobbler displayed a map of the wrong location. Skobbler is supposed to find locations from the address fields in your phone book, but it couldn't map any of my contacts in England, Portugal, Germany, the Netherlands, and France. The local search option was unable to find bars, restaurants, or anything else.
Time to uninstall skobbler. The additional skobbler service program that gets downloaded during the first run is not removed when you uninstall skobbler itself, so you'll have to find it in the Symbian application manager to get rid of it.
Maybe skobbler will turn into a useful navigation program sometime, but it has a long way to go.
• download scobbler .jad file
Monday, 29 September 2008