ALK, makers of the popular CoPilot GPS platform have announced free versions of its software for Google Android and Apple iOS based devices, options that are both available today via their respective app stores.
The company hopes to score a win in the GPS category in a space already dominated by excellent and 100% Android mapping technology and already built-in iOS maps.
CoPilot takes on the “freemium” approach to map offerings by providing the initial download for free, allowing users to receive one country’s maps at no charge. Users who want to map out their journey, receive traffic updates and use turn-by-turn navigation all in one system however will have to shell out some cold hard cash. For example, 12 months of ActiveTraffic is $9.99 while maps for international destinations including Australia and New Zealand will run you $37.99, while Brazil is more expensive at $39.99 and all of Europe is $37.99.
Placing a paid app in a space dominated by 100% competent and free competition is a risky move, yet CoPilot has many fans which have used its stand-alone systems for years and unlike TomTom’s iOS offering the CoPilot GPS service is far less expensive, even when a few more countries maps are added.
So what exactly does CoPilot iOS and Android offer to customers? According to the company’s blog:
“Millions of Points of Interest (POIs) are built into the app, making it easy to locate nearby restaurants, shops, hotels and more,” the blog post continues. “You can also search for local businesses and attractions using Bing™ and Wikipedia. And did we mention the best part: Mapping and planning is FREE!!!”
They also point out:
“CoPilot GPS is our all-new offline route planning and local exploring app that gets you everywhere you need to go without relying on your mobile data connection. Detailed maps of an entire country or region are stored on your smartphone or tablet, so you’ll be able to calculate routes and get driving or walking instructions even when there’s no mobile coverage.”
The question now becomes who will bite and try out the service and then actually pay for more features? Free app users by in-app purchases all the time, it will be interesting to see if that same strategy works for ALK CoPilot software.