TomTom GO launched

tomtom_go

On March 25, 2015, TomTom announced that it was replacing all (android) TomTom applications with a single app called TomTom GO Mobile. The main “problem” with previous TomTom applications were that there was a separate app for each region, or maps, and you purchased them all separately.

TomTom GO Mobile creates a single central app that can download any map worldwide. And it comes with free lifetime maps. It provides the first 50 miles free each month and heavier users can take out a subscription for unlimited driving.

This is good right? Sounds good on paper, but there is a catch. A huge catch, and one anyone who paid for previous versions of the software are now becoming all too painfully aware.

The feature list of the new app contains:

– Lifetime World Maps: Always drive with the latest maps for over 100 countries**

** You can download 4 or more full updates every year for the life of your app.

TomTom reserves its right to unilaterally withdraw and/or to amend this offer and/or to amend the terms and conditions.

So basically, TomTom can, and will, stick it to you when they feel like it. Read on for how this launch is doing exactly this to, at least, all existing Android customers.

18 months ago I bought TomTom U.S. & Canada for $40 because I frequently visit the states and that’s the only place I really need navigation assistance. At time of writing the feature list for the app still contains the promise:

›› FREE Lifetime Maps. Download 4 or more full updates every year for the life of your app.

Also note that there are no ** caveats to that.

I took TomTom at their word. I believed them. Yes, I’m a dumbass and got suckered.

So TomTom has a web page that isn’t linked to from their app page, that defines “life of your app”: (emphasis, mine)

What are Lifetime Maps?

Updated: 19/11/2014 03.36 PM

If you buy a navigation device or smartphone app which includes Lifetime Maps, you can download 4 or more full updates of your map every year for the lifetime* of your product.

Lifetime Maps are available without additional charge and for as long as the product is supported.

The map updates are the full updates for the map that is pre-installed on your device or that is installed on your smartphone app. The geographical coverage and feature support in the map will continue to match the original version, as long as the original is commercially available.

You will receive all available updates to road network, addresses and Points of Interest in these releases.

*Lifetime – this is the useful life of the device, which means the period of time that TomTom continues to support your device with software updates, services, content or accessories. A device will have reached the end of its life when none of these are available any more. The useful life of the smartphone app means the period of time that TomTom continues to support the app with updates. 

So, to cut a long story short, all TomTom has to do is replace the app you paid good money for with a different app and your “lifetime” maps disappear.

TomTom has announced that existing TomTom apps will get map updates until October 2015, after which they will cease.

So in total, my $40 bought me 2 years and 2 months of TomTom. Not exactly a “lifetime” by any standard.

TomTom’s attempt to appease customers is to offer a 3 year subscription upgrade for 50p, instead of the usual £34.99 – so in 3 years time I can expect to pay at least £34.99 ($50) every 3 years for updates.

Nice scam TomTom.  If this isn’t a “bait and switch” I don’t know what is.

A disappointed customer.

 

Vodafone UK + HTC Desire + Android 2.2 FroYo = Fail.

Well, it looks like Vodafone UK royally messed up the timing of the HTC Desire OTA Update yesterday.  While most owners were eagerly expecting the announced Android 2.2 (FroYo) update that HTC have been pushing out, Vodafone decided to push out a 2.1-update1 which only provides Vodafone branding, apps, a few bugs, and even a couple of “adult” related bookmarks to everyone – and leaving them on Android 2.1 (Eclair).

Needless to say – Users are not happy at all. *Vodafone appears to have moved the thread here. [2010/08/06] Moved again to here (is Vodafone trying to hide the complaints?).

In work, we (coworkers and I) now have a total of 8 HTC Desires (out of 16 people) – even two iPhone users have converted! A few have been espousing the wonders of FroYo on their phone (some had rooted, and did it themselves, others had bought unbranded phones and got the stock HTC FroYo upgrade). I was jealous(ish) and wanted it myself.

Given Vodafone’s actions yesterday, it was likely that the FroYo update from Vodafone was minimum several weeks away, if not 3 months (as was intimated on the Vodafone forum – end of October) – it was also noted that the Vodafone FroYo update would include the Vodafone 360 branding and software.

Thus, last night it was time to embark on the adventure of flashing my HTC Desire to a stock image direct from HTC. I reasoned that my goal should be to flash HTC’s Android 2.1 (Eclair) image to the phone, and once there, the normal software update process should take me to 2.2.

And so it began…

I knew that I needed to create a gold card because the Vodafone image doesn’t let you install non-Vodafone images. This I discovered as I tried to simply apply a stock 2.2 download and using boot recovery update.zip – all attempts met with a complaint of a “Fingerprint error”.

I ended up at this page:
  [TUT]Complete upgrading guide(root, unroot, flashing ROM & updates)

and followed Post #3 which details a) How to make a Gold Card* . Ignore the rest of #3
and then Post #4 – the “unrooting” guide.

You then need to find a download of the correct stock HTC Bravo WWE image ROM – I chose the second WWE ROM from this link (140MB download):
  [ROM] Official HTC Desire RUU ROMS and OTA Update URLs
  RUU_Bravo_HTC_WWE_1.21.405.2_Radio_32.36.00.28U_4.06.00.02_2_release_126984_signed.exe

Proceed through the rest of Post #4 “How to Flash ROM” with the Goldcard inside your Desire, and plugged into your PC.

The phone will take 5-10 minutes to complete upgrading (or downgrading) to HTC Stock 2.1 image. When it reboots you will have to go through all the original setup sequences you did when you first unboxed your phone.

You can then perform a Software Update Check and you should find you have a Android 2.2 FroYo update (90Mb) waiting for you.  Proceed and let it do its thing.

Once done, welcome to FroYo.

All future updates will come direct from HTC – not from Vodafone, and you won’t ever have the Vodafone 360 branding rubbish foisted upon you.

* My GoldCard creation had a bit of a hiccup, in that it turns out that the 4GB Samsung card which came with my Desire does not work as a Goldcard despite formatting and following the instructions to the letter.  Trying an old 1GB Sandisk I had resulted in a good goldcard.

Aside from the goldcard hiccup – this all went surprisingly smoothly and painlessly.

Good luck.

Disclaimer: If you try any of the above – it is all your responsibility. I take no responsibility should you brick or damage your phone.