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TomTom iOS update brings GPS navigation to iPad

TomTom for iPad
TomTom for iPad

TomTom's popular navigation app for iOS got a big update this week, and chief among the new features is optimization for the iPad's 9.7-inch display. Version 1.9 of the $49.99 app is a universal binary, available on recent iPhone and iPod touch models, and both iPad generations. Functionality is mostly unchanged, but the app does use the larger screen to do things like split-screen Lane Guidance and regular driving view. The update also brings new maps, faster performance, and a new, simpler interface to all devices. You'll need a 3G-enabled iPad to use the app while you're mobile (you can buy an external GPS receiver for Wi-Fi-only models), and if you've got an iPhone 3G it's time to upgrade — this is the last version of TomTom's app that will fully support the three-year-old phone.

iPad support looks like the beginning of a trend for TomTom. The company announced quarterly earnings this morning, and though its profits were up more than 50 percent over a year ago, most of that was thanks to cost-cutting — sales of GPS devices to consumers were down significantly, and TomTom thinks they're going to keep dropping. Though it didn't say so explicitly, the company is clearly starting to emphasize getting itself on the mobile device you already own rather than trying to sell you another one.