Given the vast number of free navigation apps available for Apple, Android, Blackberry, and Windows handsets, we've been more than a little skeptical about the future of satnav makers like Garmin and TomTom. After all, why should consumers shell out for a fairly limited piece of hardware when they can get similar functionality for nothing on a device they already own?
Thankfully, a new app upgrade indicates that TomTom may have finally seen the light. The company has now migrated its popular Homer Simpson voice pack to the TomTom app for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch.
You might recall that Dutch outfit TomTom brought Homer's trademark "D'oh!" to its dashtop device nearly two years ago. And while that seemed like a great development at the time, the world has changed a lot since July 2009. Today, smartphones and featurephones on every carrier offer driving assistance, including turn-by-turn navigation. That's taken a bite out of hardware manufacturers' profits. Apps are clearly the way for these companies to go if they want to stay afloat.
For its first app add-on, TomTom could hardly have chosen a better voice than that of Homer Simpson, who's been entertaining audiences for over 20 years. That said, we hope TomTom will follow up ASAP with its Star Wars sets. Fairly awesome, they are.
The Homer Simpson voice pack costs $5.99 and is available as in-app purchase on the TomTom app for iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch. If you don't already own it, the TomTom app itself will set you back an additional $49.99. D'oh, indeed.