Be-On-Road is a neat navigation program published by Aponia Software, s.r.o. of the Czech Republic. The program is free to download from Google Play, the company’s website and the Apple App Store and runs on android devices, Windows CE, Windows and Apple iPhone and iPad. All versions are also available from the company’s website at BeOnRoad.com
The program can use either free OpenStreetMaps (OSM) or maps by Navteq and others that can be bought from the company’s online store. All maps can be downloaded directly from the application. The Navteq maps can be used free of charge for 7 days.
We tested the android application on a Samsung Galaxy S II phone. The application ran smoothly and with no problems.
Be-On-Road is a fairly conventional turn by turn navigation program. It gives clear directions when approaching a turn and again directly before a turn. It can’t handle text to speech so all directions are of the type “turn left” or “turn right”.
The free Open Street maps are surprisingly accurate and even have a fair number of Points of Interest. The program can calculate two kinds of routes: fast and short. In our tests both routs made sense. It allows establishing way points and simulating driving the route. We did encounter slight display problems with a couple of these simulations.
The Navteq maps we tested are new: Quarter 1 of 2013. These commercial maps include many more points of interest than the free variety and are supposedly more accurate. We were surprised that the Be-On-Road web store had a much smaller selection of maps than were available through the android application. The only Asian country available was India and the only African was South Africa. The android application allowed us to purchase maps for most countries in Asia and Africa. The maps offered on the website are from various vendors though Navteq dominates. There are number of regional map providers, like NavTurk and specialized trucking maps are also available for some countries as well as traffic information licenses for some of the Navteq maps.
To summarize: Be-On-Road is a very good free alternative if you are reluctant to pay for your navigation program or maps. It is somewhat less sophisticated and less customizable than programs like iGO but offers the advantage of being free and capable. If you are not interested in customization and bells and whistles this program will do the job nicely and free maps are a bonus.