GPS in Kazakhstan
I was playing around with my iPod the other day (I have a humble little iPod touch instead of the $1000 iPhones and iPads. I will wait til I move back to the US to buy something fancier) and decided to search the App store for “Kazakhstan”.
There’s not a lot of apps out there that target Kazakhstan specifically. There’s a few travel apps, including the intriguing Almaty Walking Tours (which costs $4.99 so I won’t be buying it anytime soon) and World Radio Kazakhstan which seems to get you world radio stations targeted to Kazakhstan like RFE/RL.
But I was impressed to see Navitel, a GPS app for Kazakhstan. It’s a free 30 day trial. After that you have to buy the map which costs $54.99–less than what systèmes GPS would cost anyway.
Navitel works pretty well for directions and tracking your position. The interface could be a little more user-friendly (c.f. earlier post on inconvenience in Kazakhstan), but the basic functions (search and route planning) are easy to figure out. There’s a fairly good database of businesses on there for Astana and Almaty although hopefully they’ll add more. Not sure about the regional towns. The voice module seems to go on and off. It doesn’t always tell you what to do, which makes it not great for driving.
But overall a good first step.